Being a reader can be hard.
That might seem like a silly thing to say. Reading is one of the most relaxing things you can do. There’s nothing quite like laying back on your couch on a snowy day, a book in one hand, a cup of coffee on the table with wisps of steam still rising from it, you cat asleep across your chest…
Reading is amazing. But the whole process of being a reader – including finding a book – can be hard. How many times have you found yourself re-reading some old books you know and love not just because reading a familiar book is like meeting with an old friend, but also because you didn’t know what new books to read? Because if you’re anything like me, that’s happened more than once. This week.
Here’s some suggestions you might not have tried to find new books so you have new ways to lose yourself between the pages.
1) Check Amazon Also Boughts
I’ll be honest, I largely ignored this feature on Amazon for awhile. For non-book products, it’s often not particularly useful – when I bought my instant pot, for example, the also boughts were filled with other different types of instant pots. I live alone with my cat. You seem to have mistaken me for a small army, Amazon,. But recently I’ve started looking at the also boughts with books. The theory was pretty straight forward – people who enjoyed this book I liked also enjoyed these other books, maybe I’ll enjoy them too.
Shockingly, that’s exactly what happened. Most of the time.
Sometimes the also reads were suggesting things that didn’t quite fit my tastes, or weren’t what I was looking for, or didn’t grab me when I started reading them. For the most part, however, I found that I was discovering more books I actually liked than I had been just randomly searching. I’d suggest taking that book you just started re-reading, and check out it’s also reads. You might find your next favorite novel waiting in there.
2) Follow book and review sites on social media
With the sheer number of books out there, and it can be hard to sift through and figure out what’s good and not good. I talked last week about the problems having so many books can create for a writer, and part of that was that, as a reader, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. So why not let someone else make it whelming?* Searching for book reviews can bring up a ton of sites, and looking at instagram for book feeds brings up a ton of results. Here’s a few of my favorites:
The Anderson, authors of Absorbing Lives, do indie book reviews on their site here. Pages Unbound is another book review site that does some great, in depth reviews of more mainstream titles. On Instagram, @thereaderbee has great book photos and a blog where they do reviews. @_accio.books has awesome photos as well, and has details about the books in the descriptions, so it’s another great way to discover new books.
Of course, sometimes the internet can get overwhelming, so why not try…
*This isn’t what whelm means, but it’s fun to say. Thank you Young Justice for getting that ‘word’ in my head.
3) Go to a brick and mortar store
How long has it been since the last time you were in a bookstore? I had to really think about it for myself. It’s been months since I last went to one period, and years since I last went there to actually shop for a book. As I was writing this blog post, I decided that I needed to fix that, and went to my local Barnes and Noble after work.
It was like coming home.
There’s an entire experience to be had browsing through rows and rows of books, most of them completely unknown to you. I spent at least an hour just picking up books, looking at the cover, reading the back blurb, and just making notes of ones to come back to. I’m focused on Indie books this month, because of indiecember, but I have an entire list to read in January. It’s the way we used to find books back in the old days, after all, so why not give it a try? (It also works for your local library as well – and that has the added benefit of being one hundred percent free!)
Any other ways you find books? Let me know in the comments below! And if you’re looking for books, why not try out Weird Theology? It would be pretty cool if you did.