How to Decide What to Read Next

  • Learning
Cherie Yanek, Upper Division Librarian

You finish a great book. You close it with a smile. You reflect on it. Now what? There are so many ways to keep reading all the time. Here are some tips for next time you aren’t sure what to read next!

Read everything else by the author

Chances are, if you like one book by that author, you’ll like most books by that author.

Read whomever that author likes.

If you ever have read an interview with an author, or check out their Twitter feed, they’ll often mention other authors, talk about who has inspired them or share their favorite books. Those other authors and books will often share some of the same qualities of the book you read.

Children reading

Check out some recent award-winning titles.

The Avenues Library website lists tons of different books that have won different awards—check out the awards section on the Upper Division Reading Recommendations website and on the Early Learning Center and Lower Division.         

Books that win awards are the best of the best; some of my favorite books, like Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give, have won multiple awards.

Use a great read-a-like tool.

At Avenues, our favorite database is NoveList Plus, which has a fantastic read-a-like tool. You enter the name of an author or a book, and the database tells you other great books that are similar.

Another database is called Books and Authors, which allows readers to search for more read-a-likes, giving even more suggestions for new books to read. All students at Avenues have the passwords to these databases saved on their Google Drives.

Two websites with similar (but sometimes less accurate results) are What Should I Read Next? and YourNextRead.

Children reading

GoodReads

The book lovers favorite website! GoodReads is a great place to write book reviews, keep track of what you read, read others’ book reviews, browse lists and reader-selected awards, even stay on track of the latest with your favorite authors.

Read Reviews

There are so many great places to read book reviews. The New York Times. Kirkus. Horn Books. School Library Journal. And even many of your favorite magazines and newspapers have review sections too.

Children reading

Ask!

Ask a friend you respect. Ask a teacher you trust. Ask a librarian. Ask someone what their favorite book is, or one of the best books they read recently.

Pick up a Book

Pick up a book where the cover looks good. Pick up a book where the cover doesn’t look as great. Read the description on the inside flap. Read the first page or two—are you captivated? If you are, keep going!

Children reading

Keep Track of What You Want to Read Next

Whether you use a notes app in your phone, or scribble titles in a book you always carry, write down some good titles to check out. If you have that, you’ll never be wondering what to read next. Just pick a title off your list and check it out!

...And If You Don’t Like It?

Stop. Try to give it a try—maybe the first chapter or so, but if the style, or the character, or something is just not something you want to read for pleasure, don’t. There are so many great books out there, so if it’s not something you are required to read, don’t. Find something else that fits the criteria of a good read for you!

  • Early Learning Center
  • Library
  • Literacy
  • Lower Division
  • Middle Grades Program
  • Upper Division
  • Upper Grades Program