Recently, my friends and I were discussing how many books we had read so far this year. I’ll be honest, I didn’t have the highest number. I have a friend who literally devours books, and I think she’s already passed fifty books for the year. I had read 20 out of the 60 books I aim to read this year.
One of my friends, who isn’t as much of a reader, asked how we find all of these books. That question stumped the group. As readers, we usually struggle to find the time to read all the books on our TBR pile. We don’t actively look for them, the list just seems to grow every time we turn around.
But these books must be coming from somewhere. So I started looking out for where I get my book recommendations, and these are the 7 places I’ve found.
It’s a cliche, so I’ll get it out of the way first!
I can’t write an article about book recommendations and not mention Tiktok, I’m sorry.
There is a huge reading community on Tiktok. You’ll not only find book bloggers, but also everyday readers sharing something they loved, and even writers promoting their own books. I love it as people work with clear tropes or comparisons.
I usually save videos that work with an “If you liked this book, you’ll like…”. And once you react to these videos, the algorithm takes the hint and recommends more of them.
I also love how creative #booktok is for recommendations. Aside from the big names you hear a lot *cough Colleen Hoover*, you also get some niche suggestions. I also love how people categorise books. I once saw a TikTok giving book recommendations based on your favourite Taylor Swift song - two of my favourite things!
So if you have Tiktok, take a few minutes to play on the book hashtags to encourage the app to start recommending these videos. You can also follow some popular booktokers.
I promise that this isn’t in the same way I use TikTok for book recommendations!
I personally don’t follow any book bloggers on Instagram, although I’m sure there are many great ones. I find book recommendations on Instagram in two ways.
Firstly, I follow some of the publishing houses. I read ‘Daisy Jones and the Six’ back in 2019 when it was mentioned in an Instagram post. At that time, not as many people had heard of Taylor Jenkins-Reid or the infamous Daisy Jones.
I get a lot of great suggestions from the Harper Collins and Penguin accounts, although you could opt for different ones. It allows you to discover new books that have just come out, that maybe wouldn’t have appeared in your algorithm or line of sight as quickly.
Secondly, I follow some of my favourite authors. If you like what they wrote, there is a high chance that you’ll like what they read too! Bestselling author Emily Henry is always recommending great books.
So save any posts, and then later revisit them to add these books to your TBR list.
This will be the final social media platform I mention, I just wanted to give you an option based on what you’re using.
For Twitter, you could use the #booktwitter hashtag to find great books, follow publications or authors, or follow book bloggers. I’ve found Twitter really helpful in getting suggestions.
For example, I tweeted that I enjoyed ‘Throne of Glass’ but didn’t know what other fantasy books to try, and I got a great list of suggestions. You can also just ask what people are reading. Or, if you’re hesitant to tweet yourself, follow a bunch of readers and eavesdrop on their tweets instead.
I really like using Twitter for book recommendations because there’s also a lot of discussion around books. People will share their honest opinions, or discuss plots in more detail. It’s a great way to connect to other readers without feeling as ‘out there’ as you might on TikTok or Instagram.
I’ve been considering moving to StoryGraph, but for the moment, I’m still on Goodreads. But I’m sure the same logic could be applied to whatever book platform you use.
Platforms like Goodreads are filled with readers, there’s no better way to put it. So use this knowledge. Each time you like a book, go to its page and look at the recommended books. They’re usually quite accurate!
People also often mention similar titles in their reviews.
I’d be a bit of a hypocrite if I didn’t mention Medium. Not only do I often write articles with book recommendations, but I also read a lot of them.
You can find articles recommending all types of books, from general lists of what people read in a year to specific genres or moods. I once wrote an article about the fiction novels I think all women should read in their twenties.
So if in doubt, search up your favourite genre or use the tag ‘Book Recommendation’.
Okay, let’s get offline for the last two suggestions. No more screens; it’s time to be in the real world.
Some of the best books that I’ve read have been what I call ‘blind reads’. This is where I simply go to a local bookshop and find books that intrigue me. I have never heard of these books before. Sometimes it’s the cover that draws me in, although I need a good blurb to seal the deal.
Walk around a bookshop and discover what calls to you. This will allow you to find the books people aren’t talking about.
Bookshops often have recommendations as well, so listen to these experts! Or if you’re feeling brave, ask for a recommendation from someone working there. Mention the books you like, or be spontaneous and go for something different to anything you’ve read.
I found ‘Expectation’ by Anna Hope and ‘Before my actual heart breaks’ by Tish Delaney in my local bookstore, and absolutely adored them both. I have never seen these two books mentioned online, even since reading them. So I’m glad I took a chance on them.
This is how this article started, and so I’d be doing you a disservice if I didn’t mention this prime source of book ideas.
One way is to simply ask for suggestions. I regularly ask my friends what they’re reading.
But there’s a more imaginative way to do this. A friend of mine once asked for their birthday that in lieu of gifts, everyone could give them a book they loved. It could be absolutely anything. Isn’t that a lovely idea?
First, it saves you the cost of buying books. Secondly, you get books that the people closest to you enjoyed enough to recommend. You can then discuss these books with them.
I often aim to buy books as gifts, as I think it’s such a personal and useful gift. And worst case, if they don’t like it, they can use a book exchange to get something different! But this rarely seems to happen.
There you have it, seven ways to find new books to read. From the obvious to the hopefully less obvious, there are many different routes to try.
How do you find your book recommendations? And are there any books you’d like to recommend right now?
*This article contains affiliate links.
Welcome to Symptoms of Living! A place where I like to relieve myself of the barrage of thoughts and ideas filling my mind. Here I'll take a look at various topics, from books to BPD, series to self-harm, there's nothing that we can't, and shouldn't, talk about.
Having struggled with mental illness since the age of 15, one of the hardest parts was how alone I felt in it. While mental illness is beginning to be discussed more openly, and featured in the media, I still think there is room for improvement. So whether it is mental illness or merely mental health, a bad day or a bad year, let's make this a place to approach it and strip it back. Everyone has their own symptoms of living, and you certainly won't be the only one with it.
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