What to read next? That is the question! There seems to be two types of readers. Those who have an ongoing list and easily jump from shelving a book, to starting a new one. And the second group, those who flounder around; looking for book recommendations under every rock, hoping and praying that their next five star read, will jump out and find them. I guess it’s pretty obvious which camp I’m in, right? I’d love to have a long TBR list of books that I could easily dip into, on a moment’s notice. But for me, it just doesn’t work that way.
Not to mention… someone else’s five star read, might not be mine. Reading is subjective, especially in fiction. Everyone has their favourites, their go-to authors. So, how do YOU know? How do you know if a recommended book, is really going to be all that you hoped it would be? I’ve read plenty of “Bestsellers” that just don’t do it for me, despite their long list of glowing reviews. This is why, I believe the answer lies in doing your own research.
So… what to read next?
Whether you curate your reading list in advance, adding to it as the year progresses or whether you are grasping at whatever catches your eye, there’s still research that needs to be done.
Lists, lists and more lists
There are endless sources to peruse. From BookBub and Goodreads, to the thousands of readers groups on Facebook, opinions are everywhere! The major Bestsellers lists, Amazon Top 100 lists and dozens more online options to go alongside your local brick and mortar bookstore. The trick, is to find the one that works best for you.
Perhaps, your answer is similar to mine. For me, where and how I find my next read, depends on the genre that I’m searching for. Although I have a fairly ecelectic taste in books, I primarily read in three, very different genres: Romance, Thrillers and Non-Fiction. And of course, inside those very large genres, I dip in to the multitude of sub-genres within them.
Now, because I write romance myself, I have a bit of an inside scoop when it comes to this genre. I love to support my friends and peers and often share their cover reveals and releases with my own followers. This enables me to know what’s coming out and grab those books on release day. I love romances that have high heat and high stakes, the more emotionally charged the better. The combination of clutching your Kindle, while rocking and crying in your seat, followed by an exceptionally spicy scene that leaves your skin flushed and your heart is racing only a few chapters later…well, that’s my kind of romance.
When it comes to thrillers, psycological thrillers are my jam. The ones that gets your blood pumping so hard, you have to shut the book and take a break, so the terror doesn’t completly paralyze you. For these books, I tend to check the recommended lists, that are based on my previous purchases. More often than not, I’ll hit on a great thriller just by using this method.
Non-fiction. This is an entirely different ball game. And for this genre, it depends on what I’m looking for. Craft books? Self-help? Memoir? Sometimes I know in advance and other times, I go with something that catches my eye. For this genre, I find the bestseller lists to be very useful.
Searching for books online gives you access to so many more books that you would otherwise find. Not to mention, the convenience of shopping from your couch. But for me, nothing compares to the sights and smells of a bookstore. The calm, serene atmosphere, the perfect books all lined up, the crisp pages- it’s sensory overload. Bookstores will always draw me in and hold me close. My fiction purchases are all on my Kindle, with the exception of my favourite fiction books. After reading them on my Kindle, I buy paperback copies (often signed, if possible) that live untouched on my bookshelf. My non-fiction purchases, tend to be hardbacks both for reading and displaying.
So when it comes to answering the question of what to read next, my answer varies. How I choose my books and where I find them, really depends on what I want to read in the moment.
What about you? What do you read and where do you find your books? Do you base your next purchase on reviews alone? Do you have a favourite platform or list that helps you to narrow down the choices?
Author and freelance writer Cassidy London, has been in love with scandalous steamy romances ever since she can remember. When she’s not writing or reading dirty books, Cassidy can also be found masquerading as a wine drinking, suburban mom in Montreal, Canada.