How to Find the Perfect Book: A Step-By-Step Guide

It has come to my attention that it can be dang near impossible to find the perfect book. But let me help with that 😉 

If you’ve been following my reviews for a while, you may have noticed that I never rate anything 5 Stars. The highest rating I’ve ever given was to Illuminae, and I rated that one 4.2 Stars. So why is it so hard to find a 5 Star book?

I believe I’ve come up a fool-proof way for finding the perfect book. And here it is, folks.

Bookstore Instructions

Are you going to a bookstore anytime soon? Great news! I have the perfect formula for finding the book of your dreams.

STEP 1: Find your section.

Do you like YA, Middle Grade, New Adult, or regular Adult? Congratulations, there’s probably a section for whichever you choose! Find it. If you’re new to this store, just wander around. Wander the store until you stumble upon it. I promise, you’ll probably get there eventually.

STEP 2: Check the texture of those book spines.

You know when people in movies are walking along a side walk, and then they suddenly run their free hand against a picket fense? Do that, but with the books on the shelves.

I couldn’t find a gif, but LIKE THIS.

I mean, you’re about to buy a book, after all. Forever. You might as well see if you like the texture of the spine.

STEP 3: Open a book that looks interesting, and look at the title.

Open the first book that catches your eyes. You’ll find the jacket synopsis interesting, but you’ll probably forget the title before you even finish reading it. That’s okay, I do that all the time. Just take another look or three at the title to make sure you remember it.

Once you’ve found one interesting book, place it on the floor beside your feet. If you put it back on the shelf, you’ll probably lose it for a few seconds in the sea of books in front of you.

STEP 4: Repeat STEP 3 until you’ve compiled a stack of books roughly up to your waist.

Good, this stack of books seems good. That’s a normal amount of books, right?

STEP 5: Narrow down your choices to one, two, or three books which feel right. 

Sometimes, it’s hard to understand your emotions when it comes to books.

For example, I say I like contemporary, but lately I’ve been in a sci-fi mood.

Choose whichever book feels right to you! If you think you’ll like it, and you’ve heard some good reviews, that’s usually a good sign! Pick up those select few and carry them to the front of the store, as if they were your newly-adopted children and they will be yours to love forever. Hopefully.

STEP 6: Who are we kidding? You’ll either walk of the store with a plethera of books, or none at all.
Your choice. Happens every time.

Okay, maybe it was a bit unrealistic of me to assume you would only buy a few books. Maybe you’re the type of person who would rather buy a bunch of books in the spur of the moment, so you can make another one of those “Book Haul!” posts for the second time this month, and everyone will comment on the vast selection of books you’re able to carry home with you.

Either way, take your Chosen Ones to the front of the store and get in line to buy them.

STEP 7: Purchase your finds like the law-abiding citizen you are.

I had to add this one in, just in case some of you took my instructions a bit too seriously. Don’t forget to purchase your books! Support those authors with the money they deserve! (They only get a very small percentage of the purchase, so I’m sure they would really appreciate it if you bought their books with your own money!)

*BUT… if you’re using these instructions for the library, then go ahead and don’t purchase it! I’m sure the librarians would give you a glare if you tried to slide them a few dollars for their used books. Just don’t forget to check it out at the front desk, folks.

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Online Instructions

We can’t always go to our local bookstores whenever we want. So I decided to add an Online bookstore option, since this is actually how I do most of my shopping.

STEP 1: Go to your favorite Book Website and search their categories.

What kind of book do you feel like purchasing today? Once you figure that out, it will be a great place to start.

STEP 2: Try out the “Bestsellers” option, if there is one.

This is a great way to see what all the cool kids are buying these says.

Screenshot 2019-05-24 10.39.31.png

Of course, you still need to know exactly what you’re looking for. Contemporary? Fantasy? It’s probably there! And because this is the internet, you can also use that helpful “Search” option to find what you’re looking for.

STEP 3: Read those synopsis’ and reviews until your heart is happy. 

The internet is great, because you have all kinds of resources at your fingertips.

On your chosen Book Website, you should read everything about the books you think look interesting. You should never buy a book without knowing something about it, because it might be a disaster and the complete opposite of everything you stand for.
*Unless you’re doing one of those surprise book subscriptions. In that case, surprises are the best.

Add all of the interesting books to your cart. You’re almost ready to spend all of your savings! It’ll be worth it. I promise.

STEP 4: Realize that your shopping cart is very full, but that’s perfectly fine.

Of course, you want to buy as many books as possible, especially for that Book Haul I mentioned earlier! It’s not as impressive this time, since you won’t have to carry all of those books yourself, but still. It’s an impressive amount nonetheless.

However, you have to be careful with the amount in your cart. I don’t think there’s a maximum limit, which means it’s very easy to go overboard.

Screenshot 2019-05-24 10.41.42
Is this too many?

STEP 5: Okay, maybe you should check that cart again. I think it’s too full.

Make sure you really want to purchase all of those books.

Occasionally, a stray book will end up in your cart, and you’ll have no idea where it came from. Only buy the books you want! Don’t let that invisible leprechaun sabotage your shopping cart.

STEP 6: Wait patiently at your doorstep for 5-10 business days.

You should get a confirmation email once you purchase, but you’ll probably miss the notification because you’re already too busy setting up camp beside your door.

It’s going to take a while for your newly-purchased books to arrive. But you know what you can do as you wait?

Read more books. I’m sure you still have an ever-changing, mountainous pile of TBR books lying around somewhere. Tend to the pile while you wait for your new children.

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Real-Life Instructions
Actual Advice! 

In all seriousness, finding a great book can be very difficult. If you’re anything like me, you are probably very picky when it comes to selecting your next read.

Not all books are 5-Star reads, and I understand that. But that doesn’t prevent me from trying my hardest to choose the absolute best books out there!

When you’re trying to find a book you really want to enjoy, you should really consider your own personally pattern of reading.

Here are some questions you should be asking:

  • Which genres are your favorite?
    • Maybe you’ll want to read sometimes from an old favorite genre, like Fantasy or Contemporary. If it’s your favorite, chances are, a book in the same genre could be right for you!
  • Are there any genres you’re getting tired of?
    • Perhaps you should avoid that genre for a while. It’s okay to take a break!
  • Do you prefer 1st person POV or 3rd person POV?
    • I prefer 1st person, but it kind of depends.
  • What books tend to be “5 Stars” for you? Maybe you could try to find other books like those. 
    • This never works for me, but hey, it’s worth a shot.
  • Do you like the cover? 
    • I know we shouldn’t judge books by their covers, but seriously? I do this all the time. Don’t ever feel bad for judging books this way.
    • It will be your book. Do whatever you want with it.
  • What did your bookish friends say about this book?
    • If you’re friends or trusted Booktubers are suggesting it, then that should be a good sign.

Honestly, it is very hard to find the perfect book, and it would be a miracle if any of us could detect a perfect book without reading it first.

If you’re looking for real advice, I suggest that you just… read as much as you can! Figure out what kinds of books are great for you. The more you read, the easier it will become to detect what kinds of books are your favorite. And if you begin to read a book you don’t like, do not hesitate to DNF it! Your time is too precious, and you deserve to read books that will only satisfy your bookish needs.

After finishing this post, I just realized that this is probably the craziest, most unuseful post I’ve ever written. Oh well, at least it was fun.

Thanks for reading this parody of an advice post! I made it because everyone is different, and I just wanted to make it funny and vague, since finding the perfect book is actually impossible.

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How do you select your next great read? How do you know when too many books is too many? Does an invisible leprechaun ever add random books to your cart when you’re not looking? 

Let me know, and chat with me about it!

You can also be my friend on Goodreads! 📚

Happy reading, everyone! 😀Starry Sky Books-13


10 thoughts on “How to Find the Perfect Book: A Step-By-Step Guide

  1. Omg this is hilarious Xandra. I personally think that along with our comfort zones, we can surprise ourselves and find books we love…that are outside it! I’m a mood reader and I kind of pick based on what I want that moment. My library used to have a limit for the number of times I could renew so that time I tended to have a more scheduled TBR. But one day they stopped and then I ended up being super random about my picks.

    And no, an invisible leprechaun has never snuck books into my cart, but in my own WIP, on several occasions, the word “staffer” – one I had never heard of till that point – showed up there…;)


  2. lol that’s the first time I’ve heard someone say to check the texture of a spine. 😂 I usually buy PBs, but yes, I agree that textured spine on a HC does pull at my soul more.

    By the way, when it comes to finding 5-star reads for me, I feel like I should DNF more. I waste so much time and energy on iffy reads that I lose motivation to read more books like you say. I won’t DNF regardless, but yes, reading a larger amount definitely helps. 😉 Great list!


  3. This is SO relatable. I think for me 5 stars doesn’t really mean the perfect book… the perfect ones are the ones that don’t get dropped down to 4 stars upon a reread or two 😉

    I definitely think that the more you read the better you get at picking books you enjoy. I’ve noticed that my average rating has gone down over the years, but I do actually enjoy my books more… I’m just more critical, and sometimes I make active decisions to read a book I know will probably only be 3 or 4 stars and not a potential 5 star, simply because those books can be fun!


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