Which Book Should I Read Next?

rebeccamunton

By Rebecca Munton

A stack of books with indecisive reasons to pick a book

Finishing a book can bring up lots of emotions. Satisfaction, sadness, glee - even, sometimes, disappointment. Whether your last read was a memorable affair or one to forget, it can be tricky to decide which book you should read next. With literally millions of books to choose from, and a reading list as long as your arm, how can you pick a great follow-up?

We’ve all been stuck in a rut when it comes to choosing the next book to read, so we’ve gathered our favourite tried-and-tested ways to escape indecision and dive into your next literary adventure. Follow these tips to help you decide which book you should read next.

Read The Sequel

Books can be seriously moreish. If the book you’ve just finished has a sequel, don’t overthink it - consider diving straight into book two. If you enjoyed book one, chances are you’ll want to take a punt on the follow-up. That said, if book one wasn’t quite what you’d hoped it would be, don’t let the marketing hype drag you in. There’s no shame in giving up on a book series that doesn’t bring you the escapism you’re looking for - and we’ve got plenty more ideas for finding a more fulfilling read.

Don’t Let Your Reading List Overwhelm You

Reading lists never get shorter - it’s a fact. For every book you read, you’ll probably have added at least one more to the list in the meantime. So don’t fight it! Although scouring your reading list for your next book can be overwhelming, try not to dwell on your decision for too long. Remember, you have plenty of time to read everything on your list. Don’t be afraid to scratch titles off your reading list, either - if there’s one you’ve skipped over a few times now, maybe you’re not as keen as you once were. Move it to the back of the queue to make room for books you’re more excited about.

Follow Your Mood

Check in with yourself and ask what type of book appeals to the way you’re feeling. If you’ve just finished reading something sombre, perhaps something more comedic is a good contender for your follow-up book. If your nerves are still reeling from a tense murder mystery, a light-hearted romance might help you unwind. That said, opposites don’t always attract - if your most recent read has left you itching for more, you can always follow suit with another book of a similar genre.

Don’t Be Afraid To Reread

Sometimes, a little nostalgia is just what you need. If your eyes fall on a childhood favourite, or another book you hold dear, that could be the one to pick next - even if you’ve read it 100 times before. Some books will stay with you your whole life, so there’s no harm in indulging them. With a particularly special book, you might even discover plot points and hidden messages you didn’t notice the first 100 times you read it - so it’s always worth revisiting your most cherished books.

Read reviews

Sometimes the best way to decide what to read next is to put your trust in other readers, (especially if the last couple of books you’ve read have been dud decisions). Review sites collate reader critiques to suggest titles you might like. Similarly, you can take a look at book club sites to see what’s on their lists right now. Review sites can be a bit of a minefield, since other readers don’t necessarily share your literary tastes - but even if you don’t find a book you want to read immediately, you’ll likely find a couple of books to add to your reading list.

Scour The Bestseller Lists

If you don’t mind going a little mainstream, there’s always inspiration to be found on bestseller lists. The New York Times bestseller list is internationally renowned, and filled with books by globally lauded authors. For a list with UK bias, take a look at the Sunday Times bestseller list. A word to the wise, though - most bestseller lists feature popular books, which can cost a pretty penny. If you use bestseller lists for inspiration, we’d recommend finding a second hand copy online or in your local bookshop - it’s sustainable, and it’ll help you save money.

Pick A Name Out Of A Hat

If all else fails, let fate decide! Write down your top five contenders for your next read, then choose one at random. You can literally pick them out of a hat (the classic method), stick them to a dartboard, draw straws… whichever technique you fancy. No matter how you choose, leaving the choice up to the book gods takes the decision-making out of your hands - a welcome relief to lots of readers with busy lives.

Leave It To The Experts

In the spirit of letting fate decide, book boxes are another great way to decide what to read next. At Hand Me Down Book Club, we use your genre choices to handpick a selection of books for you. We deliver them at the same time every month, so you’re guaranteed to receive a fresh batch of books on the regular. Depending on how quickly you read (or how many books you want to stack up on your nightstand), choose from boxes of 2 to 6 books. It’s the easiest way to decide what to read - just pick up the next book that lands on your doorstep!

To find out more about how our book club subscription service works, head to our book boxes page.

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