8 Great Sites to Do a Book Search by Plot or Subject

Looking for your next book? These sites let you perform a book search by plot or subject, helping you find the perfect read.

Books are wonderful things; they give you a pathway to enter the world of fantasies, delve into history, solve mysteries, and so much more. But two things that haunt readers around the world are:

  • Not knowing which book to read next
  • Forgetting the name of that one amazing book they read long ago

That’s when the internet comes to the rescue. There are many websites that not only give you suggestions for new books according to your taste but also help you conduct a book search by the plot.

1. Google Books

Google Books works the way Google’s primary search engine operates. It has a library of digitized books. So, when you look for a book by its plot, it conducts the search within seconds and presents you with appropriate results from millions of books.

If you need a deep dive, you can go to Google’s Advanced Book Search, which will allow you to narrow down your search by mentioning details like the publisher’s name, book title, and subject. Even if you half-remember the book title, you will likely be able to find what you’re looking for.

2. GoodReads: What’s the Name of That Book?

GoodReads has a group that goes by the name: “What’s the Name of That Book?” You can post a summary of a book’s plot or storyline, and people will jump to the occasion of helping you find the title!

Make sure that you mention the genre of the book and its plot details in your post. Without this information, it can be quite difficult for users to give their suggestions. Mentioning when you read it or the year it was published can make it even easier to find the book without knowing its title as well.

3. BookBub

If you remember a vague description of your book, you can enter it in the search bar on the BookBub website. You can even pick the categories you feel the book you’re looking for fits into.

This is also a great way to search for a book by the plot. When you know what sort of a book you want to read, but need help choosing a book, you can pick a category and describe your preferences.

One of the best features of the website is that if you have an account, you can mark the books you have already read. This helps you keep track of the books you’ve read so that you don’t ever lose your favorites!

4. WhichBook

WhichBook is a mood-oriented book suggester web app for when you need just the right book for just the right mood. Just navigate to the site, and select the Books by Mood & Emotion tab to get started.

When you arrive on the page, you can use the sliders to describe what type of mood you’re looking for. WhichBook will then adjust your suggestions accordingly, helping you find books that match your tastes.

For example, you can search for books that are somewhat happy (closer to the Happy side of the slider). You can also drag the slider closer to Serious and Unpredictable to get a book that matches this exact mood.

But if you’re looking to do a search by plot, just head to the Books by Character & Plot tab, and check off plot-specific parameters to start your search.

5. WhatShouldIReadNext?

WhatShouldIReadNext? is a simple web app that gives users recommendations based on books that other users love.

For example, a search for 1984 by George Orwell would bring up recommendations including Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, among others.

And although it certainly is not perfect, WhatShouldIReadNext? is a simple way to find the next best book on the spot.

6. LibraryThing Book Suggester

LibraryThing’s Book Suggester does exactly what you would expect: it suggests books, fortunately, extraordinarily well. Upon visiting the homepage, you are given the option to search using the Book Suggester or the somewhat unconventional Book Unsuggester.

Searching using the standard Book Suggesting feature, LibraryThing gives you a list of 200+ books that match the search term. It also yields a list of 20 of the most relevant and related titles based on over 40 million books in LibraryThing’s user-submitted database.

If you are feeling adventurous and decide to try LibraryThing’s Book Unsuggester, simply search for a book you own or enjoy and LibraryThing will show you the least likely to be related books.

7. FictionDB

Finding that one fiction book that will satisfy your cravings can be a challenge. Imagine browsing through hundreds of books, remaining dissatisfied with each book you find.

You can turn this scenario around by heading to FictionDB, which allows you to find the book you want, based on characters, age level, series, plot snippets, genres, themes, and whatnot! It’s easy to use and gives phenomenal results.

8. Book Cave

Book Cave is one of the best websites to find content-rated books. The site rates books depending on their content—this ranges from Mild to Adult+, with Mild targeted towards children and young adults. That means if you’re specifically looking for a children’s book, you will only get children’s book results.

Similarly, you can look for books for adults without having to go through a hoard of mild book results.

When you have almost given up on finding a book, head to book databases, such as:

One can say that these are like online libraries that give you a host of options to choose from! In fact, the Library of Congress has an amazing option called Ask a Librarian that allows you to send in an email with a book’s details, and get authentic suggestions from real librarians.

Another interesting option is to head to Reddit with your queries. There are many subreddits, such as r/TipOfMyTongue and r/WhatsThatBook, that can help you find a book that you’ve been searching for. You can put in your request and you will be showered with suggestions.

In fact, if you only remember the book cover, you can describe it thoroughly and people will help you find it. Speaking of, there is a website dedicated to looking for books based on covers: Big Book Search. Just head to the website and enter the details of the cover that you remember. In no time, you will see a list of book covers and you can pick the one that looks the most similar.

Finding a Book by Plot Isn’t as Hard as You Think

All these amazing websites were curated specially for book lovers. However, if you don’t find what you need here, head to a local library and speak to the librarian. Chances are, they will be able to help you find the book you’ve been looking for when the internet fails to do it.

[Source: This article was published in makeuseof.com ]


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