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It is always difficult to find new books that will not only pique your interest but also make you fall in love with them. Most readers rely on recommendations from friends or from old Google. Now over the past decade, social media has really popped up for readers. Personally, I love browsing Goodreads or StoryGraph for new releases or books similar to the ones I’ve enjoyed in the past.
But sometimes I need a breath of fresh air and see what people from other parts of the internet are reading. So here comes Reddit, who I can’t decide is my savior or my enemy, but oh my gosh, I can kill an afternoon. I love seeing the kind of niche books people read and sometimes you get a great recommendation on a Reddit book (which I’m going to read… eventually).
Browsing through Reddit, I’ve noticed that the site is particularly good at diving deeper into social trends and the books associated with them. Unlike TikTok, which only gives you a short video explanation, Reddit’s recommendations come with conversations between users about what they liked and didn’t like about the book. Now, Goodreads is great for this too, but I’ve found the conversations from Reddit to be more in-depth and broad because people tend to have whole conversations and discussions with each other.
I will also say that the lack of a star system is beneficial. Reddit’s format forces you to at least browse through a thread to get the gist of the book and why you should read it. For example, if you are interested in reading the popular A Court of Thorns and Roses series on social media, just check out the Reddit thread. To be honest, when I’m on Goodreads I sometimes don’t bother to rate a book based on its cover (shock) but rather how many stars it has. This means that I go to the comments section with preconceived notions about the book. In fact, it’s a standard operating procedure for me to filter reviews by star rating first. Because I thrive on chaos, I always, without fail, review the one-star reviews first. I like to feel disappointed.
However, since Reddit doesn’t give me preconceived notions, I’m able to read the threads with a clear head and enjoy sharing between users discussing their likes and dislikes about a book as well as discussing really specific questions. I mean, if Reddit didn’t have an answer for me, I doubt anyone else would.
So I consulted Reddit Reads for any trends in what everyone is interested in. From my research, the following genres/sub-genres of books seem to be recommended at the highest frequencies:
- Self-help and professional development books
- Software engineering books for beginners
- space opera
- great imagination
- Books about finding love
- Human behavior and psychology
- Non-fiction niche
Below I’ll break down the best books Reddit recommends for each.
1. Self-help and professional development books
For self-help books, I noticed the likes of it How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie and Good feeling By David Burns Claiming the top spots. This seems logical. Not only is it the start of the year (most of the time), but the pandemic has made everyone reassess how they want to live their lives. Reclaiming their lifestyle, mental health, and work-life balance are things everyone has talked about in passing, but even in my own circles, I’ve noticed friends and family taking serious steps to right the way they live their lives.
As such, it makes sense that books like The power of habit By Charles Duhigg is frequently discussed on Reddit. I will now say that books like this were written mostly by white men, but I have an entire post with recommendations on driving books by women, so believe me, there are more options. Having said that, I will warn you that controversial books like The gentle gentleman is no longer around Robert Glover is regularly recommended on Reddit, so be sure to do your research too.
2. Software engineering books for beginners
Another interesting trend I pointed out was that coding books were also fairly popular. I have to question that the generalization and normalization of working from home played a role here. It is very common for technology companies to allow their employees to work from home or for many other companies to allow their contracts or in-house developers to work from home. Given that the salary is enviable and that a successful software engineer doesn’t have to accumulate thousands of dollars in student debt, it makes sense for those interested to turn to books.
3. Space Shows
Science fiction is a variant of the genre, and it has grown increasingly popular in recent years. But it’s a classic space opera like Dune Which seems to get a lot of attention on Reddit. Sometimes I wonder if wanting to read the “classics” first is what keeps some people from branching out. I noticed though DuneAnd the Under gameAnd the Martian They’ve all been adapted into pretty big movies, so I’m sure that helped them vote.
4. High imagination
If space operas are popular on Reddit, it makes perfect sense that High Fantasy is right behind them. I imagine that the release of rings of strength And the wheel of time played a role in this. Having said that, I have to say that the most popular books are really popular outside of Reddit. Let’s be honest, how many of us need to be told by Reddit to read Fellowship of the Ring? But if you need that extra alert, this is the way!
5. Books about relationships
I generally rely on TikTok for relationship advice (mature, I know). But the pandemic has made many people rethink their own relationships and how they want to treat their partners, as evidenced by the most popular relationship books on Reddit. Now I haven’t dived too deeply into Reddit threads about relationships, but I can only imagine a few of these books popping up here and there.
6. Human behavior and psychology
Sub-modules are ideal for digging deeper into topics that interest you. Some of the popular psychology subreddit books have also appeared on Reddit’s most-mentioned book list, which is cool. I suppose while we were socially distancing ourselves, we were also trying to learn more about each other?
7. Nonfiction niche
I was rather surprised to find such niche fact books recommended on Reddit. But again, since Reddit is good for those niche recommendations, this one keeps track. However, surprisingly, books about tyrants and corpses are very popular. These books have excellent ratings and are well appreciated by their niche communities, so perhaps the quality speaks for itself?
While these trends are comprehensive, I recommend checking out Reddit to see what kind of books people are talking about. Goodreads is great for finding out what people are talking about in books, and while those conversations are great, I think it’s important to know what kind of books the rest of the world finds interesting and/or useful. However, if you’re looking for more book recommendations, check out our TBR service, where our working bibliologists (including yours truly) design book recommendations that get you out of your comfort zone (or keep you in).