One of the most frequent questions I get as a bookseller is a variation on “What should I read next?”
(It’s not the top question. That’s “Do you have a book?” followed by “Where’s the bathroom?”)
It’s actually a fun part of bookselling, helping someone who knows they love a certain book or kind of book find something new and exciting to read.
Except there are a lot of books/genres I don’t know anything about.
Unfortunately I can’t log into something like Shelfari from work (not allowed to log into anything from any work computer). I can go to Google and hope the power of the internet (and/or Amazon’s suggested other books) will bail me out, but there are a few really fantastic websites that can help more quickly. And quick is important – nobody wants to stand around while I putter on the internet trying to figure out what kind of book they want.
These are my go-to websites (depending on the query):
- What Should I Read Next? – Yes, this actually exists as a website. Enter a title or author and get a list of suggestions of other authors and titles that you might check out. This is my major lookup, especially if someone has read EVERTHING by a certain author or authors.
- Fantastic Fiction – a great listing of author biographies, lists of titles by each author, and author suggestions. While it’s no guarantee that your favorite author will suggest books that you’ll like, it’s a neat reference and they tend to stay within genres.
- Wikipedia – If all you need is a list of a series in order, Wiki is likely your quickest lookup. Many series aren’t written book 1 through book 10, and often Wikipedia will have a list both in chronological publishing order and in “plot” order.
- GoodReads – books by title, author, ISBN, and genre and often with reviews. While the majority of social options aren’t available on GoodReads without signing in to an account, you can read the reviews there without it, and they list new releases by genre.
So the next time you finish a really great book and want to read something similarly awesome, these resources may be able to bail you out – especially if you’re online shopping (or on your phone at the bookstore).
Or, you know, ask a bookseller. That’s what we’re for! (But we do appreciate if you have more than just “I saw a book over there, it had a blue cover, do you still have it?”)