We've all been there: One chapter from the end of a great book, and the pile of on-deck reads atop the bedside table looking awfully slim. The anxiety of not having something to read starts to take hold and tomorrow's Regional Rail commute or worse, a long wait in the doctor's office, looms large.
Sure, the library has millions of books, ebooks, and audiobooks you could choose from, but you don't want to read millions of books, you want to read one book--and it's got to be good. It's the age old question: What do I read next?
Rest assured fellow arm-chair explorer, we've got you covered. Your best bet for finding a new book is a recommendation from someone you know. And who better than the librarian at your local branch of the Free Library? But if you're feeling independent, why not try some of the tools we use for yourself?
Novelist and Novelist K-8: You'll need your library card and PIN to access these two resources from our database page, but here you'll find great recommendations for next reads based upon books and authors you know you love. Did you love The Round House? Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier or Canada by Richard Ford? Novelist suggests both for those who loved The Round House and lets you know what about the books is similar. Or, let's say you love Stephen King. Novelist suggests you try something by Justin Cronin, John Saul, or Dean Koontz. Novelist covers adult fiction and Novelist K-8 is for school-aged children. Give it a try!
For children's series and sequels, there is no better resource than the guide assembled by the librarians at Mid County Public Libraries in Kansas City, MO. So, you can finally crack the case: Is that book your daughter's dying to read from the Nancy Drew Girl Detective series, or was it from Nancy Drew Diaries, or maybe the Nancy Drew Files, or even Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew?
If you are looking for the order of a series, need to know which book in a series is which but only know what the cover looks like, or if you just need a comprehensive list of what an author has written, visit Fantastic Fiction. Search for an author and get a list of everything they've written, as well as a list of all of their pseudonyms. Author entries also feature brief biographies, lists of their books by series, standalones, collaborations and contributions, as well as a list of their new and forthcoming books.
If you want to keep track of where you are in a series and find what book to read next, try FictFact. Registration is required, but it's free and well worth it. You can follow a specific series and mark off which books you’ve already read. The site will keep track of your likes and email you when a new release has been announced in your series.
Another great resource is Goodreads. Aside from the well know social aspects of the site (it’s Facebook for books, y’all!), Goodreads is a great place to track down authors and books. Goodreads covers fiction and non-fiction too, so it’s got a wider base than Novelist, FictFact, or Fantastic Fiction.
Finally, Amazon is a great place to check out when a book was published and if it's available. Even if you only have a few words of the title you can usually track it down.
With these tools there's no excuse to face the doctor's waiting room or the morning commute empty handed. Read on!
Finishing a book can be scary! Photo Credit: Stephanie Massaro via Compfight