What do I read next?

by on October 11th, 2017

What do I read next?Whether you are a super reader who has run out of books to read or a parent looking for the perfect book to give your kid, the staff at the Info Desk have tools to help you discover the Next Great Read. 

I had to find my own Next Great Read last week after discovering there were no new OverDrive audiobooks in my go-to genre. Instead of being a thorn in our fiction buyer’s side by putting in tons of spendy purchase suggestions, I decided to do the BYOL thing (Be Your Own Librarian) and try to discover something the library already owns.

The easiest way to discover something new is to search the last book you enjoyed in our catalog. This doesn’t work for every book but it is the fastest thing to try. Scroll down to find the “You Might Also Like These…” section and look for titles that are blue. Those are links to the book in the library catalog.

Catalog Integrated NoveList Recommendations

If all of the “read-a-likes” are books you’ve already read (this has totally happened to me), go straight to the Online Resources page and find the NoveList link. It’s in the “Books & Reading” category. You’ll need your library card number and password handy to use this tool from home.

NoveList has so many angles to get you to your Next Great Read. It’s got genre lists you can narrow down by age as well as recommendations from experts on your favorite genre. For the latter, scroll down the page and look for the “Keeping Up” section.

I found my Next Great Read through NoveList’s appeal mixer tool. This tool allows you to mix and match a number of characteristics among six categories (character, illustration, pace, storyline, tone, and writing style).

NoveList's Appeal Mixer Tool

Think about things that made you love the last book you read. For me, I require my books to have strong female characters with fast pacing. You’ve got three spots to play around with using this appeal mixer. I had a lot of fun putting in those two requirements (Character = strong female, Pace = fast-paced) and then using the third category to explore the Tone and Storyline categories.

By playing around with these reading recommendation tools, I discovered a book I gobbled up in less than a week. I’ll call that a successful book hunt! Now to find a new one…

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About Melody Dworak

Melody Dworak
Melody buys books for the second half of the nonfiction Dewey numbers on the 2nd floor. She has recently been bitten by the fiction bug, but loves those historical reference questions regardless. Visit the digital collections she manages at icpl.org/magazines and history.icpl.org.