I got a question about this on Instagram and I said I’d post about it but then I forgot…and then I remembered. So here we are.
Finding books is a sacred process to me. It is almost as exciting as actually reading them. I don’t have any *omg* hidden sources, but it does take a while and I tend to move through my usual spots methodically, adding to my Amazon Wish List or my library holds list as I go.
With that being said, it helps that I am also an equal opportunity reader. I will read almost anything, from any genre. I have genre preferences (of course) but I enjoy both fiction and nonfiction. I will read YA. I will read history. I will read mystery. This makes choosing a book easier for me (I’m not very picky) and more difficult (because my eyes are bigger than my reading speed). If you have an incredibly hard time finding books that you enjoy because you feel like you’ve read up everything in the genre that interests you, it might be time to try something new. Which is SCARY. It’s hard to leave the proverbial section that you know you like, but if that well has dried up, you might be surprised how many other books are out there that you will DEVOUR and ENJOY. If you’re a fiction person, try nonfiction. And vise versa. That’s the easiest way to get things rolling again.
On to the list:
- Shelf Awareness - Shelf Awareness’ newsletter for readers is one of the best ways to find new (as in newly-published) books. They have a good mix of fiction and non-fiction releases, but also throw in cookbooks, kids books, etc. If I had to choose only one place to find out about new books, this would be it.
- New York Times Books - Duh. Don’t be deterred by a completely unfortunate review. If it’s a big enough release to get a New York Times review, the book might still be worth reading. Check for reviews from other publications and book bloggers before discarding a title.
- NPR Books - A caveat: If you use NPR Books to find new books, it helps to listen to the accompanying author interview or discussion. There have been some books I wouldn’t have touched but I happened to listen to the author interview or on-air review and was completely sold minutes in.
- Amazon Best Books of the Month - Amazon has an enormous amount of recommendation power: best seller lists, recommendations JUST FOR YOU, things you might like, blah blah. It can be overwhelming. Instead of getting stuck on the best seller pages (which currently have Disney’s Frozen: A Little Golden Book sitting at #13), go to their best books of the month selection. Amazon editors choose books that are entertaining and interesting and I’m always happy with the books I read off their monthly best-of lists. You can get as specific as you want (Best of Romance, Best of Sci-Fi) or you can go back months and months to find books you may have missed.
- Bookateria - If you love lists, Bookateria is a more manageable interface than Amazon. You can see the 2014 Booker Shortlist, buzz books, just published books—it’s good stuff.
- Bookslut - This site is great. There are author interviews, links to interesting book-related articles, and a million amazing book recommendations. If you want to get completely immobilized by excitement, check out the book review archives for fiction and nonfiction.
- Bookish - This is like the Buzzfeed website for book reviews: It is very approachable. Every literary reference in Friends, for example. But they also provide good previews of upcoming books and have fun article topics like “Favorite Plane Reads.”
- Go Book Yourself - If you like finding books visually—by their title, their cover art, what shelf they are on—this is about the closest you’ll get without actually being in a library or a bookstore. Very fun.
- Longform and Longreads - A lot of the longform articles you can find from these two sources are excerpts from books, or written by writers who do have published books, or were written to help drum up publicity for books. See this one, for example.
And last, but not least, I get so many good book recommendations from friends. A friend with similar taste in books is a friend for life.
Here is a little graphic you can use the next time you’re looking for a new book to read:
Good luck and happy reading!
Do you have any favorite spots for finding new books?
adventureswithcarbs asked: Hey wonderful Jaclyn, I feel like you posted about cute agendas / to do books / planners recently (they were on sale and maybe from Etsy, but were not Erin Condren...) and I've done a big search through your blog and can't find them. Do you remember what I'm referring to? Hope I'm not going insane. xx
You are not going insane! It is The Day Designer planner and it is outstanding. She currently has January 2015 editions for sale and is releasing more of the b&w stripe version on October 15. I am loving mine and highly recommend it.