Finding Your Next Great Read

A Readers' Advisory Round-Up

What do you like to read? Do you follow an author until you’ve read everything then wait impatiently for the next book? Do you read one genre exclusively? Science fiction? Popular science? Biographies?

How do you find the next book you’re going to read or listen to? Do you read reviews? Ask your friends? Or do you ask a librarian?

Good idea. Readers’ Advisory is our middle name. Names. When you ask us for help we open our bag of librarian tricks. Guess what the first trick is -- we will ask YOU more questions. We’re going to find out what you like and don’t like. And why. Once we’ve drawn you out, we’ll pull our other tricks out of the bag. Like the library catalog. A catalog search really can get you to a book with qualities like other books you’ve liked. We usually will start with keywords in the basic search box, moving later to an advanced search.

We also use library databases like NoveList and Books and Authors. For specific genres there are specialized online sites we use. For mystery lovers there are Stop, You’re Killing Me and Crime Fiction Lover. If you read romances, Happy Ever After can put you in the arms of your next great read. We also follow crowdsourced sites like Goodreads for the read alike lists created by its members.

Because nobody’s read everything but together we’ve read quite a lot, we talk to each other for tips and fresh ideas.

If you’re an Overdrive user, check out our themed lists. This month it’s “What Are You Grateful For.”

Sometimes your requests stump us. That’s often because we’re asked to find a read alike for a book with attributes so specific and unusual that there’s nothing else out there like it. Other tough read alike requests are for books that capture the spirit or the experience of a book instead of more concrete qualities.


If you’re interested in browsing our shelves for books loaded with must-read lists, take yourself over to 011.6. You can find instant inspiration in the Nancy Pearl books Book Lust, More Book Lust, and Book Lust to Go. In quirky, thematic chapters, these books by a champion readers’ advisor from Seattle will give you recommendations “for every mood, moment and reason” that will take your reading in new directions. Here’s a sample of just a few of her chapters: Shrinks and Shrinkees, Oh, Brother!, Rivers of Words, Hong Kong Holidays, Lost Weekends, and Horror for Sissies. Pearl also encourages you to explore new authors in chapters headed Too Good to Miss.

Come in and talk to us! Or try our service for readers, Book Me! Fill out an online form and a librarian will send you a personalized list of reading suggestions.


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