Working on the library’s service desks, I see plenty of people who are very aware of new and forthcoming books, particularly fiction, and add their names to multiple hold lists immediately. Many library staff, booksellers and reviewers have the opportunity to read books ahead of publication dates to prepare to share new titles with you as soon as they’re available. It’s very exciting to anticipate new books and wait eagerly to get your hands on them, but that’s not the only approach to finding something you’ll enjoy. To keep yourself stocked with good books, let me encourage you to dive into the backlist and discover a wide world of reading joy.
Awards: Our catalog allows you to browse by award winners from previous years, so you can find noteworthy books even when they aren’t new anymore. Browse Pulitzer or Booker Prize winners, or focus on genre fiction with awards like the Agatha and Edgar Awards (for mystery) or the Hugo and Nebula Awards (for fantasy and science fiction). Genre- or format-specific awards (like the Audies for audiobooks) can also help you if you’re trying something new, helping you jump right in with outstanding examples. Find award-winning books, music, and film and television in our catalog.
Media Mentions: Many outlets and talk shows discuss books or make recommendations, and we sometimes hear that a patron is checking out a book that they heard about on NPR or from another outlet. If you often enjoy the suggestions from a particular program, we can work with that too. With your library card, you can use the NoveList Plus database to find lists of the titles mentioned on your favorite programs. Use the advanced search page to select specific programs, or visit the Books in the Media page.
Author Backlists: Maybe you want to keep it simple: take a look back to see if a buzzy author has any previous titles available. Don’t forget to check Hoopla as well as our catalog. If you’ve already exhausted an author’s works, check out this article from BookRiot for more backlist ideas to explore.