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7 Ways to Choose the Perfect Book to Read Next

If you're like most people, you have a to-be-read list that's perpetually growing. It seems like every time you finish a book, another one catches your eye and begs to be read. So how do you choose which one to read next? 

There are many factors to consider, but I’m highlighting seven ways for you to make the best decision possible. Next time you're stuck on what to read, I hope these ideas will help you get started on your next great adventure!

1. Consider what you're in the mood for.

Do you want to laugh? Cry? Be scared? Inspired? There are books for every mood, so start by considering what will make you feel the best (or the worst if that’s what you’re going for). 

Then look for reviews on Goodreads or Amazon where readers have mentioned the book has made them feel a certain way. Amazon lists keywords at the top of their review section, making it easy for you to click on the keywords that interest you.

2. Think about what you want to learn from or get out of a book.

If you're looking to learn something new, whether it's a new hobby or more about a culture different from your own, look for non-fiction books that will teach you what you want to know. For example, if you want to start knitting, check out Amazon's list of the best knitting books. If you want to read about different cultures, try to find a book set in a country you're interested in learning more about. Even fiction written about the topics you want to learn about can be helpful.

If you want to escape reality for a bit, look for books that will transport you to different worlds entirely. Science fiction and fantasy are great genres for this, as they often deal with themes of good vs. evil, love conquering all, and finding your true identity. If you're looking for a more light-hearted read, try picking up a romance novel or a book with a strong female protagonist. (Ahem, I might know a few. Wink, wink.)

3. Consider your favorite genres and authors.

Do you have a favorite genre? If so, look for other books in that genre to add to your to-be-read list. Once you find an author you like, try looking up their other books to see if anything else interests you. You can also check out similar authors to get more ideas for what to read next.

If you're not sure what your favorite genre is, that's okay too! Just browse through different sections of your local bookstore or library (or online) and see what looks interesting to you. Sometimes the best way to find a new favorite book is to simply stumble upon it.

4. Check out bestseller lists and award winners.

If you're looking for a new book to read, checking out bestseller lists is always fun. These are books that other people are reading and enjoying, so chances are you will too. You can also check out award winners in different genres to find books that have earned critical acclaim.

A word of caution: don't get too caught up in what's popular. Just because a book is a bestseller doesn't mean it's the right book for you. And not every award-winning book will be to your taste either. But these lists can be helpful starting points to finding something new to read.

A current bestseller (on Amazon) that I love is Lucy Score's Things We Never Got Over. It's a hilarious romance between a bad-boy barber and a runaway bride. Both had sworn off relationships. There's some drama and steamy sex scenes thrown in there too.

5. See what your friends are reading.

Do you have friends with similar tastes in books? If so, see what they're reading and make recommendations to each other (or trade books). This is a great way to find new books, because when you have similar taste, chances are if your friend loves it, you will too.

You can also join online book clubs or communities to get recommendations from people all over the world. Goodreads is a great place to start, as they have groups for just about every genre imaginable. 

6. Ask librarians for recommendations.

Librarians are the experts when it comes to books, so if you're feeling stuck on what to read next, try asking them for a recommendation. They'll be more than happy to help you find something you'll love.

If you don't have time to go to the library, most libraries have an online chat service where you can ask for recommendations from the comfort of your own home. You can even borrow books from the library without leaving your house using the Libby app. It's how I read the majority of my books since you can read both ebooks and audiobooks with it on your phone.

7. Try this fun quiz.

I took this quiz from Book Riot and got a surprising suggestion that I read and loved. It's a graphic novel by Jen Wang called The Prince and the Dressmaker. It's written for teens about a prince who wants to wear dresses. A great story about being yourself and the illustrations are fabulous.

There are so many great books out there, it can be hard to decide which one to read next. But don't despair! There are ways to narrow down your choices to find the perfect book. Hopefully you found the suggestions above helpful.

If you have other ways to choose your next read, please share your suggestions in the comments.

7 Ways to Choose the Perfect Book to Read Next