The first place I go whenever I head to the library is the ‘New Books’ section. There, split only into fiction and nonfiction, are all of the most recent books that the library has bought, ready for perusal. It only takes me about 20 minutes to browse each section (30 if there are some really good ones!). Compared to the hours on end it would take me to go through even a fraction of the rest of the library’s collection, that’s quite the deal!
Like most readers, it can often be hard to find new books and authors, despite such wonderful sites as GoodReads and LibraryThing. The downside to finding new books and authors through suggestive sites such as these, or even Amazon, is that they must rely on what information you give to them, and more often than not, they simply point you to the book(s)-du-jour that I tend to avoid on principle.
However, in the ‘New Books’ section, I have found more new authors that I have come to love than I can count–most of which would likely never have come on my radar otherwise. Everything is mashed together (though still in proper alphabetical/Dewey Decimal order, of course!) forming a delightful medley of interesting books just waiting to be found.
Indeed, one of the best parts of this section is the non-fiction side. For most of my reading lifetime, I have avoided nonfiction, unless forced to read it in school, a fact that probably encouraged my avoidance. However, in the last two years or so, I have discovered some fantastic non-fiction books that no site would ever have recommended to me, given my reading history.
I now read biographies, histories, even science books! Granted, they are all written in a manner to appeal to a reader like me, in more of a story structure than a strictly fact-based, textbook, one. But I see no problem with that. Especially now that I am no longer in school, nonfiction allows me to continue my education! Though, if I had started reading some of these sooner, my education may have taken a different turn, as I have discovered new areas of interest through these books. But that is perhaps a discussion for another post…
I wish there were more places that I could find the same atmosphere as the ‘New Books’ section of my library. Somewhere that has a great variety of books to offer, but that is still selected by individuals, i.e. not simply an aggregation of all books recently published, as that would be far too overwhelming. And yes, book review sites and magazines and the like are close to what I’m looking for, but not quite.
Any suggestions? How do you find new books to read?