The Library Springfield-Greene County Library District Springfield, Missouri
Books & Authors

Finding Your Next Good Read

Published July 24, 2013  Submitted by:  Catherine

There are many ways to find out about books that might pique your interest. Here are some sources to find that next engrossing read.

If you want to read what's new, you can view a variety of Bestseller Lists online. The oldest and most notable list is published each Sunday by the New York Times. The New York Times Fiction and Nonfiction, Fiction E-book and Nonfiction E-book bestsellers are separate as are many other formats and categories like business and children's books. 

The USA Today Bestseller List is different from the New York Times Bestseller Lists because it ranks the top 150 titles in fiction and nonfiction titles together. Included in this single list are print and e-book format, and children's and teen titles as well.

The Barnes and Noble website has 100 best-selling titles ranked by the hour, which includes both fiction and nonfiction. They also have a separate list for top 100 books of the year and the top Nook books. Amazon has a top 100 list which also mixes fiction and nonfiction together, but you can also find the bestsellers in various format, subject and genre categories as well.

The disadvantage of finding an interesting book on the Bestseller Lists is that lots of other people would like to read it too. That can mean a long waiting list for the most popular titles. The Library tries to buy the right amount of copies to satisfy demand without over-buying a title.

You can also join The Bestsellers Club online or at any branch, which allows you to be automatically put on hold for popular authors' new releases. You choose your favorite authors from a list and each time that author has a new book coming out, you are automatically placed on hold for that title. A random computer-generated list mixes up the order of the holds so the same people aren't on the top of the list each time.

Another tool to find new titles to read is Novelist, a searchable book database which lists most popular works of fiction by genre as well as title and author. If you do a search for a fiction title in, Novelist lists other titles in a series and recommends similar titles and authors that match elements of your book choice.

You can also go directly to the NoveList database* under the Search Library Databases link on the main page of The Library's website. There is a separate version of Novelist for grades K-8. In Novelist you can also find author read-a-likes and book discussion guides.

Of course, the librarians at your local branch are one of the best resources to help you choose books in your area of interest. They have years of experience recommending books and are well-read in most genres. The library staff have also created Booklists for specific genres which can be found on the library's main website by mousing over the catalog heading.

* Library card required for use outside the Library

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