Weekend Websites: BookLamp.org and Whichbook.net


Surfing Amazon for something—well—novel can be a daunting task. How do you really know if the book you choose is something you’ll like once you get past the “Look Inside” snippet? Libraries offer tons of books as well (without the need to plunk down money on an unknown), but those tomes don’t come with labels telling if the plot suits you.

Okay, sometimes it is fun to pick new books simply because they look interesting, but if you want to make a less random match, these two sites may be useful. Each helps you find something new in a unique way.

BookLamp.org (still in beta) does for books what Last.fm and Pandora do for music. Once you register, you select a book you enjoy from the list, and the site analyzes the dialog, word density, pacing, and other factors to determine other books you should read. The selection is limited, though expanding, and the site makes you choose from a rather unwieldy drop-down menu. But the graphs are fun.

booklamp

The other site, Whichbook.net, takes a more user-centric focus to the process (without requiring you to register). On the main page, you select from a number of factors that are important to you and rate them on a sliding scale. For example, you could ask for a book that is mostly happy, a little safe, and very violent. The sliders are plentiful to fit any mood. Once you find out which book is for you, those in the United Kingdom have the option of borrowing it from the library (via the library’s Website).

whichbook

Websites: BookLamp.org and Whichbook.net

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