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  • Writer's pictureJessica Nacovsky

58: How I Find Books

Samwise is a 30 pound dachshund german shepherd mix. He's posed in front of books
I'd pretend this is Samwise photobombing, but once he entered the space, I basically made a stop motion video of his butt trying to get this pic.

Howdy! I read a lot. Not as much as I used to, but plenty. I used to stick with fantasy and sci-fi, but since 2015ish, I've mostly read magical realism, fabulism, and strange fiction. I enjoy unpredictable plots where just because there is a gun, doesn't mean it will be fired. Take that, Chekhov. Because these don't break down to a super popular genre, I can't just look to popular genre reviewers for recommendations. Booktok and Booktwitter are little help. These don't get a special shelf at bookstores.

Yet I find them & here's how:

Reddit: There is a subreddit dedicated to my favorite author (Haruki Murakami). There, readers often recommend similar authors. I've added many of those to my Goodreads TBR. The book subreddits also often have threads where the commenter lists preferred books, and then folks respond with similar books. These have been helpful. You might be able to find a subreddit for your favorite author or genre. If not, asking for suggestions in the book subreddit works.

Goodreads: There are Listopia lists for magical realism, fabulism, and strange fiction. There are probably lists for genres or tropes that you enjoy. I pour over those lists, adding relevant titles to my TBR. Reviews help, but aren't the main deciding factor, in what I'll read next. That said, for the past year or so, I always leave a review.

If I see a book posted by the author, to whatever social media, and they list one of my favorite authors (Haruki Murakami, David Mitchell, Kazou Ishiguru, etc) as their inspiration, or their books as similar, I request it at my local library, then buy it.

Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon ads have yet to pique my attention. The books they feature are never relevant to my interests. I used to read recommendations from friends, but we like different books, so I don't much anymore.

When I go to a book store or library, I pull up my Goodreads TBR list and those are the titles I'm leaving with. I have no idea how I used to keep track of what books to read next before Goodreads. Guess I just went by cool covers, on the spot.

I hope you found any of this interesting. I know indie authors are always seeking new means of reaching readers, and at least with me, paid ads aren't as effective as utilizing social media and Goodreads. Thanks for stopping by! I drop a new blog post every Monday. Toodles!

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