The A-Z of research: B is for books

I’m pretty sure what I’m about to say is extremely obvious, but research tends to come with a lot of books. The key is knowing which are likely to be the most useful for your personal project, and it’s this part of the proceedings that can be a bit of a skill.

Of course, it’s important to read often and widely when it comes to narrowing down your ideas, but once you know where you’re going, it’s definitely worth rooting out the really valuable nuggets. Remember to look out for new publications in your field. Search for researchers who are working on similar things. Once you find a really useful tome, mine its bibliography for related titles that could help you as you progress.

While it’s tempting to try read every single thing you can get your hands on that might relate to your project, making a list can be a really useful way of planning your reading time, tracking what you’ve read and knowing what you would still like to read. And don’t be too hard on yourself if you miss something out; there’s always space and time for one more book!

Above all, it’s important to remember to enjoy your research. Don’t get bogged down, don’t panic and I promise you’ll get there!

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