Ok, so I will definitely write something more in depth than this, but for now, I'm just going to skim the surface
5. Figure out what your favorite book is. Then figure out who wrote it. Then, go see which books that author wrote are availible. Most often, if you like one book from an author, you like the other ones he wrote too (with the exception of James Patterson, because his MG books and adult books are wayyyy different)
4. Like a certain genre? Do a catalog search or ask someone (e.g. a B&N employee or a librarian) and see what they reccomend. Ask for that genre and your age group, so if you're in 6th grade and you like Stuart Gibb's Spy School, then ask for "Middle Grade Spy Fiction reccomendations"
3. Do a book buffet. I talked about this idea here. Don't know what you like for sure? Then walk down the aisles with a decent sized bag or a basket, looking at the book spines. Get a bunch of books, maybe 30 or even more (probably like 15 but you get the idea), any book that looks even remotely interesting, throw it in your pile and keep going. Then, sit down and read the first 5 or 10 pages. It's an easy way to figure out which books entice you. Keep the ones that you want to read on, and put the other books back where you found them
2. Judge a book by it's cover. This is simple, yet effective, and it's actually part of the true story of how I discovered Stuart Gibbs. If a book has a fun cover and a cool title, then you got yourself a winner. Give yourself some criteria. For example, I like realistic fiction, but for some reason, if the cover shows a real person, instead of an animated figure, then I put it back (there are exceptions to this, btw)
And the best way to find a good book is...
1. Ask around. Your friend an avid reader? Ask them for some book advice. The best advice is from authors themselves. Figure out your favorite author and ask them what they recommend for the genre they write. They almost always give you good advice.