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How do I Choose the Best Novels?

By Bethany Keene
Updated May 17, 2024
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There are many ways in which to choose the best novels to read, and there are certainly novels to appeal to every taste. Ultimately, it is a matter of personal preference. Just because one person thinks a novel is "best" does not always mean you will. It is often best to begin by considering what types of books, television shows, or movies you enjoy; for example, do you like mystery stories, romances, historical fiction, or horror stories, to name a few? Knowing that will give you a place and genre to begin searching.

One place to begin trying to find the best novels is by asking friends for recommendations of favorite books or favorite authors. Friends may let you borrow books that they own, or you can check them out of the library. Librarians or bookstore employees may also be able to give you recommendations for books that are popular, and that people seem to enjoy. Another option is to pick up books at yard sales or library sales, and then donate them again when you are finished reading.

Browsing on websites that sell books is also a great way to find the best novels. Most websites that sell books allow customers to review the books, and then allow visitors to the site to search the books by rating. Other websites allow users to enter the books they own, or have read and enjoyed, into a database-type system. Once the books are entered, the user can then rate the book, and even write a review of it. You can search for books and narrow down your selections to those with a good number of high ratings.

Another way to find the best novels is to check out some of the "best of" lists that are created every year. The books found in Oprah's Book Club and on The New York Times bestseller list, for example, are always quite popular, and may be a good place to begin to discover new novels. There are plenty of other lists that can be found online that focus on specific genres or on relatively unknown books or authors.

Many people consider the best novels to be the classics. These are novels that are renowned for their literary significance, and have withstood the test of time. Classic novels typically have themes that can apply universally and timelessly. In addition, the classics are often some of the least expensive and most often printed novels to be found in bookstores, and are virtually always available in libraries. Some can even be read online for free, if they have come into public domain.

Finally, to find the best novels, it is important to just keep reading. If you start a book and don't like it, you're not under any obligation to finish it. Just head back to the library or the bookstore and try again. Eventually you are certain to discover some new books you enjoy. Remember, don't judge a book by its cover! Indeed, many find that good, old-fashioned browsing is the most rewarding method of all, and an enjoyable endeavor in and of itself.

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Discussion Comments

By CellMania — On Mar 21, 2011

@googie98- That is exactly what I do when I go to the bookstore. I sit down and look through a little bit of the book. Sometimes I might read the first couple of pages. Generally, if it doesn’t grab my interest in the first few pages, I don’t buy them.

By googie98 — On Mar 20, 2011

Most bookstores will have a section labeled “best-sellers”. In that section, you will find the books that the most people are buying. In addition, most bookstores also have couches and chairs where you could sit down and scan through the book a bit before you buy it.

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