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Books are a big part of my life and appear in most aspects of it. Not only do I use reading for escape and entertainment, but I write for Book Riot, review books for a professional journal, run a BookTok account with tens of thousands of followers, and am a librarian. It is therefore very important that I stay up to date on trending books. Although it’s impossible for me to know all the popular books, it would be quite embarrassing if most of the time a book came out, I had no idea what the other person was talking about. So how do I find out about trending books?
I won’t dwell on this one – you’re already here, so you probably know! But Book Riot is a great resource for seeing which books are trending. Checking the homepage daily can give you an idea of which titles are mentioned again and again, both first and last. We also offer newsletters so you can stay up to date with the latest in specific genres and other areas, as well as podcasts. All of this content is created by book enthusiasts who have immersed themselves in the world of books and publishing, so you can bet they share all the latest and most popular trending books (and, of course, more).
If you like discovering books through Book Riot, you can also try the books section of BuzzFeed News, POPSUGAR’s Bookmarked, and HelloGiggles Books.
In addition to managing a BookTok account, I of course view and interact with many other BookTok content on TikTok. It allows me to see what other users are talking about and liking. Interestingly, with BookTok this often ends up being backlist books like They both die in the endwhich became massively popular in 2020 thanks to a handful of videos that went viral about the book, years after it was published in 2017. The videos themselves became legend, leading to a YouTube compilation of them. They both die in the end is not the only book to be famous on TikTok. Many others have found a larger audience through the app, and by following popular creators as well as smaller accounts, you can easily follow trending books just by paying attention to which videos are mentioned with a plus. high frequency. You can even try to get one of your favorite books to go viral to make it trend. The author would no doubt appreciate it!
With Instagram, book cover aesthetics carry a little more weight than book content for pretty photos, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get valuable insights about trending books on the app. . Check hashtags like #BookRecommendations to see which titles pop up again and again. Follow other book lovers and keep an eye out for repeat mentions. This will help you get a good idea of what is trending.
Twitter is quite the beast when it comes to staying on top of trending books. There are a number of possibilities here, and probably more than listed here. To find out what’s trending, it’s a good idea to follow book influencers, publishers, authors, bookstores and libraries on Twitter. Events like #AskALibrarian can hint at popular books by indicating how often a given title is recommended (though #AskALibrarian, Thursdays at noon EST, is also great for finding lesser-known gems).
Review of journals
Journal reviews are another great way to stay on top of trends in the world of books, often ahead of them. Reviewers often use a star system to indicate particularly good books that may influence their popularity once they hit the market. The downside of review journals is that most of them are paid, which means you have to pay to access them. If you’re really interested in getting your hands on it, check with your library. Many public libraries receive copies of journals such as List of books and library newspaper to help inform their purchases. Some libraries then make the journals available to the public or maintain archives for staff that the public can request to see.
Visit your library or bookstore
Library and bookstore staff often obtain advanced reading copies and have other means of keeping up to date with trending books before they are made available to the public. Often, popular titles will be made available specifically for browsers. Beware of bulletin boards, posters and other advertisements for books. Chances are, if these books aren’t hot already, they soon will be.
Signing up for publisher newsletters is an easy and free way to discover trending books. Publishers benefit from advertising and you get an idea of the books they offer based on the titles highlighted in the newsletters. Terms like “highly anticipated” and “hot” can also help you know which books to look for. Find Penguin Random House, Hachette, Macmillan and Simon and Schuster, and be sure to check out your favorite independent publishers for their newsletters.
While you can check all the news sources to see what they say about the publication, it might be a little easier to go to Google News and just type in “books” (or whatever term is more you want to use) in the search bar. It’s not perfect, but it will generally help bring together top listings and other relevant news for trends and more. You can even set up an alert to receive the same information in your inbox.
This is just a taste of all the options for staying on top of trending books. Although there are many other ways, here are some of my favorites. They’re fun, easy, and free, so why not give them a try?