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TMW Featured Article

Here’s How to Find Your Next Great Book

Let’s face it, bookworms: sometimes staring at a bookshelf overflowing with options feels more overwhelming than exciting. You want a good read, something that’ll whisk you away to another world or leave you thinking long after you turn the last page. But with endless choices, from thrillers to historical fiction to self-help guides, how do you pick a book that won’t end up collecting dust on your shelf?

Fear not, fellow bibliophiles! Here are some tips and tricks to help you find your next favorite read:

1. Know Thyself (Reader)

Before you dive headfirst into the latest bestseller, take a moment to consider your own preferences. What kind of stories do you usually gravitate towards? Do you crave heart-pounding mysteries, laugh-out-loud comedies, or historical epics that transport you back in time? Think about the last books you truly enjoyed – what were the common threads? Were you drawn to the characters, the plot twists, or the writing style?

Figuring out what you enjoy can make your reading experience so much more enjoyable. Maybe you’re into books with strong, relatable characters or you love stories with unexpected plot twists that keep you guessing. It’s also possible that a certain writing style just clicks with you, making the words flow effortlessly as you read. Don’t be afraid to mix it up a bit and try something new, though. Sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone can lead to discovering a new favorite genre or author.

2. Genre Gems

Sometimes, the simplest solution is the best. If you know you love a specific genre, like fantasy or science fiction, stick with it! Explore different authors within that genre, or try a new subgenre that piques your interest. Websites like Goodreads or online bookstores often have curated lists for specific genres, making it easier to find hidden gems.

And don’t be afraid to dive into fan communities or social media groups dedicated to your favorite genres. These spaces are gold mines for recommendations, discussions, and even finding out what to avoid. Plus, you might stumble upon indie authors or lesser-known books that aren’t on mainstream lists but are absolute treasures.

3. Friend Factor

Let’s be honest, book recommendations from friends are the best kind of recommendations. Talk to your fellow bookworms, swap reading lists, and exchange honest opinions. Maybe your best friend just finished a mind-blowing thriller that’ll keep you guessing until the very end, or your colleague raved about a heartwarming coming-of-age story that’ll make you cry happy tears.

You’ll also find that friends can introduce you to genres you might never have considered before. Maybe your buddy is really into historical fiction, and you’re more of a sci-fi fan—trading books can open up a whole new world of reading possibilities. Plus, it’s always fun to have someone to discuss plot twists and character arcs with, adding an extra layer of enjoyment to your reading experience.

4. Online Inspiration

The internet is a treasure trove for bookworms! Book bloggers, booktubers (people who review books on YouTube), and online communities can be a goldmine for recommendations. Check out online book reviews, browse “best of” lists for your favorite genres, or even participate in online discussions where readers share their thoughts on different books.

5. Award Show Fanatic?

Literary awards can be a great way to find critically-acclaimed books. Check out the shortlists and winners of prestigious awards like the Man Booker Prize, the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, or the National Book Award. While awards don’t guarantee a good read for you personally, they’re a good starting point for discovering well-written and thought-provoking stories.

6. Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover (But Maybe Skim It Anyway)

Okay, so while we shouldn’t solely rely on a book’s cover art, it can sometimes offer clues about the story’s tone or genre. But the real gold lies inside the book itself. Most bookstores allow you to flip through the first few pages or even a whole chapter to get a feel for the writing style. Does it grab you? Does it flow smoothly? Knowing an author’s voice is key – sometimes, even a great plot can fall flat if the writing isn’t your cup of tea.

7. Embrace the Unexpected

Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone! Sometimes the most surprising and rewarding reads are the ones you least expect. If a friend recommends a genre you wouldn’t usually choose, give it a shot. You might discover a new favorite author or genre that opens up a whole new world of literary possibilities.

8. Embrace the Library (Seriously!)

Libraries are a book lover’s paradise! They offer a vast selection of books across all genres, and the best part? They’re free (well, mostly – you might need a library card, but that’s usually a breeze to get). Libraries are a fantastic way to try out new books before committing to buying them. Don’t be afraid to ask librarians for recommendations – they’re like literary superheroes with a knack for finding the perfect book for every reader.

Plus, libraries aren’t just about books anymore. Most libraries have cozy reading nooks, free Wi-Fi, and sometimes even coffee shops. You can attend cool events like author talks, book clubs, and writing workshops. Some libraries even lend out e-books and audiobooks, so you can read or listen on the go. And if you ever get stuck on a research project or need help finding information, librarians are always ready to help out. It’s like having a personal guide to the world of knowledge.

9. Embrace the DNF (Did Not Finish)

Life’s too short to force yourself through a book you’re not enjoying. If you’re halfway through a story and it’s just not clicking, put it down! There are countless other amazing books waiting to be discovered. Don’t feel guilty about abandoning a book – it simply means there’s a better fit out there for you.

Stuck in a Reading Rut?

Remember, reading should be fun! Don’t turn it into a stressful chore. Experiment, explore different genres, and embrace the journey of finding that perfect book that’ll stay with you long after you finish the last page. Happy reading!

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