How to find (interesting) books

You don’t need a guide for how to find good books.  To find good books, just pick somebody’s pre-digested list of The 100 Greatest Novels in whatever genre you usually read.  Most of them will be fairly good.

Interesting books are different.  They change you by offering something you didn’t expect.  You may not end up liking them, but at least they’ll be bad in a fascinating way.  And the ones you do like, you’ll love.  They may have flaws that disqualify them from being The Greatest Novel of All Time, but that’s part of the charm.

The trick to finding interesting books to do a sort of focused random walk, like you might do in an unknown city.  You find an interesting street, and then that opens up more choices.

Visit used book stores.  This is where the interesting books go to die.  Books that changed the world, but went out of fashion – or books that might have changed the world if they’d been given the chance.

Read interviews with authors you love.  They often mention obscure books they’re passionate about.  Anyone should be listened to when they get passionate about books.  “This book changed my life.”  Go get it.

Don’t think too much.  The more you “research” a book before buying it, the more likely you’ll just end up with whatever you’re already used to.  Buy something just because you saw someone mention it.  Or because the you like the cover or title.  Stand somewhere familiar, and take a leap into the unknown.

Good luck!

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