How to choose the perfect book to read?

July 3, 2018 ...

Don’t have time to read? Then give it a listen.

Say you’re a voracious reader, tearing through book after book. Maybe one or two in a week on average. You live in books more than you live anywhere like Neil Gaiman said. But did you ever feel you wasted your time after reading any book? Did all the books you read were the right ones? Again, suppose you’re about to start reading books. You never read one before. Now how would you find the right book to start the habit?


There are  around 134,021,533 books in the world and the number is only growing. Every year somewhere between 600,000 and 1,000,000 books publish in the US, let alone the whole world. And the fact is you only live 70 years on average. So despite being an avid reader or not, you’ll hardly scratch the surface of human art and knowledge. In that case you can’t really afford to waste your time by reading books of no uses at all. So here’s to you, the ultimate guide of how you’d find and pick the right books to read. Let’s start then.

Find Your Genre: Fantasy? Horror? Sci-fi? Thriller? Documentary? Find which genre suits you the best. In my case I’m into fantasy and literally can’t stand a chance upon horror. Again, find books based on your interest. Like sports? Go grab a book on your favorite sports personality.

The 5 Finger Rule: This is usually applied to the kids. But you can also try it if you’re a beginner and searching for the “ just right” book to read. Grab the book you want to read then find a page near in the middle. Start reading it and put up one finger for each word you don’t know. If you put up five fingers before you reach the end of the page, wave the book good- bye, that’s not a good choice for now. This is a helpful trick for beginners who want to grow interest in reading books.


Gateway book: A reader usually finds what he called a “gateway book” to make him a reader. Some common gateway books are “Harry Potter”, “The Hobbit”, “A series of unfortunate events” or “The Hunger Games”. Books like this help one to build up the habit of reading. Here you can find some of them!

Best sellers are not always the best ones: I know this sounds odd but books at the top of chart are not always riveting reads. A book can be a best seller merely on the author’s name. Ignore these books. If you want to read the best sellers check out some reviews. Otherwise, the lesser known authors are worth a try.

Don’t judge a book by its cover: The book cover and the content hiding inside are two different entities.What really matters about a book is its content. A book containing only fillers but has an attractive cover will just make your reading obnoxious. I’ve read so many books that aren’t necessarily engaging at first glance, but have re-echoed with me perfectly.

Know your purpose: Why do you want to read? Is that for your own development or entertainment purposes? Choose books according to that. But it’s not wise to read only fiction as they’re not going to make you smarter. The busier you get, you need to minimize things that waste your time, and if you spend six hours reading a book that did nothing more than entertain, you just wasted six hours. Try the books which are intellectually stimulating too. In that case try to apply the skills in the book soon.

Head for the classics: Heard of 1984, The old man and the sea, Pride and Prejudice or Anna Karenina? Chances are you’ve, but have you read them? Now think of all canonical pieces of literature you’ve heard of. Make a list of them. Those are worth a try and obviously the right books to read.

Also, you can check out some of the classics of all time just here.

Go online: In this age of global internet communities, picking the right book is just a matter of a click. Thanks to internet, you can find tons of books that matches your interest. Here are some websites that will help you to find your next favorite book.

  1. Book Seer: Ask the Book Seer what to read next and it’ll suggest you books and authors.
  2. Which Book: I personally love this website. It lets you find books depending on your emotions. Are you feeling down to earth? Or feeling to read a novel about a middle aged woman? Well, they’ve got you covered. Their system is great if you’re looking for something specific.
  3. Your Next Read: You can record the books you’ve read and can find the other ones you might be interested. It can traces connections between books you’ve read and connections between you and other like-minded users.
  4. Goodreads: Be a member and you will be part of a vast community. Users can post reviews, ratings, summaries of their own. You are sure to find the right book for you.
  5. Penguin Classics: The Penguin’s Classic is very impressive. It suggests you book with which you can fill up a bookshelf. Go check it out!
Book Seer is a fun way to pick the right book

Ask for recommendations: Take recommendations from your family and friends. Chances are someone in your circle is a literary fan. Since they’ve similar taste, you can trust their reviews. As they know your personality and have your best interest in mind, they’d have a good idea of what you’ll like. I do this always. Whenever I need just the right book and can’t figure out anything, I go straight to my mother. She does know which are the perfect ones! Be sure to try it. Also, If more than one person are suggesting you a book, go for it. It ought to be good.


Switch up: The only problem with recommendations is that you end up falling in a cycle of reading the same materials. We, humans can’t get out of our comfort zone. We tend to read a lot of similar books with a recurring theme, but felicity never leads to progress. You got to break out the loop. The more you read on a subject, the less information your brain retains. Embrace varieties. Try to switch up a bit and take your reading in a different direction.

Join book clubs: Bookclub is the best choice, in my opinion, to meet with like-minded people who have the same interests. Check out book clubs in your locality. Join them. You’ll meet with fellow literature fans, pick a novel to read and then return after a few weeks. In a book club people share books of their interest, so it’s a good chance to find the right books. And trust me you’ll make some great connections too!

Also, if you’re not comfortable with physical meetings, go online! Join bookish groups on social media. One of my favourite groups is Litmosphere. You can join and ask for suggestions there. The bibliophiles would love to be helpful!

One of our book club meetings.

The library: “When in doubt, go to the library”- that’s what our witty witch does. Well, a library is literally the best place to find the right book. You can find the right

book, pick it and read it in that very place. And if you can’t find one, the librarian will surely be helpful to you. Remember what Albert Einstein said once? “The only thing that you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library”. Indeed it’s true!

Libraries are paradise! And well, we’re meant to find everything good in paradise.

If you feel that a book doesn’t match your interest, leave it and move forward to the next one. There are so many books and so little time. In this eensy-weensy time be sure you are picking the right books to read. That’s all. These methods help me a lot when I search for my next reads. I hope these will help you too. And if you get benefitted, don’t forget to share with your friends!

So, here is a sneak peek of all the ways for you to pick the right books to read.

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This article’s audiobook is read by Rafsan Lazim.

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