We all know that reading is an amazingly beneficial activity and many of us take it very seriously. Regardless of how organized we are, I am sure it happened to all of us to finish a book and just sit there wondering what to read next.
Learning how to choose what book to read next is an important part of the reading experience and while it can sometimes be a challenge, there’s a couple of things you need to know in order to make these decisions quicker.
How to Decide What Book to Read Next?
Figuring out what the next book you should read can be a challenge, that’s for sure. But there are ways to turn this into a more methodical process, which will make things a lot easier for you. There are several ways for you to find new and interesting books to read and luckily for you, we know them all.
1. Read Books from the Same Author
Everyone has their favorite author or even authors. Whether it’s their writing style, the way they build the action of a novel, or the themes their books are about, something makes us resonate more with certain writers than we do with others.
As we read and our taste in books develops over time, we find these authors we resonate with. A good strategy for making it easier to decide what your next book should be is to stick with the writers we love. When you find an author you like, simply organize your reading list to prioritize the books written by them.
A particularly useful tool for developing and applying this strategy is a reading app. Basmo, for example, allows you to perform searches by writer and once you do, the app displays all the books written by that particular author. Not only that but by tapping on each book, you are given the option to add it to a personalized TBR list.
2. Read Books from or About the Same Period
While many of us love to read Sci-Fi books which contain detailed information about the author’s vision of the future ahead of us, others prefer to try and relive the past through the books they read.
Regardless of your preference, one of the strategic options you can make in order to achieve a smoother transition between books is to stick to the era you are most interested in. Whether it’s books written in the 1800s or about the 1800s, if you’re into medieval times, reading everything written in that period or about that period would be a great option for you.
3. Read Books from the Same Genre
Another good option is to stick to a genre and read every book of that genre you can get your hands on. Find out what your preferences are by trying to read every genre there is, and once you’ve found your favorite, stick with it.
Do your own research to find titles that match your taste in books and start reading them all, one by one.
While this is not a completely foolproof strategy because your taste will change over time or you will simply get bored of always reading thrillers for example, it is a pretty good starting point on your journey to improve the way you find what to read next.
4. Follow Your Instincts, Read What Your Mood Dictates
While the previous strategies gave you pretty clear instructions on what your strategy for choosing your next book could be, it is also important to go with your gut.
Many of us are ignoring our instincts or have lost our faith in them, and that is a mistake. Sometimes the best strategy is to simply read what you feel you should or what your mood dictates.
Even if you’ve chosen for example to organize your reading by genre, if you finish a love story and you feel you’re in the mood for a sci-fi book, go for it. Feel free to mix and match as you please when it comes to your reading.
5. Don’t be Afraid to Stop Reading Books You Don’t Like
Getting hung up o a book we don’t enjoy is not as uncommon as you might think. Probably also a result of our education which consisted of mandatory reading lists, this habit of forcing ourselves to finish even the books we hate can turn into a problem rather easily.
There are some books that are not our cup of tea and that is perfectly normal. There are other books that we dislike to such an extent that they can diminish our love of reading altogether. And that is a problem.
We will definitely have a hard time choosing our next novel if the previous one made us question whether we should keep reading at all. Unless it’s mandatory, do not read books that bring you no pleasure. You’re better off leaving a book unfinished if you risk the alternative to be a complete halt of your reading habits.
6. Create a Reading List
Like in most aspects of our lives, being organized has a positive effect on your reading as well. And creating lists is one of the best ways to get things in order whether it’s daily house chores, tasks you need to do at work, or the books you read.
Having one or even more TBR lists can take the guessing game out of the equation when it comes to what books you will read after finishing your current one. You can organize your lists by author, genre, the time period the action is taking place, or even your moods (create lists of books you like to read when you’re happy, lists of books you like to read when you’re sad, and so on).
While creating a reading list isn’t a challenging task in itself, you’ll be happy to know that reading tracking apps can make it even easier and more effective.
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Online quizzes are an amazingly useful tool when it comes to deciding on what you should be reading next. The way they work is pretty straightforward: you answer a bunch of questions and an algorithm analyzes your answers and decides what book seems like a suitable option for you.
The questions can vary from obvious things like “what is your favorite genre” to more eccentric ones like choosing your favorite vacation spot. All questions have multiple-choice answers and you just need to select the one that makes the most sense to you in the context.
Using online quizzes to get book recommendations is a rather bold choice, but it does come with a couple of notable advantages:
- It’s fun
- You can end up with very interesting results and recommendations
- Quizzes are based on mathematical algorithms, so you know the results will be quite precise
- The process is easy and rewarding
The great news is that there are literally hundreds of online quizzes out there, ready to bring you more than decent book recommendations. You are therefore quite unlikely to run out of quizzes anytime soon. But like with everything, some quizzes are better than others. In the interest of saving you some time, we did the proper research and managed to identify the best three online quizzes for book recommendations, so you don’t have to.
Deciding what your next read should be using any one of the quizzes above will most likely provide you with a rather satisfying reading experience.
On top of the quizzes above, you can also get some much-needed help from a plethora of websites dedicated to helping you find your next read. You can use these platforms to find out about new books, gain the courage to try new genres, and stay constantly up-to-date with every new novel that gets released.
You can easily find websites that focus on the exact niche or subgenre that you are most interested in, or you can join one of the giant communities that have a little something for every book lover out there.
Just like quizzes, book recommendation websites are countless and you are extremely unlikely to ever run out of recommendations. Finding the right website for you and your particular needs and preferences is not going to be easy though given the huge number of choices.
So, here are the top three websites we recommend:
9. Ask For Help
We should never be too proud to ask for help when we find ourselves in a reading slump or simply unable to choose our next read by ourselves. There are many ways we can go about finding what other people think we should be reading next. If you want to read and have no idea which book to pick up, ask your friends. They can surprise you with amazing suggestions.
Another solution is to ask your librarian or bookstore clerk what you should be reading or what their recommendations would be for someone with your taste in books. They generally have a pretty good idea of how to make their recommendations and you can end up going home with some books you will absolutely love.
You can get quite creative with this too. You can ask your best friend or your worst enemy for a book recommendation, out of the blue. You can ask a total stranger on the bus what the last book they read was. You have nothing to lose.
10. Join a Reading Challenge or a Book Club
A foolproof method of never running out of things to read is to join a reading challenge or a book club. That way, what you read suddenly becomes someone else’s problem. All you have to do is stick with the reading list imposed by the challenge creators or the book club organizer.
Of course, this can backfire from time to time but one thing you should always remember about these community-based reading habits is that they come with a huge range of benefits for you. Being part of a community increases your interest in reading, makes you feel like you’re a part of something bigger, and takes a lot of the pressure off of your shoulders.
11. Read the Books Your Favorite Movies Are Based On
You can’t go wrong reading the books your favorite movies or TV shows are based on. Even though you already know the story and the outcome, there is still a lot for you to find out by reading the books.
The good part is that you already know that you love everything about the story. You know the characters, you understand the plot, and you had some fun watching the story unfold on TV. Reading the book is going to add a different dimension to the whole story.
You will gain a deeper understanding of the characters, you get to compare the original story to the one that you watched, and you will be surprised to find out a lot of additional details.
Why Is It Difficult to Choose What to Read Next?
There’s quite a big number of reasons why choosing your next book can be challenging. Knowing and understanding them is the first step on your way to finding ways of making this an easier task.
Here are some of the most common reasons why you can’t choose what to read next immediately after finishing a book.
1. The Book Hangover
Finishing an amazing book can leave many of us devastated to a certain extent. Bookworms even have a term for it: book hangover. As its name suggests, the term is used to describe a lingering feeling a reader has after finishing a book, especially after reading an entertaining and engaging fiction novel.
One of the symptoms of this book hangover is the fact that people continue thinking about the book they finished rendering them unable to even consider starting a new one.
2. We Always Try to Find a Book that Is Better than the Previous one
While using the term “addiction” may seem harsh in this context, reading can be somewhat addictive for those who fall in love with it. Being involved in an activity we enjoy leads our brain to release a dose of endorphins and serotonin, which are responsible for our moods and how happy we feel. And we all know that we are constantly chasing endorphins throughout our lives.
This so-called addiction to reading (also known as Lesesucht – a German term that originally described a period in German history) can make it difficult for us to choose our next title and the reason is as obvious and logical as it gets.
Each new book we choose to read is a new chase for the endorphins high we received from our previous one. Always putting pressure on this decision because of our desire to start a book that is at least as good as our previous one usually leaves us unable to decide what our next book should be.
3. We are Used to Having Mandatory Reading Lists from School
Let’s face it, for most of us, the reading we did as children or even teenagers was based on the mandatory reading lists we received from our school or high school. That means that for more than a decade, our next book was usually dictated by a predefined list of titles we had no involvement in creating.
Since our freedom in choosing our next read was limited to the order in which we read the books on the mandatory lists for so many years, it’s difficult for many of us to make the transition to complete freedom. And the result is clearly the inability of making a quick decision about our next read.
4. The Number of Titles Available is Huge
With a total of over 129 million books ever written and over 2 million new titles being published every year around the world, it’s easy to understand why sometimes choosing our next title can be difficult.
This abundance of titles available can be overwhelming and, unless we find a way to organize our reading habits, this can lead to very high difficulty in choosing what books to choose next.
Luckily, there are certain solutions for this problem and strategies we can apply to how we organize our reading in order to overcome this.
How Can Basmo Help You Choose Your Next Book
As mentioned above, reading tracking apps are tiny wizards you can install on your phone and they will act as your personal assistants in all aspects of your reading habits. While this isn’t even close to being all a reading app can do for you, here’s a quick recap of some of the features that will help you most with the dilemma of how to choose a book to read.
1. Author Search
By allowing you to perform searches both by book name and author, Basmo makes your life a lot easier if you decide to start reading all, or the most popular books written by your favorite author. As I said, this strategy is a great way of eliminating any worries about what you should read next.
2. Creating Reading Lists
Instead of having hand-written lists all around your house, which can easily be lost or damaged, why wouldn’t you choose to go the digital way and have them safely stored on your phone?
Basmo allows you to easily create, populate and organize your TBR list and name them according to their primary characteristics, which makes it a lot easier for you to locate that particular list you want your next book to come from, or the list you just thought of a book to populate it with.
To create a new reading list with Basmo, simply follow the steps below:
- Open the app and scroll down on the main screen until you reach the Book Collections section.
- Tap on View all collections.
- Tap on the + sign in the top right corner.
- Name your new reading list as you wish and tap on Create Book Collection and it will be added to the list of collections.
- To start adding books to the list, you will need to tap on it on the screen of book collections.
- Tap on Add Book and you will be taken to a Search menu where you can type the name of the book or author you want to add.
- Tap on the book and it will be automatically added to your newly created reading list.
3. Motivating You to Keep Reading to Reach Your Goals
On top of all of the above, reading apps can play a crucial role in how motivated and consistent you are in regard to your reading.
Basmo will allow users to set daily or yearly goals and will provide you with comprehensive statistics about their reading so that you can achieve your goals. Basmo helps you track your progress while you read a book and it can also be used to set a reading schedule that works for you.
With the daily reminders that can be manually set up and customized, you will always be notified about your upcoming scheduled reading sessions so you can make sure you never let a day pass without working towards achieving your reading goals.
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While finding your next book to read, especially after finishing an amazing one, can be a challenge, with a good strategy and proper determination, the process can be a lot smoother than you think.
All you need is to find the approach that works for you, a good mindset, and the proper tools to help you make the transition between books easier.
With such amazing tools like Basmo so easily accessible, things have never been so simple.