I don't know if you answer this kind of question, but I thought I'd try anyway :P Basically my problem is that I never know what I want to read, and choosing randomly never works. Admittedly I don't read very often, but there are times when I really, really, desperately want to read something, but I can't even pinpoint what genre or topic I'd like to read, so I end up not reading at all. Any tips on how to understand what kind of book you actually want to read?

Asked by Anonymous

I do understand! I sometimes go into bookshops and try to buy a book I’ve never heard of and it’s so difficult! Where do I start? How do I decide what to pick up? Should I stick with a ‘safe’ genre? Should I pick something on the ‘buy one get one half price’ tables? Do I just pick up all the pretty books? So I tend to stick with something I’ve heard of – and luckily I never run out of books -– but I get that regular readers or non-book bloggers, booksellers, librarians or publishers might not have that ‘luxury’, making picking a new book much more difficult!

Perhaps start with thinking about you’ve liked about the books you HAVE read and then go from there. Was it the characters? Romance? Mystery? Themes? Suspense? Action? Or was it the fact that it was non-fiction, a memoir or YA? Or think about your favourite TV shows or films, and about what it is you love about them. And then talk to people! Ask people on Tumblr, Goodreads, friends, a librarian or a bookseller – they’re bound to know what to suggest next. And the more you read, the more you’ll know what you like. But that doesn’t mean you won’t be surprised. I occasionally read a book or genre I never normally would have picked up because I came across it unexpectedly or because someone I trust recommended it.

I think Goodreads is a great place – aside from Tumblr book blogs of course! – to get recommendations. Add books you’ve read and you’ll get ‘similar books’ recommendations. Add friends and you’ll see what they’ve been reading. I mostly get my recommendations from fellow bloggers/friends by following them on Twitter/Tumblr/Goodreads. If a title or cover, or just a tweet about the book, sounds great I’ll look it up and add it to my wishlist on Goodreads (or buy it the next time I’m book shopping).

If you think you’ll be a picky reader, you definitely need a starting place, so have a go at that. If you’re not, just chat to people and ask what they’ve been reading recently. It’s all about conversation!

You never know, something might take your fancy here:

What do you do when you’re looking for a new book to read, fellow Tumblrers?

#BookADayUK / Favourite prize-winning book
Ketchup Clouds is one of my favourite books of the year so far and it won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize in 2013. It’s an example of superb storytelling and a novel that encapsulates beautiful writing. Ketchup Clouds draws you in straight away and doesn’t let go until you are finally given some answers.