Bookin’ It: How to Find a Good Read

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Graphic for booking it in 2010.

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Earlier in the month, I shared with you how I’m on a journey to read more real, live books in 2010. Many of you shared your reading plans for the year. I found more interesting books to add to my list. Yeah! It’s never too late to join in, so I thought I’d throw this little reminder out there.

Have you read any good books lately?

Sometimes I can get in a rut and it’s hard to find something good to read. In times like these, it helps to know where to look. If you’re stuck for a good read, think about some of these sources:

Your own bookshelves – I headed to our bookcases one afternoon and pulled all the volumes that looked interesting that I hadn’t read before, had always meant to read before, or wanted to read again. I was amazed to find eight books that I could add to my list! Shopping at home – go figure!

The library – Take a night off (that means without children) and spend a few hours at your public library by yourself. I bet you don’t do that too often! Walk up and down the aisles of the adult section (yes, Virginia, it does exist) and pull whatever looks interesting to you. It’s free to check them out and you can always bring them right back if they turn out to be duds.

The advice of friends – What are your friends reading? Ask if they can recommend something they’ve enjoyed reading recently. Better yet, inquire what are their favorite books of all time. You may discover some real gems this way.

My reader’s reading plans – Wow! Good stuff here and varied, too. Nice to see we’re not all the reading the same things. Variety is the spice of life. You may be surprised to read something that would not otherwise cross your path.

Reading lists – Believe it or not, people and organizations regularly compile lists of books according to interests and topics. Some you might want to check out:

How to Find Good Reads

Next week – Tuesday the 9th, to be exact, we’ll share what we’re reading. I’d love for you to tell us your reading plan, offer a book review, or even submit a question if you’re looking for a certain kind of book. We moms need all the help we can get, especially if we want to Book It in 2010.

Until then, tell me, how do you go about choosing good books?

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  1. I listen to audio’s to and from work and when I am running errands. I love them! Plus I read books late in the evening for about 45 min after everybody goes off to bed.

  2. I love GoodReads as well. It takes only a few minutes a week to see what my friends are reading, and what they like. I have to admit, I spent an hour looking through book lists when I first signed up, but the result is a lot of books on my to-read list that I can take with me to the library. I always seem to get amnesia while there, and can’t remember which books I’ve been meaning to read!

  3. My favorite way to choose what to read is to raid my own bookshelves. This is because my husband and I have a terrible weakness for books and we end up leaving library sales with piles and piles of books ranging from “Tricks that take Fish” to “The Gardener’s Day Book” to “Murder Must Advertise” to “Letters of St. Boniface”. He’s in seminary and I’m a teacher, so there is no hope.

    It saddens me when people say they refuse to buy more books until they read the ones they have. My parents always bought more books than they needed and it was such a thrill to grow up in a house overflowing with books on every subject. If curiosity stuck on any subject, I had only to wander from room to room to find several books that would lead the way.

    My biggest problem is finishing the books that I have started. Right now with three under three it sometimes seems hopeless, but this BookingIt challenge is a great motivator.

    So far I have just finished, “The Architecture of Happiness” by Alain de Botton and “The Nine Parts of Desire” by Geraldine Brooks. The first I found on the paperback sales table at Barnes and Noble and -like others have said – it was the cover that did it for me. It was a really thought provoking and enjoyable book with artistic implications beyond architecture. The second was recommended to me by a friend, and although rather outdated, it gave me a lot to think about and I’m eager to do some research and discover more about women in Muslim countries today.

    After I finish a book I enjoy scanning the web for blog posts about the book to see what other people’s reactions were and what other books they might recommend.

  4. Reading has always been a passion of mine and it was very exciting to me just to take each of my girls to the library to get their own library card for the first time. Now, although I thought it would never happen, I go to the library by myself most of the time because my girls are all old enough to drive themselves. They all still use the library though and I’m so glad I was able to give them a love for books. Like many of the commenters, I like finding new books to read through the recommendation of other readers. I’m looking forward to these Book It posts.

  5. My mom is a big source of “new to me” authors – she reads a lot of bestsellers and will tell me when she finds a good one. I also “blog for books” with a number of Christian publishers, and I have discovered a number of great authors through the books I’ve reviewed for them… I take the list of names to my local library, try to lock my kids down in an armchair and browse the shelves for my new favorite author!

  6. I agree with the previous poster’s regarding It’s great!

    I also belong to a book club that meets about every 6 weeks, so I’m always getting something new there. We are all pretty good friends and recommend and exchange other books we’ve enjoyed as well.

    Check around your town for a used book store. There is a book outlet near my office that has all books for $2. They also buy books and offer cash or credit at the store. I go there like you use the library. I just walk around to see what strikes my fancy.

  7. Well, I joined a book club. Some friends from my MOPS group (mothers of preschoolers) formed one. so I read one a month with them. Whoever hosts the book night at their home gets to pick the book.

    My coworkers and I also do book studies together. All the teachers, aideds, and principal all read a few books a year together and talk about it at our staff meetings. Our principal picks those books.

    Also, my hubby and I are known to have our date nights at book stores where we can enjoy coffee together and pour over the shelves.

    And I always carry a lil notepad in my purse so if someone mentions a title I can jot it down and then look for it at yard sales, library sales, or on Amazon.


  8. I’m a little behind you… lol
    My goal for 2010 is just to read all the books I’ve started… and revisit a few I need to re-read. lol


  9. I love for connecting with friends. You can see what everyone else is reading and their reviews. If you click on a certain book it will tell you books you might like if you liked the book you are viewing. I have found many good books that way! I also read with a group of friends in a monthly book club and we all share ideas.

  10. I have found that Gladys Hunt’s books are great for finding great books for every age. Honey for a Teen’s Heart, Honey for a Child’s Heart, and Honey for a Woman’s Heart. I have the first two, but would love to get the Honey for a Woman’s Heart. Each book is broken down into age groups, reading level, and what types of books they enjoy.

  11. I’m definitely an “impulse browser.” I wander the aisles of library or book store until something attracts my attention. Your post made me remember that I happened upon one of my very most favorite book series (the “Outlander” series by Diana Gabaldon) because the first book in the series was right next to one that had repeatedly caught my eye at the library. Every time I walked by that shelf, this book jumped out b/c of the cover. I read the flap and wasn’t interested, but then noticed another book, just to the right…

    …and the rest is history! Six books down and I’m about to start in on her newly published seventh installment. Bliss.

  12. My reading satisfaction has gone way up in the last year since my friend convinced me to join Goodreads. I know you don’t think you need another social networking site—that’s what I thought—but it’s been very worth the few minutes a day I spend checking it. I really enjoy seeing what my friends are reading and what they think of what they’ve read. Now I go into the library with a long list of books I want, instead of just browsing and playing the shelf lottery (which I usually lose).

  13. The books I have selected to read for “Bookin It” were ones that will help me get my finances in order! My life is ready for a “tune-up”!!!

  14. I have been reading The Red Glove Collection by Karen Kingsbury. It is one hugh book, it has 4 books in one. They are: Gideon’s Gift, Maggie’s Miracle, Sarah’s Song, and Hannah’s Hope. I have just gotten through Gideon’s Gift, it was really good. I recently read Tilly by Frank Perreti, it was good but sad. Just a few more suggestions for your book list.

  15. There is an absolute science to how I choose a book. Ok. Not really. In fact, my methods are pretty superficial. I do initially choose a book by the cover! Interesting cover art draws me in. Then I read the description to see if I’d be interested. I also check out the newest selections at Target, write them down, then request them from the library. I also choose books at the library the same way I do at the store. Finally, I go off the recommendations of friends or blogs I read.