Sometimes choosing a new book to read is an unexpectedly difficult endeavor. Many of us have extensive lists of to-be-read books, but sometimes those lists aren’t enough. What do we do when we have seen the same six books pop up on everyone else’s blogs? What do we do when we finish a book and love it so much that we want to read something just like?
The answer is that we can head to What Should I Read Next?.
What Should I Read Next? is an algorithm based website that allows users to search on books that they love in order to find reading material. Users can search by author, title, and often by ISBN. I did a sample search using the young adult book Divergent by Veronica Roth because I wanted to see what results would appear for a new(ish) book. My sample search resulted in 50 suggested titles. The image to the left is a screenshot of just a few of them. These books all share common genres or themes – you can see those tags in red – with Divergent. This sample list most often pulls from the “Dystopias” and “Young Adult Fiction” tags, but it also creates suggestions from subjects like “Identity (Psychology)”, “Courage”, “Social Class”, “Families”, and “Illinois–Chicago”. So if you wanted to find a list of popular fiction set in Chicago, you could click on that subject tag, and one would appear. I did a couple of other searches as well (one on Good Omens and one on Pride and Prejudice), and the suggestions are spot on.
Sadly, What Should I Read Next? is not the most beautiful website I have ever seen. It is simple text on a white background and is probably unusable for anyone with a degree of red-green colorblindness. (There is a lot of red text on green. I’ve emailed the site and suggested that they choose a different color palette, but I’m doubtful that they will change it.)
Despite those critiques, I appreciate What Should I Read Next? for the simple tool that it is. When left to my own devices, I tend to stumble across the same books over and over again, so I like that What Should I Read Next? shakes thing up a bit.
If you know of any other great places to find book suggestions, please share! I know that many people use Goodreads lists, Amazon forums, and, of course, blogs, and I would love to know of any gems that you have discovered.