Goodreads: Last.fm for Books
Believe it or not, but more people are reading books these days than ever before. Shocking as this may be, its still surprisingly difficult to find new books other than through word of mouth or recommendations from critics. Audiophiles, however, have a notably easier time with finding new bands or artists to listen to when compared to fans of literature, as the internet has proven to be a great tool of finding new music quickly and easily in a way that was never before possible. Websites like Last.fm, which records what you’ve listened to and then recommends similar artists based on the tastes of other like-minded users. So why not have something similar for TV, movies, or god-forbid, books?
That’s where Goodreads comes in. Goodreads is a website devoted to the voracious reader, allowing them to find new books and authors quickly and then share their discoveries with their friends and the world. Using a philosophy of user-powered recommendations rather than relying on random reviews, Goodreads allows users to rate and digitally list their book shelves, which can also be shared on social media sites easily to show your friends what you’re reading. In addition to providing an excellent way of allowing people a new way of easily sharing their literary tastes with the world, Goodreads also taps the collective consciousness of its 11,000,000 members with an algorithm designed to recommend new authors and novels based off of the tastes of similar users, much like Last.fm. After trying Goodreads myself, I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly it seemed to have my tastes pegged, and was already suggesting a litany of books that I had read or was planning to read within the first three minutes of building my taste profile.
Additionally, Goodreads creates a great outlet for budding authors to get their work out to a receptive audience with their author program, where writers can add book excerpts, tour dates, a bio, a personal blog and more. While this may only be attractive to my fellow writers out there, but I personally love the idea of being able to see what my favorite authors are reading in real-time. Goodreads also has realesed an app for both iOS and Android devices, so you can easily scan in the ISBN number of a book or add in a book you just downloaded onto your tablet.
So if you’re constantly on the lookout for a new book, or maybe just want to show off your tastes (no judgement), give Goodreads a shot and see what you can find.