If you’re on the hunt for something new and interesting to read, you have plenty of places to turn. This week, we’re looking at five of the best book recommendation sites, services, or groups, based on your nominations.
Earlier in the week, we asked you where you went to find something good to read-whether it’s based on the things you’ve already read, someone’s suggestions you trust, a website that lets you build a virtual “shelf” of your favorite titles, or just a discussion group. You responded with tons of great ideas, but we only have room for the top five. Here’s what you said, in no particular order:
GoodReads is more than just a book recommendation site, although it excels at helping your find new books to read based on the ones you enjoy. You can build a virtual “shelf” of books you own or have already read, share your progress with the books you’re currently reading, rate the books you’ve read, leave reviews, and connect with other readers. You can also use those ratings to get book suggestions from the site’s massive database of books. Your friends can make direct suggestions to you, and even if the book suggestions that the site builds aren’t enough, you can go diving into user-generated book lists, reviews, and more.
One great thing that many of you mentioned about GoodReads is that you can connect your Amazon account to quickly build your virtual shelf. As you finish books on your Kindle, GoodReads will automatically mark the book as complete and update your recommendations accordingly. It’s also hard to understate the power of GoodReads’ community, which many of you called out as well. Some of you noted that your favorite authors actively use the service too, and they share what they’re reading as well. Read more in its nomination thread here.
While BookBub isn’t strictly a book recommendation service, it does bring you super-low-cost books based on your interests every day. The service is free, and when you sign up, you tell BookBub what kinds of books you like to read. From there, you’ll get an email from BookBub every day (you can choose whether it comes in the morning or evening) with book deals for that day. When we say “deal,” we mean it-many of BookBub’s titles are free entirely, $0.99, or just a couple of bucks. In some cases, they’re new titles that the author is trying to get momentum behind, and in other cases they’re just great, under-the-radar titles you might not have discovered otherwise.
I’ve been a BookBub member for a year now, and the book suggestions run the gamut from extremely useful, amazing finds to horribly pulpy “how did this even get published” genre titles. Your mileage may vary, but the nice thing is that you can tweak your selections at any time, and the books are always cheap. When those great titles come along, you’ll have to jump on them though-the sales go quickly. Read more in its nomination thread here.
LibraryThing has been around for a long time (and it made the top five, along with GoodReads, the last time we asked for your favorite book rec sites) and is still a great user-powered book ratings, review, and recommendation site. The service calls itself the world’s largest book club, and that’s a lot like the overall feel. Once you sign up, you’ll be encouraged to start adding books you’ve read and leave reviews for them. Behind its book ratings and reviews though, LibraryThing is a powerful tool to catalog and organize your entire book collection. It doesn’t take much to add all of the books in your library so you have a running collection of both your physical books and ebooks all in one place. The service will also connect to your Amazon account to automatically pull down books you own and have read.
Thanks to its massive community, its book recommendations are often spot on, reflective of users who have libraries like yours and have rated books the way you have. The basic service is free, and you can add up to 200 books. $10/yr or $25/one time gets you a premium membership that lets you add and catalog as many books as you like. Those of you who nominated it noted that its especially good for people who enjoy non-fiction or books that aren’t necessarily in the popular zeitgeist, and for getting recommendations from people who don’t just list the same dozen titles over and over again. Read more in its nomination thread here.
Reddit’s BookSuggestions Subreddit
If you’re a Reddit fan, the /r/booksuggestions subreddit is a great place to go to see what everyone’s reading, or to get recommendations based on specific authors or titles you’ve enjoyed, or see what people suggest in specific genres. Some of the top threads are community challenges and calls for recommendations on a specific theme, but it doesn’t take much scrolling to find interesting threads for people looking for specific types of books. One person is bedtime books for their kids that combine epic battles with strong female characters; another person is interested in science fiction titles without aliens or looming galactic threats. The sky’s the limit, and you can just as easily post your own topic with what you’re looking for.
Those of you who called it out in the call for contenders praised the subreddit for being equally weird and interesting, a label often applied to Reddit in general. You’ll definitely find something new and interesting to read, that much is true, although often the most broad recommendations do sometimes tend to follow what’s popular and in the common consciousness. Still, if you refine your thread as much as possible and include what you’ve read and what you’re looking for, you’re in for good tips. Read more in its nomination thread here.
If you’re not interested in registering for accounts, adding your own books, or any of that hassle, Olmenta can suggest some solid titles to you based on general popularity and the curation of the people behind the site. It’s a simple tiled list of book covers that the service thinks you should read, and a few genres you can click on if you’re looking for something specific, like business, fiction, children’s, theatre, poetry, or nonfiction, among others. If you see a book you might be interested in, click on it for a synopsis and a bigger view of the cover, along with a link to buy the book.
Olmenta couldn’t be any simpler-but it’s a double-edged sword. You’ll see what’s available quickly, and if you like the suggestions, you’ll come back to see updates and new reads. If you don’t, there’s not much else for you to see. Olmenta’s nomination thread reflected that simplicity-you noted that it’s hassle-free and elegant, and you don’t need to jump through hoops to find a new book. At the same time, the lack of customization means the suggestions aren’t really personalized. Read more in its nomination thread here.
Now that you’ve seen the top five, it’s time to put them to an all-out vote to determine the community favorite.
The honorable mentions this week go out to your local library or indie bookstore. A number of you noted that there’s nothing wrong with heading to your local library and asking a librarian what to read-after all, they’re the most familiar with their own stacks, and have plenty of suggestions, tips, and thoughts of their own to offer you. Whether you’re looking for some new, hot title or you want to dive into more obscure areas of literature, you shouldn’t overlook your local library, and the hard-working, highly-trained people that work there.
Similarly, many of you suggested heading to your local independent bookstore, especially if you’re looking for niche or specialty books on highly specific topics. Looking for books on specifically political topics, or independently published authors whose books are on limited release? Indie bookstores are where you need to go-and the people that work there are likely to have suggestions for you too. I remember my days working in a bookstore: Each of us had a specialty area we were happy to talk about.
Article Source: Lifehacker