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Find Your Next Great Read

tools and tips to find the perfect read

Adult Readers' Advisory

There are two basic ways to look for your next library book. You can browse, that is, look among all the books in a collection for something that appeals to you. You can also target your search with a few easy tricks and tools. This page talks mostly about targeting your search, though the bottom of the page shows covers from our collection.


"Tricks" (appeal factors) are simply ways to notice what it is that you like about the books you like. Tricks include thinking about aspects like:

  • Genre (what type of story—dystopia, romance, thriller, sci-fi…)
  • Character/Characterization (how you describe the characters—detailed, lifelike, quirky, recognizable, repeating (series), vivid…)
  • Setting & Location (detailed descriptions of time and place. These may be geographical or historical, and are important to the story).
  • Tone (the feel of the story—funny, heartwarming, haunting, menacing, nostalgic, reflective, upbeat, violent…)
  • Storyline (specific elements emphasized—action, episodic, multiple plotlines, plot twists, character- or plot–driven, issue-oriented, world-building…)


"Tools" are guides (think websites or apps) that let you winnow through many options by the tricks that you have identified. There are many, many ways and tools to sort through books. A few of the most useful and popular are listed below.

Fiction Titles in the Collection

Nonfiction Collection