How do I find all these books to read and review?
Fun fact: I thought I already wrote a post on how I find books to review, but apparently I never did.
To explain how this topic came up: A long, long time ago, I got a comment on one of my early posts on this site, asking about how I found books to read and review so quickly. Today’s post will answer that question.
Given that we are in the middle of a pandemic right now, and a lot of you may be reading more books than usual and/or wanting to read more books than you usually do, I realized that I might as well explain how I find all the books to read, especially since I do my best to post book reviews weekly (and occasionally twice a week, if I seriously have a ton of books I’ve read recently). I hope that some of you will gain some new book-finding strategies from this list!
1. Check your libraries.
Libraries are the best place to find some interesting books to read and review. Here are two reasons why:
1. You can borrow them for free as long as you return them on time!
2. Libraries are always bringing in new books every year, and therefore gives multiple opportunities to have something new to read.
For instance, books I’ve reviewed such as “Wild About You” and “Holding Still For As Long As Possible” were found in libraries. This is also the place where I’m likely to find books I enjoy that are not necessarily as popular as, say, “The Ocean At The End Of The Lane” for example, but are still just as enjoyable to read.
Given these current times of social distancing and COVID-19, I’ve mostly used my local library’s online catalogue of ebooks and audiobooks. It’s a great way to find ebook and audiobook versions of the usual, physical books you might find in libraries. The online catalogue, at least in my experience, is a completely different treasure trove compared to what you’d find in a regular, physical library – and, depending on how the online library system works, you might not have to worry about late fees when the due date comes around!
Of course, I also recognize that there may be some libraries that are doing curbside pickup and/or delivery methods. If you’re not sure if your local library is doing so, please check their websites first and/or contact them for more information.
2. Buy books—but only if they are on sale!
Want to read new books, but you don’t want to break the bank? Buy the ones on sale. This includes buying books online on sale, too! The books on sale might be older, and not as recently published as the shiny new bestsellers, but they’re definitely going to save you more than a couple of bucks. I learned this very quickly, when starting to write and post these book reviews more often.
The thing about all books, even the ones on sale, is that these books could be a total hit with you as a reader. Sure, they’re not the newest “Game of Thrones” or whatever new book just got published this year, but they could still be just as good. Other times, however, they’re a total miss and so you become very grateful for not spending too much on the book (especially if you only got it for a few dollars or less). Nothing hurts worse than spending a lot of money on a book, only to read it and find out that you dislike it for whatever reason. Because of this, it never hurts to try to buy books when they’re on sale and/or on clearance as a result, and so that’s what I often do when picking new books.
If you’re looking for buying books online for cheap, I recommend checking out websites such as Book Depository, Abe Books and Book Outlet. Just be careful when it comes to shipping fees, or else you’ll have more to pay than you thought! Alternatively, your local bookstores may have set up strategies by now to sell some books for sale online for pickup and/or delivery, so if you want to support your local businesses, check with those places to see how they’re selling books during these uncertain times.
3. If you must buy books while they’re not on sale, though…
Though I just mentioned that it’s probably best to buy books if they’re only on sale, there are a few exceptions, such as:
1. You can’t find them anywhere else at lower prices at the time.
For instance, I could only find all the books in the “Book Girl” series as, “The Devil Is A Part-Timer!” series and “Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon!?” series on bigger platforms like Amazon and Indigo, and so I had no choice but to buy them online (and usually when they were listed at full prices, too). If this is the case, you may have to just buy said book(s) at full price. It happens.
2. You really just can’t wait until the book goes on sale.
This happened with a few books, like“A Blade So Black” and “My Room Is A Dungeon Rest Stop, Volume 1.” If that’s the case, you have two choices: Try your patience at waiting until the book really does go on sale, or buy it now. Keep your wallet in mind when buying, though.
3. You’ve waited, you’ve searched around to see if they’re on sale anywhere else, and that book is still not on sale.
This happened with me getting a lot of the books in the “The Devil Is A Part-Timer!” series and the “Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon!?” series. If this is the case for you, and you really want to buy that book and read it, go ahead and do so (while also keeping your wallet in mind).
4. Borrow books from friends and family, and/or get books that your friends and/or family don’t want anymore.
Through this strategy, I get a lot of free books quite easily. This was how I got “Eragon” and “Eldest” to read and review. If you live in the same house with a bunch of fellow book lovers, whether they be in the form of family and/or friends, you’re probably in luck. However, if you live by yourself, I understand that this tip may be less helpful right now, given social distancing guidelines you may need to follow. At the very least, you can always ask your friends and family online for book recommendations, and search those up yourself to try to buy your own copies or borrow them from the library, if it’s open (or borrow ebooks from their online catalogue if they have one).
5. Scope out free books from giveaways, free books in exchange for review opportunities, etc.
Thanks to the internet, there are numerous opportunities where you can find books you can get through giveaways authors might do, getting free books, ebooks, or even Advance-Reader Copies (ARCs for short) in exchange for an honest review, and so on. In fact, the latter two types of opportunities is how I got into Team Legacy and consequently reviewing numerous books by Garrett Robinson, as well as how I ended up reviewing “The Longest Night” by Ranata Suzuki and “Kitra” by Gideon Marcus.
Another great place I’ve found free copies of books to read in exchange for a free review is Voracious Readers Only, where they will send you free ebook copies in exchange for a review. I’ve used this site a couple times before, and I will admit that the quality of the ebooks sent by Voracious Readers Only can…well, it varies. Some will be good. Others, not so much, so choose wisely.
6. Choose the books that interest you as a reader.
This is a very important tip, and I cannot stress this enough. Choose books that interest you as a reader and are books that you actually will want to read. If you get a bunch of mystery books for free (whether they be through giveaways, ARCs, etc.) and you hate mystery, you’re probably not going to read them.
If any of you have read a lot of my book reviews throughout the years, you might have noticed that I tend to lean towards romance, mystery, supernatural and/or fantasy genres. That’s what I enjoy a lot as a reader, and so that influences the books I choose to read and review. I do try to go for a variety of genres, like I did with the non-fiction book “Eat Pray Love” and the classic literary novel “Wuthering Heights” (spoiler alert: I hated “Wuthering Heights” with a passion), but otherwise I tend to lean towards romance, supernatural and/or fantasy. It’s not a bad thing to have specific interests to guide you in finding some new books to read. If anything, it’s a good starting point if you’re not sure what to read first.
Those are all my tips for finding books to read! I hope that this will help some of you find a new book to read and enjoy, especially during these crazy times. What have you been reading? Are there any go-to strategies you have for finding new books that I haven’t listed here? Let me know in the comments!
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