NoveList Plus: The Database Every Reader Needs


NoveList Plus is one of the many HCPL hidden gems readers should be taking advantage of. It’s easy to feel lost when it comes to deciding your next read, especially when you’ve found a book you really want more of but nothing else seems to compare. Luckily, with NoveList, these problems should no longer be such a challenge. Going step-by-step, this blog will let you in on all the resources you should be utilizing. Let’s get started!

Before using the actual site, it’s important to know how to access it, of course. Scrolling toward the very bottom of the home page, you’ll come across a section that looks like this. Under ‘Resources’ you’ll want to select the ‘Research Databases’ hyperlink.

sc1Once you’ve accomplished that, you’ll be presented with the main page featuring all the databases available from HCPL. At the top of the page you can search through the databases alphabetically. Click ‘N.’ 

sc2After clicking on ‘N’ you’ll scroll just a bit farther down and find ‘NoveList Plus.’ Click on it.

sc3Now that you’ve accessed the site, let’s take a dive into all its best features!

sc4The best feature of NoveList is it will show you which books are available to you through HCPL. The spots circled in red are the tools I want to highlight most. Opening up the main page will present a myriad of options to click through—to the point it’s a little overwhelming. At the very top you will notice the search bar. While unassuming, there are so many things you can do with that alone, but more on that later. Right below the search bar, you will notice the ‘Recommended Reads Lists.’ Listed beneath are a ton of sections and options to click through; you can go by age range, genres, thematic appeal, and more. It is worthwhile to search through each of those links and see what you may find. Select what genre is your favorite and go from there.

Lastly, toward the middle of the page you’ll see ‘I’m in the mood for books that are…’ and below that, a series of options. Character-driven and Likeable, Creepy and Menacing (just in time for spooky season approaching), Melancholy and Atmospheric, Funny and Engaging, are all varieties of books NoveList is suggesting for a wide, diverse audience. The main page alone houses a good number of choices already—and we haven’t even gotten into all the details, yet!

Onto one my personal favorite perks of NoveList—find at the top of the page on the left hand-side the ‘Browse By’ option. Click on ‘Appeal.’

sc5Make your own appeal mix! Once again, you can select an age range you’d prefer to stay in. Clicking on ‘select a category’ will drop down a ton of choices to choose from, including options such as character, storyline, plot, etc. The bar right next to it will offer suggestion based off the category you select. For instance, if you decide to focus on the storyline, you’d get options such as action-packed, character driven, etc. Below, I will share some examples of what appeal mixes can get you.

sc14sc8There are so many mixes you can create and it will procure just as many books. The best way to try it is to jump in head-first and have fun playing around with the different selections. 

Onto the next part!

sc9Finding read-alikes is a fairly simple process. At the top of any page you’re using on the NoveList site, the search bar should be easily located. There, you will type in any novel/book you’re looking for and select the result that fits your search best. As an example, I searched The Hunger Games and pulled this page up. In it, you can see all the information about the book that is featured—including a brief description, themes/genre/subject, as well as the variation in tone, writing style, pace, etc. To the right is a cropped list of read-alike suggestions the site has conveniently placed next to your search. Don’t be fooled by the short photo I’ve featured here, the list goes on much longer than I could fit.

sc10Below the book you’ve chosen, you’ll see more information on searching for similar books and/or creating your own appeal mix with shared characteristics that the book you’ve selected already has.

Now that you’ve had plenty of ways to find the perfect novel to read, have any suggestions you might offer to make NoveList even better?

sc11Back to the home page, on the very top right hand-side, go ahead and click on ‘Suggest Read-alike.’

sc12Although the purpose of this blog, and this website, is to better serve the users in recommending books—sometimes it can be helpful to recommend some on your own.

sc13While I hope this blog so far has broken down the site into bite sized pieces, there is only so much I can include without writing a novel of my own. Should you have any more questions, or would like some more in-depth information about all its features, look for the orange bar at the top of any page and find the ‘How Do I?’ link at the top. In the drop-down list you will see the topics I’ve covered and more. Make sure to take advantage of the section should there be any confusion you need clarity on.

As I’ve mentioned before, NoveList is a perk the HCPL website offers and what readers and staff members should be using more often. I’ve used it for plenty of my own personal reading suggestions, for blogging, projects, and much more. I am hoping this blog will bring it attention from a wider audience and you all get to reap its benefits as I have for so long!

This blog was compiled and written by Yasmene S. It was first published in September 2022