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The Art of Choosing Books or How to Find Your Next Great Read - Article by Emily, Teen Blogger

At least once every couple of months, I discover that I have no books on my shelf that I have any desire to read. Going to the library to browse is a great way to get ideas, but how is one to know which books, out of the hundreds of options, are the best to read? Allow me to help you in solving this dilemma.

There are several sources that I go to when I’m completely stumped on what to read, or going through a book lull, if you will. My first and favourite source is the Teens page on the library's website, on which you can find plenty of suggestions for new reads.

Website-screen shot of teen page tab

This Teens page has a blog, as you may already know, and it is an excellent place to find book recommendations written by my fellow bloggers and me. To find recommendations, you can scan the blog for a title that catches your attention or you can click on the subject tags at the bottom of the page.

Or, you can click the “Read” tab on the menu to the left of the blog and browse through the lists of suggested books.

Screen Shot Teen Page Icon

You might also be able to find new and exciting teen reads through the Discover catalogue by clicking on the “Teen Books” link under the “What’s New” category on the left-hand side. There, you’ll find all the latest books the library has purchased for teens and you'll be able to be one of the first to place these popular books on hold.

Screen shot- You Might Also Like These section

Also in the Discover catalogue, you can find suggestions in the 'You Might Like These' section. [Editor's note: to find this section, you will need to first search for a book that you have read and liked and click on its title.]

Screen shot- You Might Also Like These section

If you’re still at a loss for what to read next, you can also check out your local bookstore for the newest books they have on display. Oftentimes, they’ll have tables set up with the latest books of a certain genre or with books for “If you liked…” (these displays take popular books and give several recommendations of similar books). Just perusing bookstore shelves and looking at book covers can help me to discover which book I want to read next.

Remember, you don’t always have to buy books, even if they are new. You’re always able to make a suggestion for purchase to the library by clicking a link of the same name on the bottom of the library's home page. The library might not always be able to buy your suggestions, but if they’re for popular titles or authors, it’s very likely the library will invest in the purchase.

Screen shot- suggestion for purchase scetion

If, after all of these steps, you can’t find any good books to read, I’d suggest heading over to a book forum or database. You can search and find several online, and they’re usually very helpful. You can look through thousands of books rated and recommended by teens or teen book enthusiasts. Some forums, such as Goodreads, will give you suggestions for books based on your previous reads, which you input upon making an account.

I’d also highly recommend talking to librarians in any of the Halifax Public Libraries or in your school library. Chances are the librarians love books just as much as you do and are more than willing to help you find books that you’ll enjoy. [Editor's note: it's true! Library staff love books and love to talk about them.]

Happy Reading!


Teen Blogger


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