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Whether you enjoy the occasional novel or you’re a voracious reader with an endless appetite for books, sometimes you just run out of ideas. Yeah, you could read that book everyone’s talking about or revisit an old favorite, but you’re just not feeling particularly drawn to anything. What do you do?
Fortunately, you don’t have to rely on yourself to figure out what to read next. Whether you have a vague idea of what you might read or you have zero insights as to what you may want to read, you’re not alone when it comes to figuring out that next book.
1. Book Recommendation Sites
One of the easiest options is to use a book recommendation site. The Amazon-owned Goodreads is likely the best-known option, but it’s not the only one. That said, unless you’re completely averse to Amazon, its roots as a store that once only sold books can come in pretty handy, it turns out.
Goodreads has access to Amazon’s library of book data, which makes it easy to add the books you’ve already read to your “shelves” on the site. Once you’ve added enough books to your shelves, Goodreads can start recommending you books. This is handy, but far from the only perks of a site like these.
You’ll also find Groups on Goodreads dedicated to certain authors or series or even complete literary movements. If you love talking about books, this is a better way to find more personalized recommendations. You can also use the built-in Lists to browse books by genre or subject.
There’s a podcast for everything these days, and books are no exception. While there are serialized fiction podcasts, that’s not exactly what we’re talking about here, since those are self-contained audiobooks, and won’t do much good to help you find your next read.
The good news is that we’ve already been down this road before. If you love a good podcast and are looking for your next read, take a look at our list of awesome podcasts for avid readers. While you may or may not find your next read, you could find your new favorite read.
3. Publisher Websites
If you read a lot of genre fiction or are attracted to certain subjects, tracking down the publisher’s website might help you out. For example, if you read a lot of fantasy and science fiction, you might want to check out the Tor website. Not only can you browse through their various books, but they have chapter previews of upcoming novels and online book clubs.
For those of you who like audiobooks, Audible has some similar features. You won’t find bookclubs or previews, but you will find recommendations based on previous reads, plus it’s easy to browse by author or even narrator, if you just happen to love the sound of a certain narrator’s voice.
4. Don’t Forget the Library
Even if you never plan to go there in person, don’t forget about your local library. Most libraries these days offer ebooks and audiobooks in addition to the paper books that line most of their shelf space. Some even have well-designed websites that let you browse through their inventory without feeling like you somehow travelled through time to the mid-90s and the early days of the internet.
Of course, then there is the actual library itself. While how welcoming it is may vary depending on where you live and what the current situation is like, wandering through shelves of books can be a great way to find your next read.
Have a Local Book Store?
If you don’t have a local library or prefer to own your books, don’t forget about your local book store. While Amazon and the web in general have decimated big chain bookstores, you may be fortunate enough to have a quality book store near by, especially if you live near a college. While its website likely won’t put Amazon’s to shame, it may be good enough that you don’t need to stop by in person.
That said, it’s hard to beat a nice used book store, just for the purposes of wandering through. Of course, in these times, you may prefer to browse online, so take a look at our favorite places to buy used books online.