In the digital age, it can be hard to choose the next great book for the nightstand. With a stunning number of new titles published daily in print and digitally, below are a few suggestions for building a personalized reading list. Reading has multiple benefits such as increasing vocabulary and conversation skills, reducing stress and improving critical thinking skills.

Fellow readers recommend building a book list from popular websites and social media channels. Many online resources manage curated lists, promote books by category, host critic reviews, have robust search engines and are generally dedicated only to books and authors. Options include LitHub or GoodReads, and many book publishers are easy to find online or on social media.

The local library is a great place to access free books, ebooks, audiobooks and magazines. Ask if they have recommendations and what digital apps are available with a library card. Popular paid membership options for managing a book list include Amazon, Scribd, and Audible. Amazon has easy-to-manage lists and online content for Kindle e-readers; Scribd gives access to millions of e-books, audiobooks and magazines; Audible has benefits for digital audio content, including ease of listening across multiple devices. All of these offer smartphone apps to access content and book lists can be managed from a computer, smartphone or e-reader.

For young readers, there still may be no greater joy than flipping through the newsprint Scholastic flyer sent home by an elementary school teacher. Scholastic has an online store, but the flyer helps young readers see a variety of books, which may encourage them to read different genres or titles beyond their favorites.

book shelf filled with colorful books.

Photo: Adobe Stock

Below are a few more suggestions to help build a reading list:

  • Search for other titles by favorite authors
  • Join or start a book club
  • Look for curated lists or book club lists from celebrities or favorite storytellers (Reese Witherspoon, Oprah, etc.)
  • For audiobooks, look for additional titles by a
    great narrator
  • Read a book in a different genre once a year
  • Ask friends for suggestions or follow the social media accounts of favorite authors
  • Classics are becoming more accessible online; go back in time for a missed classic from Jane Austen, Mark Twain or Charles Dickens
  • Schedule time to browse at a local bookstore


Sara Adlington is the MSU Extension Editor and Publications Coordinator.