wikiHow to Choose a Good Book

You love reading, and you're dying to get your hands on a book. But you've read all your books millions of times, and are tired of the same ones. You're planning to go to the library, but don't know what kind of book to get. With the right knowledge, it's easy to choose a good book!


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    Make a list answering these questions:
    • What genre of books do you like? Sci-fi, adventure, mystery, non-fiction, fiction, realistic fiction?
    • What authors do you like? Research books by authors you've enjoyed in the past. Chances are they'll have another publication that you'll also enjoy, and by searching by authors, you can get more of the same types of books that the author wrote.
      • Is there a type of book, or a specific book you would like to try? If there is, search the book up and read its summary. That will help you decide if the book is right for you.
      • Are there any books in a certain series you would like to read? If you know the series then you can search the series online and you can find the books. You can also go to the library and see if they have the series that you are looking.
    • What are your interests? Insert your hobbies into your library catalog search and set it to, "Keyword." By doing this, you will find books that you can read that you might like.
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    Search your house. Often times good books will be quietly collecting dust in your own house. Maybe you forgot about one, or someone who is living with you has a couple good books. Also by search your house, you can find books for yourself, that you can read, and it won't even cost you any money.
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    Ask someone to recommend a good book. You can ask your older sibling, your mom, your dad, your best friend, or even your English teacher. Friends or family with whom you have things in common can often make excellent book recommendations. Local, small bookstores often have wonderful recommendations, and when they get to know you, it's even better! You should ask people that like the same genre of books that they have read, so that you can match books that you read.
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    Read book reviews in newspapers and magazines. Read the bestseller lists published in most newspapers or weekly magazines. Find out which new books are making headlines, and why.
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    Join a book club. Being a book club member is often a way to experience new books you might never have had the motivation to read otherwise. Joining a book club or making a book club helps you know who else likes the same books as you, and you can read books that others have read and discuss them. Get people that like to read books to join your book club.
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    See if the library or bookstore has computers. If it does, then look on the library's search engine. You can use the search engine to find a certain book, books by a certain author, or anything as broad as just a certain genre. You can also do this at home.
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    Ask the librarian or book seller about the location of the books you're looking for. He/she will be happy to help you.
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    Skim through the shelves in the section you're interested in. If you see anything that looks appealing, pick it up and read the back of the book. Skim over the back of the book or the inside flap, wherever the summary is. If that holds your attention, read the first page or so. If it still holds your attention, then it's probably a good book for you. The subject might be interesting to you, but the writing style can be key to enjoying it. If it looks interesting, put it in your pile. Keep doing this until you have a few books.
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    Find a place to sit, or stand if you must, and read the first chapter of each book. Of course, if you have many books, this can be time consuming. Reading the first chapter of a book can help you know what books and genres of books that you like, and so that you won't have a hard time looking for books again.
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    Narrow down your stack. If you would rather have book 1 over book 2, put book 2 back. Keep doing this. If you would rather have book 3 then book 1, put book 1 back, etc.
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    Research reading lists of your favorite writers. Chances are great that you'll like what they recommend. Make this list where you can see it, so that you can keep adding to this list as time goes on.This way you can see what books you have already read, and what books you really want to read.
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    Go to websites such as or These two sites have loads of free e-books that you can download, print, or read on your computer. If your school or library has its own e-books then you can go see them too from there.


  • You won't do yourself any harm if you check out too many books, or don't read books you check out of the library. Just make sure to turn them in on time. Consider bringing a book bag or tote.
  • Keep your own reading list. When a book has been recommended to you, write it down immediately and use it as a reference once you're in the library or bookstore.
  • Make a list and take it with you to the library. Write what books you want. This will help you to not forget them.
  • If you liked the book you chose, it can be a good guide when getting other books. Often, if you look up the book on a website, it will give you a list of books that are similar. For instance, go to the Amazon listing for one of your favorite books, and scroll down to the section titled "Customers who bought this item also bought". Don't stick to just this one category though. Try different books, because you never know what you will find!
  • Make sure the book is age appropriate. Of course it's always okay to check out a little kids' book every once in a while, just for the fun of it.
  • Turn in the book on time, or you'll have to pay late fees.
  • Use the five finger rule. Flip to the first page, if there is zero words you don't know it is too easy, but if there are five you don't know, it's too hard.
  • It doesn't matter what other people think about you, your style of books or what you like or want to read. If you want to read it just go for it and enjoy it.


  • Don't judge a book by its cover.
  • Reading can be addictive, but this is not necessarily a bad thing. Just don't let it interfere with your job or daily life.
  • Don't think you have to read or like a book just because everyone else does. If you are reading a book that you don't like or can't get through, it's okay to abandon it for something else.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer--to search books

Sources and Citations

Article Info

Categories: Books