1 – Pick up a book list at your library
When I was an awkward teenager volunteering at my local library a few hours a week, I found myself constantly looking for new books to read. Fortunately during those volunteer shifts I would print and fold book list after book list. I can’t tell you how many wonderful books I’ve ended up reading from library book lists. They’re a fantastic resource.
2 – Ask friends for their recommendations
This is probably one of my favorite options. Ask a friend which book or books have touched them the most or which books made them laugh more than any other they’ve read. You’ll be surprised by the list of books you make from friend recommendations. The nice thing about getting recommendations from friends, too, is that they’ll most likely lend you a copy if they own it. In turn, find opportunities to recommend your favorite books to friends.
3 – Read reviews
This one can be a good and bad option. Sometimes reviews can be misleading or even horribly unfair to a book that’s actually quite good. Find a reviewer in a magazine, online periodical, blog, or newspaper that you trust and share opinions with. If you’ve liked a majority of the books they’ve recommended reading, then you’ll probably consider most of their reviews a safe bet as to what you will like and won’t. For example, I really enjoy reading The New Yorker as they provide great reviews and articles about current books. Do a little research for yourself and find reviewers that reflect your opinions and interests.
4 – Join a book group
If you have a hard time choosing a book yourself, join a book group! Someone in the group picks a book for you, you read it, and then you meet up with the rest of the group to discuss. Simple enough. Also, it’s a great way to make new friends and open your mind to new perspectives.
5 – Read the book before you see the movie
Another great option for finding a good book is finding the book a movie is based on. If you read the novel before seeing the movie, you’ll have a greater appreciation for the characters the author created and you’ll be able to decide if the filmmakers did a decent job or not telling the story.