Books are one of the best research tools available, but walking into a city library or even Half Price Books can be overwhelming..

Going to the city library or Half Price Books without a Reading List is like going to the grocery store without a Grocery List…you’ll probably leave with a bunch of junk that you will regret ever getting…
So how do you go about choosing the “best” books on a given topic and making out a Reading List?!

1.  First you need to identify the category you want to read about..

I want to read books about cooking… specifically “healthy on-the-go breakfasts and lunches.”

2.  Now consider WHY you want to read books about this topic…
For example…

  • Reading books about this topic will give me…
  • Reading books about this topic will help me…
  • Reading books about this topic will help me have..
  • Reading books about this topic will help me know…
  • Reading books about this topic will prevent…
  • Reading books about this topic will provide me with…
  • Reading books about this topic will save me…

In this case, reading books about “healthy on-the-go breakfasts and lunches” will…

  • Give me ideas to plan and prepare breakfasts and lunches
  • Help me stock my fridge, freezer, and pantry…
  • Help me have food in this house ready to eat..l
  • Help me know that I will never have to skip these meals because I’m in a hurry…
  • Prevent my driving through McDonals or Starbucks every morning…
  • Provide me with “healthy on-the-go breakfasts and lunches”
  • Save me money…

3.  Now I should break my purpose into “Body Keywords,” as discussed in my last post…always keeping an eye open for additional keywords…

I have already decided when first creating my editorial calendar for the next two months that my keywords are…   

  • Breakfast
  • Food Containers
  • Freezer
  • Grocery Shopping
  • Healthy
  • Lunch
  • Organization
  • Pantry
  • Refrigerator
  • Shopping for groceries

At this point you might think that you simply start looking for articles listing the books about your topics… 

But wait!!!

Everyone and their brother can write and publish a book about almost any given topic…and everyone and their brother could write an article listing the “top books” about any given topic…
Publishing does not guarantee credibility…


4.  Identify influensters and current thought leaders in your category.

Conduct a Google search for the Top 20 Bloggers. Confirm their credibility by skimming their sites, finding the number of blog posts that they have written, and checking the consistency of their writing…or if they quit blogging six years ago, as happens so often…
(Your main goal is to find or request a list of recommended books right now…we will talk about finding blogs and working with other bloggers in a future post)..

For example, the top 20 food blogs according to BlogRank were…

  1. Savory Sweet Life
  2. Pinch My Salt
  3. smitten kitchen
  4. David Lebovitz
  5. Chocolate & Zucchini
  6. delicious days
  7. A Spoonful of Sugar
  8. My Baking Addiction
  9. Kath Eats Real Food
  10. The Wednesday chef
  11. Market Manila
  12. Orangette
  13. Indian Food Recipes,Andhra Recipes,Easy Vegetarian Recipes–Sailus Kitchen
  14. The Pioneer Woman Cooks!
  15. Cupcakes Take The Cake
  16. Motormouth From Ipoh – A Malaysian Food Blog
  17. Culinary Concoctions by Peabody
  18. So Good
  19. Busy-at-Home
  20. So Good

(disclaimer perhaps—I was shocked when I was researching how to find the best blogs for a given category…future post about finding top blogs and narrowing down your RSS feed coming soon…just trying to find books right now)…

5.  See if these bloggers already have recommended books and other websites or resources posted on their own website.

6.  Now that you have a list of the best bloggers, start “stalking” them on social media…blog reader, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, and so forth.

7.  If there is a place to contact them, ask them for a list of books to read about the topic you’re looking for.

8.  Start figuring out which of these recommended books you would actually spend money on and take the time to read.

  • Take note of any books that have been recommended by several people.
  • Check Amazon reviews and any other ratings and comments about the books that have been recommended so far.
  • Read any free pages of the book that you can get from using Kindle, Kobo, and so forth.

9.  Decide if the rest of the book is worth reading or a total waste of time, in your own opinion.

10.  Keep a list of the books that most interest you.

11. Create a blog post with the list of best books that you have found so far, any conversations you’ve actually had with the person, and a request for more books about the topic.

12.. Decide on three books to actually beg, steal, or borrow.

13.  Read these three books with the intention to share any valuable information with your readers and to further expand your list of potential topics. 

14.  Do a follow up “book review ” blog post after reading each book to let readers know what the book was about and what you honestly thought about it.

Then just keep reading…after all, Reading Is Fundamental.


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