Once you’ve figured out how to read more books every year, the question changes: what should you read next? Much like good movies or music albums, you’ll find that interesting books are hard to come by.
The right tools can help you find what you should be reading. We thought we covered it all with the ultimate 50 ways to find new books, but there are actually some ways we overlooked.
Highly Reco and Bookicious (Web): Recommendations from Famous Achievers
Both Highly Reco and Bookicious believe who recommends the book matters, not why or how that recommendation came to be. While you can rely on YouTubers who share your novel tastes, these sites collect what famous founders and achievers regard as must-reads.
Highly Reco is the newer of the two and focuses on newsmakers in the digital media age. You’ll find recommendations from Marc Andreessen, James Altucher, Peter Thiel, Danielle Morrill, and others. Along with the recommended book, you’ll also get their short review if they’ve provided one.
Bookicious takes on more famous people, including the likes of Sergey Brin, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs. It also helpfully points out links to where those people first recommended the books, so you know it’s the genuine article. With one click, you can get the book from Amazon.
Product Hunt Books (Web, iOS): New Books and Topical Classics
Product Hunt is a big name in tech now because of its daily app recommendations, but it has also moved into doing that with books. Registered users of the site are invited to share new book launches, titles they have recently discovered, or volumes that resonate with a current event.
Other Product Hunt users then get to upvote the books they’re interested in, creating a daily “leaderboard”. So for example, the day Muhammad Ali died, his autobiography made it to the top of the Product Hunt books section.
You should also check out the curated Collections, like the one on beautiful coffee table books to inspire conversations.
Download: Product Hunt for iOS (Free)
The Hawaii Project (Web): Go Beyond Genres for Your Interests
The Hawaii Project is the most unique book recommendation site I’ve seen. Its categorization of books is detailed and a pleasure to browse, and it’s packed with features.
You can follow “channels” like “Oprah Style”, “For Book Clubs”, “Shipwrecks, Indiana Jones, and Swashbucklers”, and more which don’t necessarily follow the usual book genres, but still give you an idea of what you’re in for. And be honest, aren’t these more accurate than the genre-based pigeon slotting you often find?
Along with that, Hawaii Project has a “What Should I Read Next” book recommendation engine. Tell it an author or book you like, and it’ll tell you similar titles that you might fancy.
And yes, don’t miss out on the music playlists for books channel, where users make Spotify book playlists, just like those famous Spotify movie playlists. Not only is this a new way to read, but it also serves as a fantastic book discovery source.
Booktrack (Web): Add Soundtracks to Books
Speaking of adding music to books, that’s the whole premise of Booktracks. The app adds music, sound effects, and ambient sound to books, making it a more immersive reading experience. There are no lyrics, of course, it’s all instrumental — and best with headphones.
Booktrack is mostly populated with free classics from Project Gutenberg and other copyright-free sources. But for the added dimension of a soundtrack, you’ll sometimes need to shell out a couple of bucks.
The good news is that you can preview each book before you buy it, just to see if Booktrack’s background score is actually adding to your reading mood. If you’ve been meaning to read some of the classics but never got around to it, this is how you discover new experiences from old favorites.
Tablo (Web, Android, iOS): Discover New Authors (and Publish Yourself)
There’s something romantic about Tablo that will appeal to any book lover. Most voracious readers also have the writer’s bug and want to publish their own work. Tablo is a bridge that lets you discover other such writers, and even pen your own story for the world to read. It’s a community to discover books, in the end.
While its writing and publishing features are robust, it’s the reading experience that really stands out. The more you read on Tablo, the more it understands your preferences. It will take that into account, along with the experiences of other readers, to curate books for you from writers around the world.
Tablo is free to read, but requires a paid plan to write. The free reading is a boon for bibliophiles, though, as you suddenly have a large library of new material waiting to be found. Yes, some of it is too amateurish, but what can compare to the joy of discovering a hidden gem all by yourself?
People vs. Algorithms
What’s your favorite way to discover new books to read on the Internet? Do you prefer to rely on machines that match your interests to other books using smart algorithms? Or are you someone who trusts people, not machines, to understand your likes and dislikes based on a collection of your interests?