4 Sites to Help You Decide What Book to Read Next

tower of books and a man interested (by zen)

I love to read and average about a book per week. Well, honestly I didn’t come close to that last year but most years I read 50-70 books. I’ve been keeping track of every book I’ve read since 1991 – I wish I had started that when I learned how to read. I don’t have a fancy database or anything but just a list of author/title in a notebook. Maybe someday I will digitize it.

I don’t usually have a hard time deciding what to read next because I have a teetering pile next to my bed. Actually, I have piles all over the house. But sometimes I read something that I really love and want to find a similar book. So, here I have listed 4 sites that might help you pick the next book you are going to read.

What Book to Read Next

4 Sites to Help You Decide What Book to Read Next

Whichbook – Whichbook allows you to discover books based on your mood. I selected happy, funny, unusual and unpredictable. The first match was Emotionally Weird by Kate Atkinson. I’ve actually read that book and can say that it does meet the criteria. Whichbook allows you to switch the search and discover books based on character, plot and setting. It has a link called “Borrow”, which provides links to the library system in the UK. It would be nice if there were also links to Amazon and other book sites, but it’s great for UK users.

4 Sites to Help You Decide What Book to Read Next

What Should I Read Next – Type in an author and title of a book that you like and this site will provide you with a list of books that you might like. This is based on registered user’s reading lists – other books on the same reading list as your search will be displayed. The results assume that you have similar taste to reader’s who have read the same book so it is not exactly finding similar books. You can register with the site to create your own book lists and the site says that you will get better results if you are a registered user. This site does provide links to Amazon UK and Amazon US so you can get additional information about the book and order it, if you want to buy it.

4 Sites to Help You Decide What Book to Read Next

Lazy Library – Search on any topic and you will be presented with a list of books. What makes this search recommendation “lazy” is not that no book on the list is over 200 pages. Personally, I don’t judge a book by it’s length (anyone else read Neal Stephenson, whew) but this a good way to locate a book that will give you a quick overview on a topic. Due to the page limit, it also seems to return a number of children’s books.

4 Sites to Help You Decide What Book to Read Next

LibraryThing – This site is best known for cataloging your books. Unfortunately, you can only catalog 200 for free. You can also register for an account, search for books, and then use the recommendation feature to find similar books. Recommendations include ones from LibraryThing and ones from other readers. It took a bit of searching to find out how the recommendations work but it is based on library of congress categories and what similar readers also have in their book lists. One problem is that it finds other books by the same author – you would assume that if you like one book by an author that you have already looked at others so it’s better to have recommendations select something completely different. LibraryThing also includes links to Abebooks, Alibris, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, BookFinder.com, BookSense, and Worldcat.

photo credit: zen

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  1. says

    Wrong person here :lol: I lost the habit of reading books long back. I still reader news papers…

    The online life has had an adverse impact on lifestyle. No writing and reading… I cant even sign my checks properly these days :(

  2. says

    Wow. You really read a lot… I usually get through about 5-10 books a year, the majority of which are programming or tech related books… :-) I rarely just read for ‘fun’. So these sites, while interesting, probably wouldn’t affect my book-reading behavior. :-/

    Where do you find the time?!

    Shirley´s last blog post – Choosing the Best Location for Your New Blog

  3. says

    Thanks for putting this list together. I’m another with a huge book backlog, but I figure this might help me finding books for friends – if I know what they have read recently and liked, this could help me out with finding books for birthday and Christmas gifts.

    (And then I can borrow the book…snicker)

    Tracy´s last blog post – How to explain that you’ve locked down your Facebook

  4. says

    well i’m saying thank you because i still love to read books. great find kim. i’m reading about 5 books right now at the same time which is a little crazy.

    Natural´s last blog post – Fat and Happy?

  5. says

    @Ajith – The longer I use a keyboard the harder it is to write. Did you enjoy reading before?

    @Stratos – Do you mean you are really fussy about what you read? Me? I’ll read almost anything.

    @Shirley – Well, I used to read a lot. Last year it was only 11 books. And I’m not reading things like War and Peace. I like Science Fiction, the environment, biographies and regular fiction. I try to make myself stop using the computer by 10pm and then I read until I fall asleep – sometimes that’s 2 hours and sometimes it’s 10 minutes. I also don’t watch television so I have extra time there.

    @Jim – I always have plenty to read too. But sometimes I really love a book and want to read something similar – some of these sites might help.

    @Tracy – LOL And that’s a great idea – using the sites to find gifts for people. I was only thinking of myself.

    @Jim – Thanks!

    @Vered – I discovered that I wasn’t reading books either when I counted up my total for 2008. I’m making more of an effort to find time for reading and getting away from the computer.

    @David – Well, science doesn’t count ;-) Just kidding. You should see the stacks in my house – and this is just for “fun”.

    @Natural – I read a couple of books at a time too. I like to have something for different moods. At minimal I’m reading one fiction and one non-fiction.

  6. says

    @Mark – Hi! I was going to suggest you check the library before ordering the books and then remembered where you live ;-)

    @Jason – Teachers can ruin reading – forcing kids to read Great Expectations is not going to give them a love of reading. There are a ton of cool books out there though. What are you interested in? Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card is a book that everyone who reads loves, even people who say they don’t like science fiction.

  7. says

    Nope, I was never a good reader… well, I used to read school/college books and some comic/cartoon stuff alone. And after getting into career mode perhaps a few technical books and soft skills development stuff.

    In my whole life I would have read hardly 20-25 fictions or short stories :lol:

    However, there’s another reason behind… I used to read some stuff in my mother tongue till I was 20 or so… but since then the medium changed to English :) Pro’lly that’s when it became read-only-bare-minimum policy

  8. says

    These are some great sites… I especially like the one for selecting books by mood. My book selection has been limited to audiobooks as of late, since they make the workday fly by. I got through the entire Twilight series, on and off, in two weeks that way.

    ~ Kristi

    Kikolani | Poetry, Photography, Blogging´s last blog post – What Do I Want

  9. says

    What Should I Read Next looks really interesting. I am a slow reader becaues I daydream a lot while reading but I hope to read at least two books a month this year.

  10. says

    @Gennaro – There are just way too many good books out there. Unfortunately not enough about time travel in dystopian settings.

    @Ajith – Changing the language you read in must be hard. I can read a bit in Spanish but it’s too much trouble for me to enjoy it.

    @Kristi – I’ve never got into Audiobooks. I wouldn’t be able to listen to them at work and I don’t have a long commute. I know a lot of people really enjoy them.

    @Carla – Two books a month is an awesome goal.

  11. says

    In addition to your article, maybe you should consider the 5th sites to help you decide what books to read next:

    Book recommendations from famous people

  12. says

    @Garner – Thank you for the link – that looks like another good resource to help discover new books. Are you going to be adding more famous people to the list?

  13. says

    Thanks for reviving this post so I could find it! I never have a stack of unread books because I read faster than I can find books that appeal to me. I’m off to find some now. Have you tried Bookmooch.com? It’s a free book swapping service — you build up credits by offering your books to others, then get books free using your credits. I love it.

    Dot´s last blog post – Childhood Memories

    • says

      Hi Dot – Great! I’m so glad you find it useful.

      I buy a lot of books at flea markets, thrift stores and library sales and rarely pay more than $1 for a hardback. That’s how my books have piled up. Plus I used to average 50-70 books per year and last year I only read 13. I’m not doing much better this year but am trying.

      What do you like to read?

      I’ve heard of Bookmooch but haven’t tried it – I use something similar to trade videogames.

    • says

      Hi Patricia – Thanks!

      I love actual books so I’m not sure if I would like the kindle or not. If I traveled more, I think I would want one because then I wouldn’t need to carry so many books with me.

  14. mark says

    Alas, I’m one of those who has been ruined by the net as well. I still average about three quarters of a book a week, but that’s a big drop from my one a day era. I never have any problem finding a book I want to read; it’s finding the time (and turning off the damned computer) to do so.

    • says

      Hi Mark – I’ve been doing better lately. I’ve read 7 books since the beginning of July. I’ve been spending most of my time after 8pm reading. I used to read 1-2 books per week but I seem to be going through phases.

  15. says

    Four great sites, normally i would just rely upon word of mouth and the usual sat book club meeting, but im definitely getting into what should i read next, great if your into a specific genre.
    .-= Confused?´s last blog ..The art of Thrifting…. =-.

    • says

      Hi Confused – I have so many unread books that I don’t have a problem deciding what to read next – the problem is finding time to read. But the sites provide interesting and entertaining results.

  16. duke says

    I used to rely mainly on friends reviews and suggestions but I found a new website recently which has helped me called bookwhack. The recommendations are a bit more diverse than I have found elsewhere. Hope you like the suggestion

    • says

      Hi Duke – Thanks for the recommendation. I searched for a couple of my favorite books and there weren’t any recommendations – it wanted me to add some. So, I guess the site is still fairly new and is depending on recommendations from users.

      Still, it looks like a good start and it has a slick and simple interface.

  17. says

    These are great tools. Recommendation engines can be so hit or miss sometimes! I’ve always just relied on asking friends… Thanks for posting this!

  18. says

    Great article. My AP English teacher had us start a reading list my senior year of high school and I have kept it up. Over 800 now 20 years later. I’ve been setting goals the last 2 years and am edging at 70 per year. It really comes in handy to look back on it and for all those pesky series!
    I’ve started using Shelfari in the last few years to connect with people and their shelf is nice of what you want to read and what you’ve read.

  19. says

    NovelSnippet.com is cool. It contains hundreds of books (and seems to be rapidly growing). The books are accompanied by a 100-word snippet so you can easily search and find lots of great books.

  20. says

    I’m working on a site – helpmefindabookplease.com to help people find any book imaginable. It is a work in progress but please check it out, I can use the testing :D. Right now it’s useful only if you know the title of the book but in the near future It’ll allow for advanced keyword searches to find books you cannot remember the name of.


  1. […] 4 Sites To Help You Decide What Book To Read Next – At the time I just threw this article together from some bookmarks I had and because I like to read. It got stumbled and the stumble traffic on it has not subsided. It goes up and down and then someone else discovers it and the traffic picks up again. Unfortunately, stumble visitors rarely (never) leave a comment so I don’t get the chance to interact with any of these visitors. And, apparently, trying to decide what to read next is a bigger issue that I realized. ;-) Sometimes I really like a book and want to read something similar but generally I select my next book my grabbing one off of the teetering piles in my room. […]

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