Isn’t reading a glorious addiction? You can be happy anywhere, and you can be happy alone. You pick up your paperback or ereader (or cell phone) and are instantly swept away to a world of romance, drama and intrigue. All you need to achieve that state of total bliss is the perfect book to suit your reading mood…
And that’s the catch, isn’t it?
You’ve got to find that totally satisfying book first. With all the authors, all the choices, all the recommendations of your Facebook friends and book deal newsletters, deciding what to read next can be just a tad overwhelming—not to mention potentially disappointing and deflating.
Because let’s face it, there are also quite a few frustrations when it comes to your reading addition. From the hundreds of responses I’ve received from the readers on my Sexy Book Addicts Email List, here are some of the biggest complaints of book lovers when trying to choose their next book:
1. A reading appetite that exceeds your book budget.
“I have more books on my wish list than money! I understand that authors spend a lot of time and money to bring a book to us readers, but I refuse to pay a lot for a book with less than 100 pages.”
“A lot of the time I don’t have the money for the book and I’m wishing it were cheaper or that I could buy all of that person’s books. With my favorite authors who are in both print and digital, I tend to check at Wal-Mart to see if the book is cheaper there.”
“My biggest frustration with picking a book is not being able to buy it. I’m stuck with only being able to get the books that cost little or nothing.”
2. Getting hit with an unexpected cliffhanger ending.
“I love a good sexy HEA book, but I get really steamed when an ebook is a cliffhanger and it’s not mentioned before buying!”
“My all-time frustration is when authors do not put whether a book has a cliffhanger in their synopsis. I think it should be a mandatory thing…I have been burned a few times with cliffhangers where there is no second book either for a long time or ever.”
“My biggest frustration is when the blurb doesn’t clearly list whether the book is a cliffhanger or a one-and-done with an HEA. I don’t mind that in a series or trilogy, just tell me what’s up. Don’t make me read every review to see if someone mentions it…If I have to work that hard, I’ll just skip it.
3. Too many good books, not enough time
“I have so many books on my eReader I will die before I get half way there. Lol..I am going to make myself stop downloading and read what I have.”
“My biggest problem is deciding which of the books on my ‘Next to Read’ list is going to be the lucky one.”
“Too many great books, and my iPad says I have no more storage.”
4. Advance reader copy deadlines making reading not-fun.
“I keep making promises to lots of my author friends and sometimes I feel like I am getting buried under an avalanche. I often put too much pressure on myself.”
“I have so many books and so little time. I of course choose the next ARC for deadline reasons. I then usually pick a book with an awesome cover to get me started.”
“The hardest part about choosing books is the length of the book and the draw of choosing the ARC over one of the books I’ve been dying to read…”
5. Books not living up to the hype.
“Some books don’t really tell you much about them and are just hoping the cover gets you interested. I would really like more information so I can make an informed decision.”
“I’ve had books that really start out great. You get into the characters and the plot that you eagerly turn the pages to see what is going to happen. The next thing that you know…the plot line is dragging, and then the characters turn into assholes.”
“The quality of the book and author can frustrate me. You can usually tell the quality of the author from the first chapter. If they care about their writing, it shows. If they are just putting words together…that also shows.”
“Stories pumped out with little emotional investment from the author…I want a story that makes me feel what the characters feel. Their upsets, doubts, heartbreaks and joys. I want to remember the story long after I’ve read it the first time.”
“I hate wasting my precious reading time on a book that doesn’t live up to the blurb. But when I find a good read/author, I’m happy to point a neon sign in their direction for other book lovers.”
So what’s a book addict to do?
As a sophisticated reader, you know there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to finding the perfect book. If you’re like me, you filter hundreds of reading recommendations from trusted friends and websites to add to your ever evolving reading list.
Here are a few of my current favorite book websites for finding your next great read, on a budget or not. I’m not affiliated with any of these sites except as a happy customer!
(Note: Many of these link to books in U.S. based stores. Have some favorite international friendly book sites? Please share in the comments)
We romance readers love our favorite story tropes, right? Red Feather Romance lets you choose from billionaire romances, sports romances, paranormal romance and more right from the home page. Some of the books on the site are free, others are a bit pricier, but they tend to be high quality page-turners that are worth your time.
With its steam rating from 1 – 5, Steamy Romance Books features scorching hot reads from some of your favorite authors at varying price points. Get the latest website postings delivered to your inbox and browse away. Not all books are free or cheap, but it’s a great site for browsing and building your To Be Read list!
Featuring absolutely 100% free ebooks, this site offers a wide selection of contemporary romance and romantic suspense reads, among other genres. Free Booksy is particularly useful for finding your next favorite romance series, though you will have to dig a little to differentiate the sexy reads from the tame.
Free and deeply discounted ebook alerts emailed directly to your inbox every day from some of your absolute favorite authors. I love that this site differentiates erotica from erotic romance. Hugely helpful when deciding what to read next!
I recently had an intriguing email exchange with R.D. from The Reading List about the differences between erotica, erotic romance and romantic suspense that left me feeling like this site really knows its romance! Offering free and 99 cent romance and erotica every day in its email newsletters, you’re sure to find a book to curl your toes.
I know, I know…a savvy book bargain hunter like you already knows about BookBub! But in case you missed it, check out their daily emails customized to your reading tastes. BookBub alerts you to limited-time free & discounted ebooks from emerging and bestselling authors.
With its highly personalized book suggestions, The Fussy Librarian lets you customize your preferred level of sexual explicitness and violence. This site is also incredibly “fussy” about the books it features—only those with a lot of positive reviews are allowed. Perfect for those of us who like to filter out all the book noise and concentrate on the highest quality reads.
What are your top frustrations when it comes to choosing a book? Where do you find your next great read? Don’t be shy—share your thoughts in the comments section.