One of the most popular new year’s resolutions is to read more books in the next year. You can take challenges like reading a book a week, a book a month, or set a target of 25, 50, or 100 books in the year. Of course, all these require you to find books worth reading from the millions out there.
It’s a problem that occurs so often that new sites and apps are regularly launched to tackle this. The entrants in this new list are as good, if not better. From celebrity book recommendations to finding the best books trending on social media, you’re guaranteed to discover your next read here.
1. Readerly (Android, iOS): Instagram for Book Recommendations
Readerly looks and feels like an Instagram for book recommendations from both like-minded people as well as those with extremely different tastes. The app eschews the usual rating systems and instead asks people to post about why they like certain books and shows these to those who share similar interests.
Each post is called a “Gist”, a tiny 200-character review of what it’s about and why you liked it. You can then add a few other slides to your post about things people need to know, like “reminds me of,” “warnings,” “favorite quote,” “dislikes,” or your custom slide headers. It’s a cool synopsis of everything you would tell a real-life friend while recommending a book.
The feed automatically shows you posts by people with similar interests to yours (which you set up while creating your profile). When you see someone’s post, you can swipe left to see a graph of how their likes and dislikes match up with yours, so you know whether to trust their recommendation or not.
Apart from the main feed, you can also browse other Readerly data. Top-Rated shows you the best books as rated by the Readerly community, while Best Sellers shows the most popular books that you are likely to enjoy. You can also filter books by time period and find books similar to something you enjoyed.
Download: Readerly for Android | iOS (Free)
2. Read This Twice (Web): Book Recommendations by Celebrities and Famous People
Entrepreneurs, politicians, authors, actors and film personalities, musicians, activists, journalists — everyone is on social media or the internet in some form these days. And several famous people actively post book recommendations on their channels. Read This Twice collects all these celebrity-recommended books in one place.
You can browse the site by people or by books. People includes personalities like Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, JK Rowling, Barack Obama, Elon Musk, and many more, who you can filter by their profession. On their page, you’ll see all their book recommendations in a list, along with the source of the original tweet, blog post, or interview to know what they said about the book.
If you browse with Books, you can filter them by the usual fiction and non-fiction genres or check out curated lists like the best personal development books or most recommended books by different celebrities. And when you click a book’s page, you’ll find all the famous quotes about it in one place, making it the greatest book jacket any author could hope for.
3. Glimbay (Web): Discover Books by Reading Their Three Best Quotes
A while ago, we discovered the cool site Recommend Me a Book, which shows you the first few pages of a book while hiding the author or title so that you aren’t influenced by those factors. In another unique way to find book recommendations, Glimbay shows you the best quotes from a book before you read it.
Glimbay doesn’t hide the author or title. In fact, it even shows the book cover and includes a short description of the content. But the main takeaways are the three top quotes selected from the text to give you a feel of what you can expect on those pages. It’s unclear how Glimbay selects these quotes, but if we had to guess, these are probably the most-highlighted quotes on Kindle or Goodreads.
The best way to use Glimbay is to click the “Find a Random Book” button and keep stumbling upon new titles. But you can also browse the full catalog by genres such as business, self-help, biographies, children’s books, fiction, etc. Glimbay also features a search engine to find authors, quotes, or titles.
If you’re looking for something to read, some of the best book recommendations are on social media these days. In fact, on TikTok, the hashtag #BookTok has become a thriving community of book lovers who review and recommend their favorite reads. It’s so big that publishers have stated that a viral Tiktok video can move bestseller lists. But given the nature of TikTok, it’s difficult to find one place to browse all these recommendations.
Online retailer Books-a-Million has scoured these TikTok videos to create a library of all the book recommendations. You can find the latest trends and what’s going viral next, shop by all-time bestsellers, sort alphabetically by author, and more. Books-a-Million also includes popular #BookTok sub-hashtags to filter by, such as #BookLover, #DiversifyYourShelves, #HorrorTok, #HiddenGems, and more.
Another neat hack is to visit the dedicated BookTok pages on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Both retailers use the incoming referral links from TikTok videos to ascertain the most popular books on #BookTok. You can browse these by genre, top trending titles, and all-time bestsellers.
Given the nature of the audience on TikTok, a large number of the top #BookTok books fall into the young adult fiction, young adult fantasy, romance, and crime categories. You’ll also find a lot of recommendations from BIPOC and LGBTQ authors, as well as women authors.
5. BookVine (Web): Middle-Schooler’s Guide to Find Age-Appropriate Books for Kids.
Washington middle-schooler Shravan R was an avid reader since he was a child and saw his father struggling to find age-appropriate books for him. So he took the bull by the horns and created a website for book recommendations for children up to 14 in different age groups.
Broadly, there are four age ranges: 4-6 years (picture-based books), 6-8 years (beginner readers), 8-10 years (books with recurring characters), and 10-14 years (advanced readers and book series. ). Each book shows the title, author name, book cover, genre, and links to find at online libraries or on Amazon. And if you see a “Review Available” link, click it to read Shravan’s thoughts on the book.
There are two other interesting sections to find books for kids. Awarded Books lists all titles that have won prestigious literary awards like the Newbery Medal, Alex Awards, and National Book Award. The “Series” section shows books that are part of a long multiple-part series, like Percy Jackson or Legacy of Orisha.
If you find something you want to read, don’t forget to check if it’s available on the best sites for reading children’s books online.
Start With Easy Books and Past Favorites
If you’re picking up a reading habit after a long time, you need to retrain your brain. You are probably too used to staring at screens and actively being fed data rather than the slow journey of reading a book.
The Guardian offers a great tip to get you started, saying you should pick up easy books to begin with, written in clear and simple language, and featuring the kind of genres that you enjoy. Another popular tip is to re-read a book you have loved in the past since you’re familiar with the plot and can concentrate on regaining the joy of reading.