Article: How To Select A Book To Read

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Article: How To Select A Book To Read

Post by Scott » 26 Nov 2007, 23:01

How To Select A Book To Read
by Scott Hughes

Whether you read often or only occasionally, when you go to read a book you first have the problem of choosing a book to read. Even the most avid reader could only read a tiny fraction of all the books that come out. At any given time, a book store probably contains many more books then you could read in your entire lifetime. How do you choose which books to read? Let me suggest a few ways to select a book.

Ask Friends - Ask friends, family members, and other people you know for recommendations. Friends work especially well for getting book recommendations, because they usually share the same interests as you. Also, friends know your personality well, so they can better guess what books you personally would like. Asking your friends for book recommendations will probably help your friendship also, because your friends will feel complimented that you want their opinion.

Authors You Like - Out of the books you have already read, try to think of your favorites. You can look at other books by the authors of your favorite books.

Bestseller List - Many newspapers publish lists of the currently best-selling books. If your newspaper does not have a bestseller list, you can also find bestseller lists on the internet or you can ask a book store clerk to see best-selling books.

Join A Book Club - Book clubs usually simply consist of a group of people who get together to choose a new book to read and discuss the book they previously chose to read. Most commonly, book clubs read one book per month. They usually do not cost anything, but the members may all put in some money for food and refreshments. Usually, the members of the book club take turns hosting. You can probably find a local book club by going on craigslist. Also, many public libraries have public book clubs.

Amazon - Amazon usually has ratings for books based on users who rate the book. It also has customer reviews of many books. When you view a book, it will show other books that you may like if you liked that book. That means you can get recommendations on Amazon by first finding some of your personal favorite books.

You can probably find other ways to help you select a book to read. If you want to try a certain book, you can avoiding losing money by simply borrowing the book from a library. If you do not like the book, you can stop reading it and return it.

Whatever you do, good luck and have fun!

About the Author: Scott Hughes owns and and manages Online Book Club at and the Book and Reading Forums. You can use the forums to get book recommendations, and just to talk about books and reading. It's completely free to join and participate.
"That virtue we appreciate is as much ours as another's. We see so much only as we possess." - Henry David Thoreau

"Non ignara mali miseris succurrere disco." Virgil, The Aeneid

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Post by callalilly » 27 Nov 2007, 06:03

Great article. I know I have problems picking out books. There are just so many out there that I want to read. I wonder if they have books in heaven?

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Post by msbaby » 26 Feb 2008, 18:02

callalilly :lol: I can remember praying when I was a little girl that I wouldn't run out of books to read! I can't imagine Heaven without them.

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Post by ssteve » 04 Mar 2008, 06:56

Great article. Though unconventional, Amazon always works for me and ever since they have introduced features to view the table of contents and about sections of books, making a choice has become even easier.

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Post by Jennifer-Botham » 29 Mar 2008, 06:14

Nothing beats the hazy days of summer for relaxing with a good read. Check with your local bookstore in the spring to see what books they are starting to stock the shelves with for summer. Another good way to get the latest publishing information is to subscribe to an eNewsletter from an online site about new releases.

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Post by hank_freid » 04 Apr 2008, 03:24

Nice article, Yes I agree with you when I decided to read a book then i look various problem to select a book. Selecting the book a big problem for many people. Everyone desire to read a good interesting books but the problem in selecting. So decision making alway Tough. If you have a good book send me detail.

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Post by kazuya » 05 May 2008, 04:08

Hi all,

Thanks for your these beneficial information about how to select a books. This thread is very help full to me.

Thanks ,


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Post by Eric » 05 May 2008, 08:19

If you're into nonfiction genres like history, philosophy, or politics, each book that you read will discuss other books, authors, and subjects. I discovered a lot of my favorite authors and topics by reading about them in other books. For instance, Jonathan Israel's book "Radical Enlightenment" focused quite a bit on the influence of Spinoza on 18th century thought, so I picked up Spinoza's "Ethics" to read afterwards. Or maybe you read Ron Chernow's "Alexander Hamilton" and wanted to find out more about Aaron Burr. You could pick up Nancy Isenberg's "Fallen Founder: The Life of Aaron Burr". You get the idea. :D
Freedom of conscience entails more dangers than authority and despotism. -- Michel Foucault

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Post by hank freid news » 22 Jun 2008, 23:09

I started reading books rather late. Every week we were forced to troop off to the Library in the hope that the books there would inspire us to start reading. One day out of sheer boredom, I picked up an Enid Blyton and got hooked on to reading. In a way, their strategy worked.Unfortunately, there was no one to guide me about books and how to go about selecting a good read. The result, my reading is voracious, but not refined.


Post by Wordsgood » 23 Jun 2008, 00:38

hank freid news wrote:I started reading books rather late. Every week we were forced to troop off to the Library in the hope that the books there would inspire us to start reading. One day out of sheer boredom, I picked up an Enid Blyton and got hooked on to reading. In a way, their strategy worked.Unfortunately, there was no one to guide me about books and how to go about selecting a good read. The result, my reading is voracious, but not refined.
Look, I agree that reading a wide range of books is always good, but don't ever feel bad about anything you read. Even if it's a "trashy" novel, it's still reading, still keeps those neurons growing, and will subconsciously lead you on to bigger and better things. Personally, I encourage all reading, any genre, any level, any place, any time! :)

Scott, great article! 8)

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Post by Gordon » 10 Jun 2009, 05:01

You are absolutely right in your ideas. The book selection is not only difficult but also very important to choose the right one.
Coz i admit that books have tremendous impact on our personalities and thinking. So, Read good and think good.

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Post by ThomasRA1950 » 17 Jun 2009, 19:29

An amendment to Scott's article re: how to choose a book to read, may include award-winning books. Along similar lines as "best-sellers," books that have won the Pulitzer Prize, such as The Road or two out of the four "Rabbit" books by John Updike, or The Shipping News, A Thousand Acres; the Man Booker Prize, et al.

Other great tools to finding a great book to read are reading lists. Just Google "reading lists" (without the quotes), and you will find gazillions of great books to read. So, along with Scott's article and these other two methods, you should find a book quicker than you can say, "Google."

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Post by The Real Macai » 17 Jun 2009, 20:03

I'm glad to find that someone else largely uses the same methodology in choosing which books to read as I do.

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Post by aphil » 02 May 2012, 13:07

Thanks for all these helpful suggestions!
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Post by frogfriend » 19 Aug 2012, 01:54

One of the ways I pick up new books is just go to barnes and noble and walk through each aisle. I scan each shelf and if a title sticks out to me I check out the back or inside cover to see if there is a synopsis. If it seems interesting I put it on my list of books to buy. I do this for most of the sections in the store. Another thing I like to do if I am searching for books in a certain style or subject is go to amazon and use the listmania feature. I can search for something like existential fiction and get lists compiled by others of books they found interesting. You have to do a bit of digging sometimes since the searches don't always turn up books that are pertinent to what you were looking for but I have found a lot of good books this way.

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