How I Decide What to Read?

In this age of global Internet communities and online sharing, you’re never far away from an incredible find. Courtesy of the Internet, and traditional means, here is a list of 10 ways to find yourself an incredible new author.

Ciao geeks! Time and again people have asked me how do I choose what to read and I thought it warrants a detailed explanation. So, here's me being didactic about it. Maybe you'll find your next find :D


"Out of these flat almost 2-D boxes of paper will spring mountains, lions, concerts, galaxies, heroes. Books and stories are medicine, plaster casts for broken lives and hearts, slings for weakened spirits. And in reading, you will laugh harder than you ever imagined laughing, and this will be magic, heaven, and salvation. I promise." ―Anne Lamott

Unlike high school, in real life you have the power of DNF (Did Not Finish) and you do not need closures from books, hence you are at liberty to choose the subject want to immerse yourself in and isn't that powerful?


They’re sitting on shelves, full of words that could captivate you. A few of them could change your life. The trick is to find them.


Don’t doubt that they’re out there.


Let’s dive into a few ways of finding books you’ll actually enjoy.


1. Goodreads Quote Section


The Goodreads quotes section is an underappreciated resource for finding new books.

Why? As the quotes are crowdsourced, you get a mix of whatever stands out to each person.


Here’s how I use the Goodreads quote section to discover books:

  1. Take a topic you’re interested in and search for it.

  2. Read through the quotes that come up until you find one interesting.

  3. Then click on the name of the book, look at the other quotes (and perhaps the reviews and author profile.)

If it sounds good , you’ve found your next read. Goodreads has a tremendous 'Browse' Section and 'Community' Section as well.


2. Recommendations from Friends

Don’t trust what everybody in society is reading. Trust what the people you respect are reading instead. Find people whose recommendations you trust and read what they recommend.


It is imperative you find someone who has a similar genre liking as you.


I have friends who are into productivity, psychology and philosophy and so most of my readings are wrapped around these subjects.


You’re the average of all the people who surround you. So take a look around and make sure you’re in the right surroundings.



3. Podcasts

If you listen to podcasts, almost all the guests share their favourites.


Ranveer Allahbadia in his podcast with Narendar Kumar on How To Be A SEXIER Man recommended 'The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking by Oliver Burkeman' and it was a delight.


Next, is Tim Ferriss with Hugh Jackman:


4. Trust the Algo

Amazon’s book recommendation algorithm is pretty good. The downside is that it isn’t great for finding something different.


5. Songs/ Movies/ Series


Observe, Observe, Observe!

“The task is not so much to see what no one has yet seen, but to think what nobody yet has thought about that which everybody sees.” ―Arthur Schopenhauer

6. You Tube Channels


Follow the right channels! Here are some videos where I got my recommendations.

“You could try to pound your head against the wall and think of original ideas or you can cheat by reading them in books.” – Patrick Collison

7. Newspaper


I read Livemint everyday and some articles especially in the editorial section have literary references.


Mint has a special Saturday Edition called Mint Lounge which has recommendations ranging from books, music, podcasts etc.



“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.” ― Groucho Marx

8. Follow your idols


I have been following Gates Notes for a while now. Bill Gates posts his thoughts on the books he reads. They're mostly nonfiction books.


A lot of them are about transforming systems: how nations can intelligently develop, how to lead an organization, and how social change can fruitfully happen.


9. Newsletters

If you do not follow any newsletters, you should check out my blog.


Seek diversity in your reading life. New ideas come from the weird juxtaposition of ideas.


If you leverage the internet properly, you’ll be exposed to a bizarre blend of ideas from all corners of humanity.


As a general rule, Informational edge is found in obscure, hard-to-digest sources. It’s the weird books that will change you.



Challenge yourself into reading things that make you uncomfortable!



10. Book recommendations from Books


The modern world is filled with distraction, superficial entertainment, and demands on our attention. Reading is rarely the easy choice but once you start, you'll notice a lot of literary references in the books you read and there's your next find!


I started reading poetry when I was a little girl and you know, reading is socially sanctioned disassociation. They won’t let you drink or use heroin when you’re a little kid, but you can disappear down a valley of Winnie the Pooh, or Charlotte’s Web. Mary Karr

In the end, HAVE FUN.


The most important part of reading is enjoying it. If you don’t enjoy reading, words won’t engage you, and if words don’t engage you, you’ll stop reading. Don’t let that happen.


Happy reading! :)




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