Thursday, April 26, 2012

Finding Your Next Book

This isn't going to become a book blog, but reading is one of my passions and a lot of you runners are also readers and having reading related questions, so if that's not your cup o' tea click "mark as read."  :)  You won't hurt my feelings.  But my book loving soul may cry just a little bit... just to be clear.

One of the biggest questions I get asked is "How do you find the next book to read?"  So I thought that'd be a fun topic to discuss.  I've always been a reader.  Interesting fun fact, my family thought I was a child prodigy when I was reading my books to my grandma and parents at the age of 2 1/2.  Turns out I was just read to so much that I had the books memorized and knew when to turn the pages.

I have several strategies for finding my next read, and they've changed over the years.

Browsing the Shelves
One of my favorite things to do is walk up and down book shelves.  In libraries, there will usually be a shelf of "new fiction" books displayed, or even a "librarian's favorites" shelf displaying recommendations.  My favorite "me" time activity is to head to Barnes & Noble, get a latte, and browse the shelves for my next great read.  I have the handy dandy goodreads app for my droid, so I can scan the barcode and add the books that I want right to my "to-read" list.  Pretty freaking handy.

Reading Other Books by An Author You Like
Once I find an author that I adore, it becomes a mad rush to read anything and everything they've ever written.  This is probably a given, but still notable.

Searching Amazon
This used to be one of my older "tricks."  I would search amazon for my top 10 favorite recent reads, and find books based on their recommendations towards the bottom "if you read this, you may enjoy this...."  I found a lot of great books this way.  Haven't used it for awhile now.  Now whenever I log in to Amazon it suggests library and information science textbooks since that's all I've bought from them in the last year.  :)

Checking out Goodreads
Goodreads is one of my favorite sites.  Top 5 for sure.  I don't know how many "book lists" I've started and abandoned over the years.  I have a book journal that I recorded books read and summaries for approximately 9 months before I got bored of it, and thousands of scraps of paper floating around from my previously mentioned Barnes and Noble trips.  To be able to consolidate these in to one convenient place that I can literally access from anywhere (provided I have an internet connection), yes please!  I love to view the feed to see what my friends are checking out.  I'll add what they loved, and possibly remove what they hated.  Plus it's fun to interact with those that are reading a book that you ZOMG loved or hated.

Goodreads find a book

Goodreads also has a new feature built in to get book selections based on your library "shelves."  Since I don't sort my books in to shelves very frequently, I haven't used this very much.  The few times I've ran it, some of the books they suggested were books on my to read shelf, so it appears the algorhithm they use is legit.  I know there was a huge buzz about it prior to its release.  Let me know if you use it and it's grand!

Book lists
There are so many book lists out there, top 100 classics, top ten novels of 2010, top ten YA novels of 2011, etc.  Always a great place to get an idea.  

So now you know why my "to-read" list is 200+ books long.  I clearly have no problem finding my next great book to read.  Problem is finding enough time to read them at the rate that I'm adding them.   BRB taking a mental health month to catch up on my reading for fun!

Beeteedubs, I'm not in anyway affiliated with goodreads or barnes and noble, and am getting no compensation of any kind for my tips and tricks.  Just to be clear.  But if they wanted to hook a sistah up with some free books, it would be a nice thank you.  jaaaaaaaaykaaaaaaay.


kimi said...

these pictures are amazeballs

Sarah OUaL said...

oh gahd you're the cutest little book nerd librarian in all of the world.

Generation X (Slomohusky) said...

keep reading - and running. :) what more in life is there?

audgepodge said...

Fun tips!

Susan said...

Haha my parents thought I could read when I was three...but I actually had a RIDICULOUS memory when I was little and had just memorized books. Even when to turn the page so the words were right. We're basically twins.