From Goodreads to Jellybooks and from Whichbook to My Independent Bookshop we round up the best places for reading recommendations on the web. But do you use them? Which ones do you prefer and why? Or do you resort to more traditional methods to find your next read?
As Penguin Random House launches a social network for book recommendations – seen by some as welcome support for independent booksellers
– we take a look at reading recommendations on the web. What are the
best platforms for social reading? Which, if any, are you using and
what are your tips for sharing your reads online?
analyses 20 billion data points"
and has a very strong social component. You can organise your own
virtual library, create a wishlist and find out what your friends – or
other members of the community – are reading and reviewing. The site is
closely linked into both Twitter and Google+, and comes with a Facebook
app which can sometimes make it seem difficult to escape.
Described by its creators as "the Netflix of book recommendations", it also includes quizzes, quotes, its own awards and even a reading challenge. A bit much? The Authors' Guild called it "truly devastating" when Amazon bought Goodreads in 2013,
while Hugh Howey declared it was "like finding out my mom is marrying
that cool dude next door that I've been palling around with". But for
the moment Goodreads seeems unstoppable, doubling the number of users
for the second year in a row to hit 25 million users in 2013.
allowed readers to review books
for almost 20 years, making the site a massive resource for book
recommendations. But do you actually use it or have you moved on to
other more user-oriented platforms?
Penguin hope will become several hundreds. This self-described "Desert Island Discs for books" – whatever that means – already has a few authors as its first users: you can already check the "shops" of Terry Pratchett, Irvine Welsh, Lisa Jewell and Tony Parsons. Have you started using it? Let us know your thoughts.
and its small size can make it less overwhelming than bigger networks.
When it comes to buying, it offers its own shop for paperbacks, and
also links to the main ebook stores.
Pinterest for book discovery.
It works in a similar way to Goodreads but is much more visual with
much less noise. Recommendations are based not only on your favourite
past reads, but also on reviews from your friends and other key users,
such as authors, publishers or expert readers, who you are encouraged to
follow from the very beginning – you are actually forced to follow four
other readers when you sign up. It also allows users to create thematic
lists very simply. Here's an example of a Riffle profile.
CE Morgan's All the living as top result. Make of that what you will.