First Gen American asks:
I’ve been struggling with books lately. It seemed so much easier to find good books to read when I was younger. I did work In a cafe In a bookstore, so it helped to know what people were buzzing about.
Although I love the disruptive nature of being able to self publish, it seems like it’s much harder to sift through the junk these days. When I come across blatant spelling errors or a complete lack of editing, I just can’t go on reading a book. I don’t trust best seller lists either as some of the titles are on there just because of the success of their publisher’s marketing machine. NPR used to do a best books and summer reading list that was pretty good. I wonder if they still do that. I am finding the same issue with new music content as well.
How do people find new interesting things these days?
#1 piggy backs from that by stealing book ideas off #2’s amazon wishlist. She also takes book ideas off her SIL’s amazon wishlist. And she leans heavily on amazon recommendations (after seemingly decades, amazon has finally figured out that it should recommend new books by authors that I’ve bought from before– before that I was having to check library thing for new books which I could never quite remember how to do and would have to ask #2 every time). Overdrive (from the library) also seems to have a good idea of what to recommend for me, though sometimes the books are low quality. I get a lot of recommendations from the comments of our books posts– many of our readers have excellent taste! Sometimes I’ll feel in the need for something and I’ll find a list from Google and systematically go through it using the library. I somewhat avoid terrible books by not reading many books that are lower than 3 stars on Amazon/Goodreads and by checking the 1 star reviews on any unknown books because it seems like there are a lot of people out there who also dislike having their cozy romance interrupted with rape or attempted rape, or (to a lesser extent) TSTL main characters.
I will sometimes spend an entire evening just trying to find things to put on my library wish lists. I do browse. The year after we left paradise, I still had access to their free online books (not overdrive, something seedier with a lot more self-pubs) and I searched by “historical romance” and read all of them in alphabetical order by author that had more than 3 stars (I was desperate). There were some gems and also … a lot of spanking. Which really isn’t my thing.
Grumpy Nation, how do you find new things to read?