Today it’s easier than ever to find something to read. But the right thing?
That’s another matter altogether.
Almost any book you could hope to buy is just a few clicks away online. But if you aren’t certain, all that choice can be downright paralyzing.
Local bookstores have professionals who can recommend good reads. Here’s more help:
• Last month, the group blog Book Riot used the crowd-funding website Kickstarter to raise $25,000 for a volume of book recommendations.
“Start Here” will point readers to the best entry point for famous authors, on the assumption that everyone has a writer they’d like to read but find too daunting.
With an emphasis on accessibility, “Start Here” is tapping a mix of writers, critics and bloggers to provide its recommendations.
Among them is Kevin Smokler, a publishing consultant and author.
He believes the best way to suggest a book is when “the recommender writes like a human being and lets their passion show, naked and uninhibited.”
• The new book “Read This!” (Coffeehouse Press, $12) compiles similar expertise of booksellers from all over the country into one cheerful red volume.
It was edited by Hans Weyandt, co-owner of Micawber’s Books in St. Paul, Minn., who began the project on the store’s blog.
“Lately it’s become en vogue to describe booksellers as ‘tastemakers’ or ‘curators,’ ” Weyandt writes. “Our job is to constantly search through the new and old to find works that entertain and challenge us, and make us want to pass them on.”
Expect to find it near the cash register at your local independent bookstore. Subtitled “Handpicked Favorites from America’s Indie Bookstores,” the book is packed with lists of books.
The lists are given context with short profiles of the bookstores they come from and notes from the bookseller who created them.
• “My Ideal Bookshelf” (coming in November from Little, Brown, $24.99), a visually entrancing collection of illustrations, explores how we use books to represent us.
It’s an expansion of the work of artist Jane Mount, who has been doing a series of paintings based on the essential reading lists of clients.
She and writer Thessaly La Force, who interviewed all the contributors, got lists of books from writers, chefs, designers, musicians and artists.