Looking for a great summer read? Want to read more on a topic you’re interested in or see what’s new or trending in the book world? There are plenty of places to turn for book recommendations on the internet. Most are simple and free and best of all, they’ll help prevent that feeling of reader’s remorse, when you get home from the bookstore or library, start reading and realize that you’ve just wasted your time and possibly your hard earned money on a lousy book in which you have no interest in reading.
Goodreads is more than a book recommendation site; it’s also an online community of book reviews and ratings. Goodreads will make recommendations based on what you’ve already read or what your friends are reading. Goodreads also highlights what’s trending and new releases that are coming out. Build bookshelves, lists, participate in book discussions and sometimes even author Q & A.
LibraryThing has been around for a long time. In fact, they consider themselves the world’s largest book club and it certainly has that kind of feel. Add books to your catalogue and get recommendations based on what you’ve read or select “member recommendations” instead of LibraryThing recommendations to get different alternatives. You can participate in groups and discussions, and see featured authors and new books as well.
One of the best things about What Should I Read Next is that you don’t need an account to sign in. You just type in a book you like or that you’ve read, and it populates a list of similar books. There are links to the Amazon page for each book. If you choose to sign up for an account, you can make lists of books you’ve read or favorites for the site to base recommendations on. This site is streamlined and easy.
Bookish has one of the most attractive of the platforms. You can get custom book recommendations by entering a few books you’ve read or browse through different genres. There are articles and author interviews, book lists and reviews. You can also create your own bookshelves.
Shelfari is a social cataloging website for books, sort of like Wikipedia for books! Shelfari users can build virtual bookshelves of titles have read, and can rate, review, tag, and discuss their books. Users can also create or join groups and discussions. Where Shelfari really shines is in its book listings, detailed summaries, character listings, quotes, settings and more. Though Shelfari is owned by amazon, it is a completely separate website.
And speaking of Amazon, if you search for a book you’ve read or heard about, the “Customers who bought this item also bought,” section can offer some great title suggestions. The recommendations may be limited, but on the plus side, there are editorial reviews, customer reviews, and sampling. You can also view lists and search by genre.
BookBub is different in that it isn’t precisely a book recommendation service like the others. What BookBub does is recommend free or extremely low-cost books (usually only $.99-$2,) based on your interests and books you’ve read. BookBub sends you an email every day with book deals for that day often under the radar titles that you may have missed.
If you don’t want to create book lists or shelves or register for accounts, Olmenta might be a simple solution for you. The site will recommend books for you based on general popularity and the curation and preferences of the people behind the site. You can browse genres as well. There are no hoops to jump through, but the recommendations aren’t personalized either. It’s simple and basic, but if you’re just looking for some new book ideas, Olmenta couldn’t be easier.
Whichbook is unlike any of the other sites in that it’s not based on what you’ve already read or on a specific genre. Recommendations are based on emotions and elements of the book. There are a series of slider scales, such as Happy-Sad, Gentle-Violent, Short-Long, Expected-Unpredictable, Easy-Demanding, etc. You can also explore lists and authors, or create your own list as well. Whichbook takes a fun and unique approach.
Riffle is being called the Pinterest of books! Smaller than Goodreads, Riffle is an alternative that definitely has a Pinterest-like feel. You tell Riffle categories you like and enter a few books you’ve read and it provides you with a suggestion of people to follow. If you happen to like the books they list great, if not you can always unfollow them. As you use the site more, you can add more lists to follow and share lists of your own. While it doesn’t offer specific book recommendations, it does allow you to scroll through galleries of reading possibilities.
Featured photo credit: I love to Read via flickr.com
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