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So Many Books. How Do I Choose?

How do you pick a good book from the many published each year?

We can help. Every reader has one or more preferred methods of searching for the right book. This brief guide was developed with that in mind, and we hope it helps you find the book(s) you are looking for.

If you are a browser, you might like to look at and handle books and discover titles you never thought of reading. The Readers Services New Books area offers lots of browsing opportunities with new books and displays.

If you like to read reviews or summaries to narrow down the choices, we have many print, electronic, and online resources for book lovers. It’s hard to know where to begin. If you prefer to read from the comfort of home, start with the Library’s What to Read page.

If you are in the Library, browse the publications in our New Books Area. Many of these may be checked out on your library card. Titles include:

  • Bookmarks
  • BookPage
  • Chicago Tribune’s “Books & Media” section
  • ForeWord
  • Mystery News
  • Mystery Scene
  • The New York Review of Books
  • The New York Times Book Review
  • Romantic Times Book Reviews
  • TLS (Times Literary Supplement)

Do you have favorite authors, plots, or genres and want to find similar books? We call them “Readalikes” and have many ways to help you find similar authors and/or books. A favorite tool of librarians is NoveList Plus, an online resource that is accessible to cardholders from home or in the Library. It offers fiction and nonfiction book suggestions for adults, teens, and children. You also can find the next title in a series.

Talking with others is a great way to get a list of titles to try. Where do you find “book talkers?” At the Library, of course - librarians love “book talking” – but also in book discussion groups, at the bookstore, online via book blogs and websites. Here's some suggestions:

  • The Second Tuesday Book Discussion Groups are held at 10:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. in the Bisbee Conference Room. All are welcome.
  • Those wanting to start their own book discussion group may want to take a look at our Book Discussion Tips.
  • Read@SCPL is a book blog maintained by the Readers Services staff. Take a look. (If you find you enjoy investigating books via book blogs, there are many out there, some quite irreverent.)
  • Take the free tours and check out these online cataloging/social networking sites devoted to books: LibraryThing and Shelfari.

Personalized Reading Lists - created just for you!
If you prefer a customized list of “good book” suggestions, complete the “Are You Finding What You Like?” questionnaire. Readers Services staff will work with you to create a personalized reading list.

We are happy to help you in your search! Drop by the Reader Services Desk on the main level, call us or contact us online.

We hope this helps with your book search. Happy reading!