I was six when I read my first book from cover to cover in one day. It was Charlotte’s Web and I can still remember standing in the living room with the book in my hand, overjoyed at what I had accomplished. 25 years later, I couldn’t tell you much about that book other than there was a pig named Wilbur and a spider named Charlotte, but I still get that overjoyed feeling when I finish a good book. As cliché as it sounds, a good book is good for the soul. There is nothing more satisfying than being lost in the pages of a great story.
That said, I am finding it harder and harder to find books that I really like and want to read in a week, never mind a day. Luckily, I keep a list of every book I’ve read and have been able to tease out some trends in how I discover the books that I do like. I felt the need to share this in case you also have the same problem. Here they are:
- I don’t typically like books from the NY Times Bestsellers lists. I tend to find their storylines shallow, the characters underdeveloped and that the books fall flat all around. There are, of course, a few exceptions (like Gone Girl), but I prefer Literary Fiction lists, instead (such as NPR and Amazon).
- Jon Stewart has some great recommendations. This is where I find most of my non-fiction, political reading. (Actually, my husband watches the show and sends me the clips of the books he thinks I would enjoy because I don’t watch the show religiously like he does!)
- Goodreads is a huge asset. I love the listopia options. Similar to Amazon’s “others purchased this with that” feature, you can click on a book and see what lists other people have placed it on. I find this more reliable than Amazon’s feature because it doesn’t automatically recommend every other book the by author you are checking out.
- Local bookstores are great assets. I find a lot of my books on the “employee recommendations” shelves in local bookstores. The book I’m reading right now I found by checking out the shelves of Tattered Cover in Denver, CO. Bookstores a great source for finding a good book because the employees are typically big readers. (I say typically because the employees in national chains are not necessarily well-read, whereas local bookstores tend to hire people who actually read).