I haven’t had problems with finding books to read in a long time. It’s been 8 years since I had that problem. In fact, I have a running list of books with hundreds of titles that I may never get through. I’m also often the first to get wind of a new book or author that’s coming out with something big.
The principles I use to find new books work for other genres. For me, they’re focused on my interests, which include a wide breadth of personal development topics, including biographies, memoirs, psychology, business history, world history, economics, evolutionary biology, relationships, business, science, and self-help.
Here’s how I find new books:
- Follow Podcasters and Book Influencers on Instagram (like Alex and Books). There’s often an influencer suggesting new books for you. And podcasts are great since they’re often bringing on new authors to promote their books.
- Check the New and Trending sections of book platforms, like Audible, GoodReads, and Libby.
- Use Book Summary apps like Blinkist for ideas. Others use this for book summaries; I often get more value from reading the entire book. Because of how fast they churn out summaries, they’re often very thorough with the library of things they have summaries on, and they’re often chosen based on the ratings and how much interest there is around a book. Blinkist works great for the topics I care about since they specifically cater to the interests I have and a young men demographic.
- Use “Customers Also Purchased This” and “You May Also Like…” Features and Algorithms on book platform sites where you buy books: Amazon and Audible come to mind.
- Go through Top 10 or Top X content pieces online for the book genre of your choice. There’s a lot of these. Some are hit or miss. Some are churned out and not high quality articles or videos. Others are very specific and well thought out. I’d like to think that when I post content like this, it’s pretty authentic because I read everything I’ve put out. Ali Abdaal is another good resource; he’s a YouTuber.
- Examine what others read on GoodReads profiles. Here’s my profile – It’s not everything, since I don’t update it that often. That said, there’s still 300+ titles, so you can tell I get through a lot.
- Join communities and forums online and in person that bring up good books they liked or new books they’re excited about.
- Find like-minded people in person and ask them what they read. Every now and then, I’ll run into another personal development junkie, and they’ll always have new suggestions since not everything we read is the same.
- Keep an eye out for ads and promotions for new books. If you’re in a place like NYC, big books will be promoted. For example, Will Smith’s new book was on every metro screen when I was in Manhattan.
- Look for new, interesting books that aren’t common. By paying more attention to new unique books mentioned in Top 10 content, I was able to find a lot of interesting stuff. Most people gravitate to the most common books on every person’s list; I found that to deliver rather generic personal development advice. I’d already read those books, so I was ready to explore new advice rather than something I’d already heard. You’ll find books like the Power of Habit or Rich Dad Poor Dad on every list. Nowadays, Atomic Habits it the big one.
- Use your library’s advanced search features. In college, I tapped my library’s extensive collection of audiobooks by having an audiobook and nonfiction filter and just scanning through dozens of pages. It was through this method that I discovered books that weren’t hot until years later, like Sam Walton’s book Made in America or Ray Kroc’s book Grinding It Out.