It can be tough to figure out what to read next. You may be wondering, “What should I read next?” Here are six ways to make sure you’re choosing a book for yourself. Happy reading!
Find out who the author is and what they’re like (or why they’re not like you!)
The person behind the book will affect how well it connects to you. If there’s an author attached to it, learn about them in general; Google can help with this! They may be similar or completely different in personal characteristics than you are. Maybe they would make for good friends (or maybe not). If you find an excerpt on Goodreads, read some of it and get a feel for their writing style, too. The same goes for if there’s a new movie/tv show based on the book coming out soon – watch a clip from the movie or tv show – or read a part of the script and see what you think. It all gets pretty clear with these things.
Open the book to page 123 (or some other page) and read three sentences – then close it again.
Now, carefully observe how that makes you feel. Do you like what you’ve read? Does it seem on-point or off-track? What do you think about the tone of voice used here in these lines? If this was an excerpt written by an author, did they appear to have any particularly strong writing skills here?
Did these few passages give you the impression that this book would have something meaningful for you in it? Or were there too many ‘big’ words or unclear concepts being thrown around that you haven’t read about in books before?
Get a feel for the cover and how it draws you in.
Does this book have an interesting-looking cover? If so, why do you think this is? See if you can let your eyes wander over the page and get a good look at what’s going on in it. What sort of images or words catches your eye? Try to imagine what the rest of the book might be like based on what’s presented on its front.
Read some reviews by other readers.
Do some quick online research! There are plenty of places to find out what people think of certain books – both professional reviewers as well as ‘ordinary’ readers who have taken their time to write reviews.
Suppose you find people who have also read the book to see what they thought of it based on their reviews. If particular reviews stand out for you, try to figure out why this is – do these reviews have a similar opinion as you would have about the book? What effect do these reviews have on your potential enjoyment or displeasure with reading this book?
Check if there are any excerpts from the book available online.
Read some quick passages from the story! This might be difficult if it’s not yet published in English, but otherwise, there should be plenty of digital sources available where you can search. Try looking at Goodreads, Google Books, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble’s websites to see what you can find.
In some cases, it helps to read a couple of different passages from the same part of the book. Do these excerpts give you a good idea about what’s going on in the story? Is it easy to get a sense of the tone and style of writing here? Do snippets from different chapters manage to make you feel excited or curious about reading more? It should be possible to get an impression of this without having finished too large of a chunk of text.
Get familiar with some short stories that the author has written.
Smaller stories are sometimes published alongside bigger books or available as separate eBooks depending on where you’re buying your copy from. Look into whether there might be anything like this available for this particular author.
These short stories can be pretty fun to read even on their own and could give you a sense of the tone or style the author usually uses when writing. If you like them, perhaps it would be worth checking out other works by the same author!