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How do you determine what to read next?

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It may appear to be one of the most basic decisions in the world--what book should you read next? But, it's often one of those things that is fraught with indecision, and perhaps even, ambiguity or worry! What book will you read? 

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1. Read the next book in the series

The Lord of the Rings
Houghton Mifflin

 Sometimes, the decision can be very easy. If you've just finished a book that is part of a series, you may have an easy (and very necessary) progression to continue. > Lord of the Rings

Of course, you'll still come to a point where you've read the entire series, and you'll need to find a "different" book to read. But, some authors can keep you reading with their wonderful books... for a long, long time! 

2. Just select the next book on your required reading list

Teenager Reading
Clipart.com

It's not always the favorite way to pick your next reading selection, but sometimes you really MUST read the next book on your reading list. If you want a good grade (or any grade at all) in your English or literature class, you need to finish all the required reading. > Book List

3. Ask a friend (hopefully he/she loves to read)

Friend Read
Clipart.com

 If you've got a few good friends (who also happen to be avid readers), you may discover that your choice is a rather easy one. Just ask him or her to suggest a few books. Just because you receive a few suggestions, of course, does not mean that you are required to read those books. Keep in mind that the list is made up of suggestions. If you don't like the books (for whatever reason) feel free to select other books that fit into what you love to read! 

4. Read another book by an author you know you love

Little Women
Library of America

 If you already love Little Women, you'll likely enjoy her other novels and short stories. If you love The Hobbit, you'll probably also relish the idea of following the further epic adventures that J.R.R. Tolkien created in his magical Middle-Earth. Discover all the other books that may make you love the author even more. > Authors

5. Select a gender-specific author?

19th Century Women Writers
Clipart.com

 Some readers just prefer to read books by women writers, or by male writers. If you know that you prefer a gender-specific writer, seek out authors that "fit the bill." While some critics would think badly of reading within a defined gender, many readers feel comfortable with it... If that's your way to read, recognize it, and look for books that you know your will enjoy by women (or men) who write the way you prefer. 

6. Ask a librarian

Bookshelf
Clipart.com

 I would have mentioned this option first, but many readers are nervous about asking a librarian for help. If they don't frequent a library and/or if your schedule is already super-busy, you may not have the time (nor the inclination) to spend time in a line at your local library, waiting to speak to a librarian (who, you feel, may or may not be helpful for your entertainment reading pleasure). 

7. Think outside the box...

 Walk into a library and walk down the book aisle. You may be surprised by how many times a particular book will catch your eye. It doesn't always work, but often you can find great reading selections this way.

You can also try the same method by walking into a bookstore, and picking a random aisle to walk down. Explore what is available ;) 

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