Finding the Right Book: 3 Simple Search Tips
The world of books is vast and it can quickly bring us down an endless rabbit hole. It can be confusing and hard to understand. However, it can be an adventure that can open up our eyes and minds. But what makes a book special? How does a book grab our attention and keep us reading until the end? Most importantly, how can we get our hands on these magical things called "a good story"?
I cannot lie it could take hours sifting through each book title, finding the right author, and reading the synopsis. Who has the time? Have no fear 2021 is here!
Technology has made finding the things we want easier and more efficient. No more library look-ups and walking down the endless isles. I must admit... I do enjoy the hunt. Now, everything is literally at our fingertips. Yet still, it can be a struggle if we do not know what we are looking for and we are bombarded with endless pages of google search results. There is a great book out there, but who looks past the first two pages?
Here are some great tricks to help you pinpoint exactly what you need:
Think of the genre :a literary composition characterized by a particular style, form, or content.
a. What genre of books gets you excited to read? Do you like stories where the character is torn between two obstacles? Whether this is figuratively or literally can mean the difference between action/thriller or teen drama. A book's genre is important because it categorizes a specific book to make it easier for the reader to find others in the same category. I personally like Sci-fi so I'll type in ..." sci-fi books" in a search engine.
Check out this genre list from Oprahdaily.com
Still a large list of choices? Let's go a little further...
The appropriate age category
Because we wouldn't want to read "1984" by George Orwell to a 2-year-old, remember to add the specific age group to your search. Are you searching for yourself or someone else? Age groups usually are the same throughout the literary discipline.
Here's a list of age groups:
a) Board books (ages 0-3)
b) Picture books (ages 3-5)
c) Early readers (ages 5-8)
d) Tween/middle grade (8-12)
e) Young Adult (13-18)
NOTE: age categories change depending on the store or website. Remember to read the descriptions to make sure you're getting the appropriate age group for your needs.
A great resource and helpful tips can be found on miriamlaundry.com
Now we are having FUN! Special interests might seem the same as a genre, but they pertain to things that we would want to read about. I guess it can be called a "sub genre" . Your special interest could be books that represent female characters or books that were written by female writers. Perhaps, your special interest is in a specific person like... Donald Trump or food such as ice cream. When you're searching for a specific book add your special interest to get more customized search results.
I KNOW WHAT YOU'RE THINKING...
...and it is, but it really depends on how you place your words and how you word your search question.
Brainstorm the words you would like to include and rearrange the wording to not just make it make sense, but have it flow in the form of a question.
I want to find a book with a writer, black (race), Sci-fi, female, young adult. Copy and paste the bold portion of the previous sentence and observe the search results.
Pretty good search results right? Well try this ; black female young adult sci-fi writers
Notice the information that fits the request is within the first 3 results. When I'm searching for something, I use as many different versions as possible to get different results. This way you can expand your knowledge and book choices.
Tip: try adding quotation marks around your sentence. Example: "female sci-fi writers". When you add " " you are telling the algorithm that you want your results to contain the same phrase.
Purdue Online Writing Lab has great searching tips.
Search engines are improving every day so there really isn't a wrong way to search, but there is a better way to get results.
HAPPY SEARCHING!! Send Crystal an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like customized book recommendations because really, who has the time?
Crystal is a self-proclaimed writer, imaginationist, educator and dreamer. She has a degree in early childhood education and English literature. Six years of research papers and voila! Something useful.