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Hackernoon logoHow To Choose Which Book You Should Read Next by@sindamnataraj

How To Choose Which Book You Should Read Next

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@sindamnatarajNataraj

Product & Engineering @Microsoft Azure | Built "End 2 End" & "The Dosa Shop"

Books are part of Entertainment Industry.

The book industry is guided by same market forces that you see in other media business like supply, demand & virality among others.

This result is a range of quality across the content (books) produced, in this case, published. In any given year newly released books are distributed in quality among few excellent, many good and often average/unnecessary.

Finding a good book for yourself is like navigating YouTube to watch a good video. There is good content, there is bad content and there is content engineered for most clicks, referred to as “Click Baits”.

If you start reading as a habit you will face with the task of navigating through the promotion and publicity tricks of the publishing industry.

Publishing industry has their version of Click Baits and once you develop a reading habit you must identify the right books to read.

Because time is a limited resource and reading quality is more important than reading quantity over the long term.

Here are some ways to find your next book.

Avoid The Shine

To avoid the clickbait trap of new books, one easy trick to follow is, to set a high bar for the books that are published in recent years.

The new releases are the hardest books to judge on quality. Avoiding new books, as a strategy will avoid you falling into these traps.

There will be exceptions to this rule. In such cases, you should depend on your most trusted sources and your experience as a reader.

The reason for avoiding the latest books is — the time is the ultimate test for the quality of a book.

The books that survive and thrive after a couple of years its release are time tested, their quality and substance have survived beyond the marketing and sales cycle.

A great book will compound its reputation over time organically. Even google will factor in this timeless quality in its search results.

An older books reputation will compound over time both in positive and negative ways.

Let the book age before you pick it up.

Follow You Interest

Interest is the single most important factor in deciding to find your next book.

Reading is about discovering the new interests and compounding the interests you already have.

Interests come in all forms,from bizarre to the obvious.

Your interest doesn’t have to be intellectual or you don’t have to think about others judging you. Just find the best books written on the topic that you are interested in. It is just that simple.

If you are not sure what is your interest area, just open your YouTube videos and look for a pattern in the videos you watch. It might be fashion, movies, politics, food or spirituality. Just find books on those topics. A simple google search will suffice in finding a book in your area of interest.

This self-analysis of what gets your attention and what you would want to know more about will help you not only in finding your next books but in other facets of your life also.

You might be interested in how to lead your team or how to get promoted or want to know more about how movies are made.

Every topic has a book written out there, which is researched enough to convince a publisher to publish it.

Find Trusted Sources

There are different sources to get recommendations to read.

There are ML(machine learning) teams in every retail company trying to do this for you. But algorithms today are not capturing the essence of a good book that any individual would like to read next.

This will change in the future but currently, the best sources have to be cultivated overtime.

These sources can be your friends, colleagues, professors, or well known public personalities.

My Trusted Resources:

  1. Book Clubs
  2. Podcasts
  3. Twitter

Bundling Books

If you read an interesting book, then it is more likely you will like similar books. Following up a great read with a similar one is something I refer to as bundling.

It is often a self-discovery when you like a book. You realize you like it because you are interested in the genre or the topic that the book deals in. Then following it up with a similar read will enhance the effect and the use you get out of that book.

For example, I loved reading Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens and realized I like the genre he dealt with. This resulted in the following bundle I made up for myself:

  1. The lessons of History by Will and Ariel Durant
  2. The Rational Optimist by Matt Ridley
  3. Guns Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond

Another bundle I made to nurture my interest in China looks as follows:

  1. The Third Revolution: Xi Jinping and the New Chinese State by Elizabeth C. Economy
  2. China’s Disruptors: How Alibaba, Xiaomi, Tencent, and Other Companies Are Changing the Rules of Business by Edward Tse
  3. Shenzhen Superstars — How China’s smartest city is challenging Silicon Valley by Johan Nylander
Everything compounds. Bundling compounds the effect of reading, it compounds the understanding of a topic and it also compounds the enjoyment of the books you read.

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