First – listen to the people
Everyone has best friends who are on the same wavelength. And in the cyber-era you don’t even have to ask for advice, just check out their profile at Goodreads. If you like the same kind of pizza and spend hours in each other’s company, there is high probability that you’ll love a book that your buddy rated with 5 shiny stars.
Second – listen to the smart ones
Some of them read up to five books a week (lucky beggars!) and rate them for the New York Times and other top titles, so you can assume that they know what they’re doing. Usually, the professionals can be trusted and sometimes their opinions are better written then the piece of literature itself. Just check out Michiko Kakutami. Writer Salman Rushdie has called her "a weird woman who seems to feel the need to alternately praise and spank". You will love her or you will hate her. But for sure, she is an opinion-maker.
Third – listen to the hotheads
It’s kind of a scary thought - but at the same time exciting – but nowadays everyone can be a critic. The Internet is humming with blogs on every topic you can imagine. No surprise, then, that you can find hundreds, thousands, of book reviews online. So many in fact that it’s hard to know who to trust. But when you do find a few blogs that you love, you can enjoy a perfectly crafted selection of books to read for a long time. Imagine: you can take all of them home with you and stay in bed for the whole winter, like a well-read squirrel.
If you are a romantic but not the kind that reads any old crap, you might like Smart Bitches Trashy Books. The Smart Bitches “talk about which romance novels rocked their worlds, and which ones made them throw the book with as much velocity as possible.”
If you want to challenge yourself to reading 52 books a year but are the type of person that lacks the self discpline to even force down that ever-so-healthy breakfast at home and grab a coffee and a donut from a gas station instead, you probably should look at Motivational Books.
If all that working on your inner self just gives you a headache, you can drift away to an imaginary world with the great science-fiction books described on Worlds in Ink.
Fourth – listen to the booksellers
Their goal is to sell you books - lots of them - and they will do their best to find the best read for your particular tastes. Amazon has bestsellers lists in at least 30 categories - from romance to engineering. Barnes&Nobles proposes hundreds bestsellers lists too, among which This Hour’s and This Year’s TOP100.
The big retailers are good but not perfect. Their selection tries to cater to the tastes of the mythical ‘average’ reader. Beware ‘top ten’ lists as these are often the ‘top ten’ they might want to push at us this month, and not necessarily their top ten best sellers. But dig deep and you can find a book that can satisfy the most discerning.
Fifth – listen to your favorite publisher
There are huge publishing houses with so many titles that’s easy to feel trapped by too many choices but the are smaller ones, too. You can look for the ones that gather books on topics you are especially interested in. If you are student or just a sweet nerd for sure you know Oxford Handbook Series or For Dummies Books.
And there is one sad fact: Life is not a fairytale. Love at first sight can be tricky. But why not dive in and embrace it: you might get lucky and find that perfect match - that will stay in your heart and mind forever.