Readers Advisory 101

 Not quite sure what to read next? Love a particular author and want to read more by them or like them? Want to discover new books and authors? That's what Readers' Advisory is all about.

Librarians at every Free Library of Philadelphia branch are there to connect you with books that you will enjoy. Come in and talk to a librarian—they will help you decide what to read next. Let us know what you like (and don't like) and we'll try to suggest other books that might interest you.

You can also use the resources listed below to discover new and exciting books on your own. Find what you're looking for online and then check the Library catalog to see if we have a copy that you can check out.

Library Databases

The Free Library has a wide range of databases devoted to popular fiction, literature, literary criticism, and poetry. You can find many of them under the Literature heading on our Datasbases page. A few great resources in particular are NoveList and Books in Print Global Edition. These resources specialize in recommending titles based on your own preferences. All of these resources are available for you to use at home.

Recommended Websites

Comprehensive Book Websites

Bookspot – A website that has almost everything for booklovers, including reviews, bookclubs, online books, and booklists. Sections include "What to Read", "Genre Corner", "Where to Buy", and "Behind the Books."

BookWire – Content from "BookWire" includes book industry news, features, reviews, original fiction, event guides, author interviews, annotated links to book-related site, and much more.

Fantastic Fiction – This site has bibliographies for over 20,000 authors, series lists, and new and forthcoming releases.

Books in Print Global Edition – Helps you discover books that are similar to what you are already reading and enjoying. Simply type in the title of a book to get related titles, or browse through lists of titles by selecting a topic, genre, setting, character, location, or time frame.

Whichbook – Search for books by genre or type, including happy/sad, conventional/weird, funny/serious, romantic/realist, and types of characters, plots, and settings. Each book has a reader comment, sometimes an excerpt, and the option to search for similar titles.

Award Winners

Book Award Annals – A wiki devoted to award winners from the Pulitzer Prize to the Stoker Award. Search by award or genre, over a wide range of years. Although this site is no longer maintained, it is a good compilation of award winners prior to 2014.

Award Winners at Powells.com – Lists and descriptions of award winners in a wide variety of fields, from cookbooks to poetry.

Book Reviews

Book Page – A monthly general interest book review periodical, covering new releases. Book Page also has interviews with authors, advice for writers, and audiobook reviews.

New York Review of Books – Articles from the New York Review of Books. Many recent articles are available free of charge; archived articles require a paid subscription or individual purchase.

Romantic Times – A searchable database of over 25,000 book reviews from the pages of the Romantic Times BOOKreviews magazine. The most current issue’s reviews are not available online, but are made accessible once the next issue of the magazine is released (monthly).

Reading Lists

Free Library of Philadelphia Library Community – Reading lists created by the Free Library of Philadelphia on a variety of topics.

Fiction-L Booklists – A compilation of booklists by librarians who participate on the Fiction-L listserv. Booklists are browsable by themes such as genre, character, and setting, including a wide range of suggestions on what to read next if you like particular authors.

Great Books Lists – Lists of classic books from Eastern and Western traditions, including modern classics. Taken from print sources from around the world, these lists attempt to include major works from all cultures and time periods.

Juvenile Series and Sequels – The "Juvenile Series and Sequels" database created by the Mid-Continent Public Library currently contains over 23,000 books in series titles that are classified into three audiences:

  • Young Adult – For high school-aged readers.
  • Juvenile – Appropriate for grade school through junior high-aged readers.
  • Juvenile Easy – For young readers just beginning to read.

Based on the Book – "Based on the Book", by the Mid-Continent Public Library, is a compilation of over 1,200 books, novels, short stories, and plays that have been made into motion pictures. Utilizing the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) as the authority, all movies in this collection have been released as feature-length films in the United States, in English, since 1980.

Reading Group Guides

Reading Group Choices – A site that has a wide range of reading group guides available, searchable by title, author, and subject. Also has information on starting and running a group.

Oprah’s Book Club – Oprah’s current selection, reading lists, and books from her magazine. Also has video clips about the current selections.

Genre Sites

Chicklitbooks – Information and reviews for current and forthcoming chick-lit books, author interviews, and a user forum.

Stop, You’re Killing Me! – A resource for mystery, intrigue, and suspense readers. The site has listings of hundreds of authors, with complete chronological lists of their books. You can search by author or character.

All About Romance – An online community with reviews, author interviews, message boards, and much more. One of the most comprehensive romance fiction websites around.

SF Site – Book reviews, opinion pieces, author interviews, and author and publisher reading lists of science fiction and fantasy. Also, this site has a comprehensive list of links to author and fan tribute sites, SF conventions, SF TV and movies, magazines and e-zines, writer resources, publishers and small press sites, and many other SF resources.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Booklist – A bibliography of science fiction and fantasy authors and their books. The database also contains links to official and fan sites of various authors where they exist.

Horror Writers Association – Horror news, links, and reading lists. There are also free excerpts from recent horror books available.

In the First Person: Index to Letters, Diaries, Oral Histories, and Other Personal Narratives – "In the First Person" is a free, high-quality, professionally published, in-depth index of close to 4,000 collections of personal narratives in English from around the world.