Deciding What to Read: Here are 5 Ways to Choose Your Next Book

With World Book Day finally here, bookworms are of course very excited. Choosing what to read, however, can be difficult. Here are five ways you can find new reading material.

1. Choose by What State You Live In

If you live in America, Parade Magazine in conjunction with retailer Scribd has compiled a list of the most popular books in every U.S. state. Analyzing sale data across 300,000 titles in the Scribd catalog, it appears that Coloradans have a weakness for “White Witch Black Curse” by Kim Harrison, Wisconsin residents favor “Neverwhere”†by Neil Gaiman, while North Dakota favors “The Mental Floss History of the United States” by Erik Sass et al.

While the list obviously has some limitations, it provides a fascinating insight into what Americans are currently reading. If you fancy a reading challenge, why not try reading every book on the list — that way, no matter where you are in America, you’ll have a book to talk about.

If you don’t live in the United States, not to worry! We have plenty of other suggestions below.

2. Pick from the Most Popular Lists

While most people will probably be familiar with The New York Times best seller list, today the Internet provides for more opportunities and criteria by which to measure what books are being read. These in turn can give you suggestions of books that are currently hot topics, and plenty of reading material to talk about with your friends.

Goodreads, for instance, is a great free online service that gives users the opportunity to document the books they read and discuss them with fellow bookworms, but it can also exploit this data to give users a gander at the most read books in a week, month, or even year. It allows users to look at the most popular books as rated by other users and by bookclub selections. Goodreads can provide you with a selection of recommendations based on your past reading history, as well. This is especially useful if you have a particular love for certain genres like romance or crime novels.

3. Wondering Which Book to Choose?

If you’re a picky reader who knows exactly what you want out of a book but are having a hard time finding the right text to take your fancy, Whichbook might be the right book finding tool.

The Whichbook tool allows users to set a number of different criteria for your book search, employing scales rather than categories to allow you even more freedom to choose. For example, it gives users the chance to pick between “Happy” and “Sad” but rather than this being just a choice of one or the other, users can choose on a continuum between the two. When you team this with other categories like “Conventional-Unusual,” “Short-Long” and “Easy-Demanding,” Whichbook provides a lot of different options for your search, helping you to get a selection of books you’re likely to really enjoy.

If you’re feeling brave, an alternative way to use Whichbook is to choose the opposite criteria for what you would normally go for, ensuring a challenging but potentially really enjoyable new reading experience. Whichbook also comes with its own social aspects and list building capabilities, meaning there are plenty of features for a book lover to get their teeth into.

4. Use YouTube to Get Inspiration for Your Next “Book Haul”

Know what a “haul” is in Internet speech? On YouTube, video creators will often create haul videos where they talk you through what they have bought, usually relating to some sort of passion or hobby they have. Reading is no exception, and there are plenty of YouTube content creators who are putting together fantastic “book haul” videos.

Here’s an example from one of my favorite YouTube bibliophiles, booksandquills:

To find your suggestions, head over to YouTube and try searching “book haul.” If you want book reviews to help you choose between a couple of books you have on your shortlist, why not turn to YouTube again and listen to what YouTube’s book reviewers have to say.

5. Use Care2 Causes In Depth Channel Lists

Over the years, Care2′s great team of writers have compiled a number of lists based on our Causes channels and various causes celebrations. If you’re looking for reading lists based on your particular topics of interest, from books on the environment to animal rights, look no further:

Hopefully, with the above options for finding your next book, you’ll now have plenty of reading material to last you perhaps even until next year’s World Book Day. Happy reading!

Photo credit: Thinkstock.


Nils Anders Lunde
PlsNoMessage se4 years ago


Katherine May Williams

Cyber-shelf sites like GoodReads and Shelfari are great for what-to-read-next recommendations, I've found. I LOVE browsing other peoples online bookshelves.

Roberta G.
Roberta G4 years ago

I love books, During this snowy winter, I have been re-reading Gene Stratton Porter novels. She was a native Indiana writer whose works were very popular in the very early 20th century.

So many books, so little time!

Manuela C.
Manuela C4 years ago

Thanks, usually use goodreads for inspiration.

Nils Anders Lunde
PlsNoMessage se4 years ago


Sandi C.
Sandi C4 years ago

I read what I like!

Donna F.
Donna F4 years ago


Angela J.
Angela J4 years ago

I just need time to read all of the books I already have.

Lynn C.
Lynn C4 years ago

Time - all I need is more time to read - never worried about what - got stacks to go through as it is.

Karen H.
Karen H4 years ago

I always have a stack ready to read, so I don't have to decide. I'm usually reading at least 2 or 3 books at a time.
I remember when I got my first library card. It was my ticket to wonder and adventure. I love libraries and book stores and can get lost there for hours.
Reading inspired me to write, and now my partner and I have a science fiction/adventure series on Amazon! Yay! I'm a published author. How cool is that? All thanks to Mom and Pop reading to me when I was little.