How to Choose a Great Book to Read

Choosing the right book is a great first step to fully appreciating your love for reading. Studies show that if parents are avid readers and create a small library of good books in the home, it’s more likely that their children will choose to read a selection from the shelves.

But how do you know which are the right books to bring into your home? Here’s a short list of tips and strategies to help you select good books for your reading list.

Lists, lists, lists…

A bestseller can often be a good bet – for good reason. Call it the wisdom of the crowd; if a large number of people have chosen to read a particular book, it’s likely it will be a good choice for most avid readers.

Many libraries, news organizations and booksellers compile lists of bestsellers based on genre so you’re sure to find something you’ll enjoy reading. “Librarian’s Picks” and catalogs of award-winning books are also a great way to find titles that have received critical acclaim.

Mix it up

Don’t always stick with the same genre. Avoid book burnout by shuffling between different genres and authors. Now and then, pick a book that breaks the mold to keep things interesting.

Spend some time reading the book jacket blurbs and excerpts so you know the plot or the gist of the book you’re considering. You may just discover an author or genre you wouldn’t usually consider but actually enjoy.

Read reviews

Read book reviews in your local newspaper or on literary web sites. Reader reviews can be more candid than professional ones, but sometimes can be biased toward a particular reader’s interests and biases. If a book has received rave reviews from reputable sources, chances are high that the book will be a good read.

Join a book club

Find a local book club and join others in reading and discussing books. This is a good way to read more and try different genres of books, and the stimulating conversation can lead to new friendships with likeminded book lovers. A book club can truly help expand your literary horizons.

Search online

While online forums and book clubs can add to your enjoyment of books, a retail web site that sells books can also help you select books. Many retail web sites have a feature that automatically suggests other books like the one you are viewing. So, if you search for one of your favorite books on a retail web site, there will be a section that lists titles that were bought by others who bought the same book.

Get recommendations

Ask people who know your taste and interests to recommend books you might like. Friends, colleagues and family can give you some surprisingly insightful recommendations.


ShopYourWay Post Email icon

  1. Sometimes finding a good book is purely accidental. I just happened across a book called Rattlesnakes, Ghosts and Murderers by Len Francis Monahan. The reviews were good so I thought I'd give it a try. Frankly, I wasn't expecting much. But boy was I ever surprised! It is one of the greatest books I have ever read. I enjoyed it so much that I even read it twice - something I never do. So my point is, sometimes you just have to go out on your own and take a chance. In this case, it was worth it.