Why You Shouldn't Listen to Anyone Who Tells You What You Should Read

If you're interested in reading more, but don't know where to start, it can seem like an impossible task to figure out what you might enjoy reading based on what other people tell you you'll like. Not only that, but there are also plenty of guides out there that claim to be able to predict exactly what your next book should be—and frankly, it's difficult to know which ones are trustworthy and which ones aren't. But don't worry; this guide will teach you how to decide which book genre brings you joy, no matter what your preferences or experiences with books may be!

Don’t rely on reviews

Critics are meant to be removed from readers, which is why you should always remember that no matter how seemingly well-informed a critic is, his or her opinion about your reading preferences probably isn’t worth too much. Of course, it’s fine if you read a review and then choose not to pick up a book because of what someone else has said—you can use what you’ve learned as part of your own experience with books. But don’t assume that anyone else is in a position to tell you what you should and shouldn’t enjoy reading. Don’t let someone else talk you out of something just because they had an unpleasant experience!

Don’t read what everyone else reads

Sure, it’s good to read widely. But take care not to drift from what excites you. Trust your instincts and pick books that make you want to read in spite of yourself. If you don’t, before long you will have become one of those people who just tells everyone else what they should be reading. And nobody likes those people when all they offer is a pushy sense of guilt-tripping.

There are no rules when it comes to reading

what you enjoy is what you enjoy. And really, how do you know what you like unless you try? If a big part of your enjoyment of books is reading outside your comfort zone, great! But if you want to read nothing but romance novels for a year and feel just as happy, then that's okay too. Just remember: reading is supposed to be fun. A good book or story should make your heart race and/or bring tears of joy; if it doesn't, that doesn't mean there's something wrong with either of you—it just means it wasn't meant to be. Be open-minded in your tastes, but don’t be afraid to have favorites: after all, our favorite dishes are usually our favorites for a reason.

Most importantly, don’t limit yourself

If you’re reading something you don’t enjoy, put it down. Don’t give it another chance or feel bad that you didn’t like it. Telling someone else what they should read is just as silly as telling them how many books a week they should read. The number of words you consume will depend on your personal tastes and preferences (see below). But most importantly, don’t feel pressured to read anything for anyone else besides yourself—that will only make reading less enjoyable for everyone involved! And we want that so much less than a book-related argument over dessert.

Create your own path, and go with the flow!

We’ve all heard the advice, If you liked X, you’ll love Y. But this kind of thinking can ruin your experience with a book—or even drive you away from reading altogether. You may think that everyone who has ever loved The Hunger Games will absolutely adore The Maze Runner series, but that doesn’t mean you should force yourself to read it just because everyone else loved it. The only opinion that really matters is yours when it comes to choosing what to read next.

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