When you're faced with a stack like this, it can be tough to determine how to choose your next book!

How to Choose Your Next Book When You Feel Overwhelmed by Choices

With 2.2 million new books published every year, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when trying to decide how to choose your next book. After all, you can only read so many! (As depressing as that is.) As a reader, you want to discover books that will not only hold your interest but also expand your knowledge and fuel your imagination.

But whenever you walk into a bookstore or library, the prospect of picking the perfect read feels nearly as daunting as writing a book yourself.

I’ve been there, friend. That’s why I’m sharing my best tips to help you find and start reading your new favorite book!

When you're faced with a stack like this, it can be tough to determine how to choose your next book!

Create a TBR List and/or a TBR Jar

In the exciting journey of selecting your next book to read, having a TBR (To Be Read) List or a TBR Jar can prove to be valuable tools. These methods can help you organize your thoughts, offer you ideas, and ultimately guide you in choosing the perfect book for your reading experience. Let’s explore how you can create and utilize a TBR List and a TBR Jar to optimize your book selection process.

Use Goodreads to Create a List

Goodreads, a popular online platform for cataloging your favorite books, is perfect for maintaining your TBR List. You can browse through various genres, explore new novels, and add them to your list; this way, you will always have a well-rounded collection of books waiting for you. To create a TBR List on Goodreads, follow these steps:

  1. Sign-up or log in to your Goodreads account.

  2. Browse through the website to discover new books or search for a specific title.

  3. When you see a book that looks good, just click on “Want to Read” and it will add it to your TBR

  4. To view your TBR List, visit your Goodreads profile and select the Want to Read tab.

In addition to this, Goodreads allows you to connect with friends and family who share your interests. You can get book recommendations from them and even participate in their annual reading challenge to motivate yourself to read more.

Use a TBR Jar to Remove Indecision

A TBR Jar is a fun and creative way to make book selections more spontaneous and exciting. It involves writing the titles of books on individual slips of paper and placing them in a jar. When you’re ready to choose your next book, you simply pick a random slip from the jar. This element of surprise adds an extra layer of excitement to your reading experience.

To create a TBR Jar, follow these simple steps:

  1. Purchase a decorative glass jar or reuse any available jar at home.

  2. Write the titles of unread books from your list on separate slips of paper.

  3. Fold the paper slips and place them inside the jar.

  4. When you’re ready to select a new book, mix up the slips and randomly pick one.

This method not only helps you decide on your next read but also encourages you to explore other books, from various genres and authors, enhancing your overall reading experience. So, go ahead and experiment with these techniques to bring more joy and diversity to your reading journey. Happy choosing!

Join a Book Club

Why Join a Book Club

Joining a book club can greatly enrich your reading experience. Not only does it provide an opportunity for social interaction with fellow readers, but it also exposes you to new genres and great books that you might not have discovered on your own. Participating in a book club encourages you to step out of your comfort zone and take on reading challenges, often leading to fascinating conversations with friends and further broadening your literary horizons.

Fable Online Bookclub

If you are seeking a more convenient and flexible reading experience, joining an online book club like Fable might be the perfect option for you. Fable offers a modern way to connect with fellow readers through an online community. Here are some perks of joining Fable:

  • Access to curated reading lists

  • Interact with others through forums and online discussions

  • Enjoy the comfort of participating from your home

  • Share book recommendations with fellow readers worldwide

No matter where you are in life, Fable provides a unique way of enjoying book club activities at your own pace and with a diverse group of people.

Local Book Club

For those who value face-to-face interaction and the warmth of a local community, joining a local book club can be an equally rewarding experience. The benefits of a local book club include:

  • Meeting new people with similar interests

  • Engaging in lively discussions about your reads

  • Exploring different book choices with fellow readers

  • Connecting with your local community

Finding a local book club that caters to your preferred genre, for example, whether it be fantasy, literary fiction, thrillers or romance, will also ensure that the chosen books align with your interests and resonate with you.

Sign Up for a Monthly Book Subscription

Deciding what to read next can sometimes be a daunting task. But with so many book subscription services out there, you can make the process more convenient and enjoyable. In this section, we’ll explore the benefits of monthly book subscriptions and introduce you to some popular ones.

The Benefits of Monthly Book Subscriptions

Signing up for a monthly book subscription not only takes away the stress of choosing your next novel but also adds elements of surprise and discovery to your reading process. These services often provide curated selections of new books, making book recommendations easier. Plus, they often come with exclusive editions and extras like signed authors, unique covers, or sprayed edges, turning your reading experience into a special gift each month.

OwlCrate

OwlCrate is a popular choice for book lovers, especially those who enjoy young adult fiction. Their main YA with goodies box Every month features a new YA novel, along with 3-5 unique bookish items like mugs, pins, bookmarks, and more. Their choices are always carefully curated, aligning with a specific theme, which means you’ll always have an exciting and immersive reading experience.

They also have a book-only subscription for the YA book as well as an adult fantasy book. If you’re interested in this subscription, be sure to check out my full Owlcrate review!

Fairy Loot

Fairy Loot is another excellent subscription service, focusing on young adult fantasy and science fiction novels. With their subscription, you’ll receive a stunning special edition of a newly released book, along with 4-6 exclusive, high-quality items related to the new novel’s theme. They have subscriptions for YA, Adult (book only), and most recently, a Romantasy (book only) subscription.

The only downside to this subscription service is they have a devastatingly long waitlist in 2024. I signed up months ago and am still waiting for an invite to any of these subscriptions. But it’s no wonder why, their editions are gorgeous.

Illumicrate

If you enjoy book subscription services that prioritize both quality and quantity, look no further than Illumicrate. They offer a quarterly subscription box that features an exclusive edition of a new release, plus 4-6 high-quality, bookish items. With its focus on exciting and immersive content, Illumicrate will definitely enhance your reading experience. (I have their top-notch special editions of Laini Taylor’s Strange the Dreamer duology and subscribe to their monthly book-only box too!)

Illumicrate is also unique in that it also has subscriptions for different genres, like Afterlight, which is for the romance genre, and Evernight, which is their subscription for the horror genre.

Book of the Month

Admittedly, the above subscriptions mainly cater to the fantasy crowd. If you prefer a wider selection fo genres and a bit more control over book choice, Book of the Month might be a good fit. Each month, they offer a curated selection of five new novels, spanning various genres. You can then choose the one that interests you the most, making it a more customized experience. If you’re still unsure, their website provides snippets and member reviews of read books, to help you decide.

With these monthly book subscription services, you won’t have to worry about searching for your next read. The convenience, curated selection, and fun surprises will keep you looking forward to each new month.

Get Recs from Social Media

Choosing your next book can be quite the challenge, especially with so many options out there. Social media platforms have become a great way to discover new books and connect with fellow readers. Below, we’ll discuss some popular social media platforms where you can find book recommendations and engage with the book community.

BookTok (TikTok)

BookTok is a subcommunity within TikTok, a popular short-form video platform. Here, users create and share brief videos about their favorite books, reading lists, trendy books, and book photography. By following your favorite BookTok content creators and hashtags, you can discover a variety of popular books and decide what to read next.

Bookstagram (Instagram)

Bookstagram is another platform that focuses on sharing beautiful book photography and visual recommendations. Instagram users dedicated to books often have curated feeds that showcase their current reads, book hauls, and reading lists. You can explore various genres, join book clubs, and follow popular authors to keep up with new books and to get inspired for your next read.

BookTube (YouTube)

Lastly, BookTube is a community of YouTubers who create content centered around books. On YouTube, you can find channels (such as my channel, Corrie’s Stories!) that focus on book reviews, discussions, and recommendations.

BookTube channels often cover a wide range of genres and styles, helping you decide what might interest you. By engaging with the community, you can find new releases, participate in book discussions, and expand your reading list.

Here’s an example from my channel:

Download Sample Chapters

The Benefits of Downloading Samples

Trying before you buy has never been easier when it comes to looking for your next great read. Downloading sample chapters from potential new books allows you to dive into the story and get a sense of the author’s writing style, piquing your interest before committing to the full read. By downloading several samples, from same author you can create a reading list tailored to your current mood without making a hasty choice.

By reading and testing out different books through sample chapters, you can explore various genres and authors and expand your horizons. It’s an excellent opportunity to step outside your comfort zone and find great books that may not have initially caught your attention.

If you’re unsure about committing to a book, downloading previews allows you to gain an understanding of the particular authors style, the book’s pace, and the overall mood without investing too much time or money.

How to Download Samples on Amazon

Downloading samples on Amazon is simple, and the best part is that you don’t need a Kindle e-reader to enjoy them. To start, download the Kindle app on your computer, phone, or tablet.

Follow these easy steps to download samples:

  1. Search for the book you’re interested in on Amazon.

  2. Under the book’s thumbnail, click on “Look Inside.” This will give you access to a preview of the book.

  3. If you’re satisfied with the preview and wish to read more, click on “Send a free sample” on the right side of the page.

  4. Select the device where you want your sample to be sent, usually one of the devices where you installed the Kindle app.

Feel free to download multiple samples from different books. Reading 5-10 samples all the books togethercan help you identify which one resonates best with you at the moment. Pairing your samples with a warm cup of tea and cozy socks will make for the perfect pastime as you embark on your literary journey.

Conclusion

Having a method to find your next read is a great way to help you read more and reach your reading goals. I hope you found these tips for how to choose your next book helpful and that they took away some of the overwhelm that comes with standing in a bookstore – or even in front of your own shelves!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some methods for selecting a book that will keep me engaged?

There are countless methods to find engaging books, but one approach is to read samples or reviews to gauge your interest. Alternatively, search for books with captivating plotlines, relatable characters, and thought-provoking themes that resonate with you personally.

Can you recommend a book based on my favorite genres and authors?

To receive personalized book recommendations based on your favorite genres and authors, consider using websites such as Goodreads or Literature-Map. Enter the name of your favorite author, or the genre you’re interested in, and these platforms will generate a list of related books.

What strategies can I use to find my next great book club read?

To find your next book club read, try discussing the group’s preferences and interests to create a shortlist. Alternatively, search for popular book club picks on reading forums or check curated book club lists from reputable sources such as Oprah’s Book Club or the Reese’s Book Club.

Where can I find personalized book suggestions?

You can find personalized suggestions through book recommendation websites like Goodreads, Book Riot, or Whichbook. By creating an account or answering a few questions about your preferences, these sites will generate tailored suggestions to suit your tastes.

How can I determine which book to read next when faced with multiple options?

When faced with multiple options, consider factors like your current mood, reading goals,, past it or the time you have available. If you’re still unsure, try reading a few pages from each book to identify which one captures your interest the most.

What resources are available for finding books that match my reading preferences?

Resources like Goodreads, BookRiot, and Whichbook can help you find books that match your reading preferences. Additionally, librarians at your local library and online reading communities can provide personalized recommendations based on your interests and favorite authors.

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