How do I choose books?

DI recently commented and asked me if I could make a post on how I choose/find out about the books that I read. Let me list some of the ways I find a book to read –

  1. Goodreads – This is the place where I got to know about a lot of books that I would not have read otherwise. I especially love the “Lists” that they have. If you wanted to read more about some topic, it is easier to browse through the list of books that people have added for that topic. I am not a big fan of their recommendations as I never found a good book through their recommendations. Another way I find books is by following people who read lot of books and read many different genres. Also following authors and serious readers is a great way to get book reviews from folks who critically read, rather than just for fun.
  2. Amazon – This was the place where I found books to read from, before Goodreads came into existence. I still read reviews on Amazon. I also like their “#1 Bestseller” tags for books which lets you know how popular a book is on a given topic. I also love the lists that they put up about books on a given genre. I have recently started liking their new feature where the editors recommend books to us – best books of this year, month etc.
  3. Recommendations from bloggers and youtube – I have found great books from blogger reviews and youtube reviews. But most people read YA on these platforms, so it is little difficult to find people who read something other than YA too. But I have found few people who review some great books and few people who have similar tastes in books as I do and I have found many books through them.
  4. Book depository – This is a website where I have found great books that nobody has even heard of. I browse through their catalogs as it is easier to find books on their website. On Amazon, when you search for a category, you get loads of unrelated books. They don’t have any book reviews on their website but it is great if you want to find titles on a topic.
  5. Book store – I have found many non-fiction books when I was browsing in a bookstore, which I would not have picked up otherwise. For non-fiction, bookstore is the place I go to as I can browse through the contents and see if I really like the way it is written etc. I have decided not to pick up many famous non-fiction books in the past because I did not like the way they were written. I also like the “bestseller” or “new releases” sections of the bookstore where they highlight books and it is easier to find great books in those sections.
  6. Awards – There are many book awards given every year like Man Booker prize, Pulitzer prize, Nebula awards and many more. I usually go through these lists if I am not sure what book to pick up.
  7. Lists on Internet – I also go through some lists for books like 1001 books to read before you die etc. These lists make you aware of some really good books that you had no idea even existed. These can be on some bookish websites or through other bloggers.
  8. Recommendations from people – I had few bookish friends earlier who would recommend books to me. Harry Potter was recommended to me by my friend and I am always indebted to her for that. These days I am not in touch with any bookish friends. The one person who has recommended more books to me than anyone else is my dad. He used to read a lot of books when he was young, including authors like Dickens.

How do you choose the books that you read? Please give me more tips on where I can find good books in the comments.

6 thoughts on “How do I choose books?

Add yours

  1. My main source of information about books is blogs & amazon/google play books. Nowadays I don’t trust reviews on Amazon as friends and relatives of the author give good reviews to inflate their rank. Of course, given that I have not read very famous books yet, it’s not that difficult for me to choose. Happy Deepavali to you and your family 🙂

    Destination Infinity


    1. I don’t trust Amazon reviews for not-so-popular books. But books with say 1000+ reviews usually have some genuine ones. Also Amazon shows “Verified purchase” which means they actually purchased it from Amazon.Hope you had a great first Deepavali with your wife.


  2. Great suggestions. I agree with all of them except the blogger reviews. Most of the bloggers are amateurs and the writers send free copies to them to get more publicity. After receiving a free copy, I don’t think these bloggers’ reviews are impartial. They always do a good write up.


    1. I agree – most bloggers take copies of review and I usually don’t trust reviews of such bloggers. They cannot be impartial even though they say “opinions are mine”. But some bloggers are genuine (very few of them) and I have found great books in the past because of such reviewers – mostly classics and old books. I don’t trust reviews of anyone about new releases these days.


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