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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Need Something To Read? The Brits can help!

Posted by Alana T.

Links to have been quietly buzzing around social media sites recently.  I've tried it and really, really like it.  If you are looking for something new to read, but are tired of the bestsellers, this site is for you!

So what is it?   Whichbook is a readers advisory site run by British library professionals and funded by non-profits.  Instead of providing you with a list of static titles, you choose qualities you are looking for in a book and the algorithms crunch away, giving you a selection of titles that meet your criteria.  You can create an account and save your reading lists (and share them with others), or just use the site as is.  There are also ready made collections to view. You are given an exerpt from each book and lots of other info about it and similar reads.  If you live in the U.K., you can request the book from any library in England (!), or for the non-Brits, there is a link to WorldCat and Amazon.  Overall, a very well-rounded site with an easy to use interface.

Every title on whichbook has been read by one of a changing team of 150 people who are drawn from libraries and literature organizations in Great Britian. In choosing titles for the site, the teams concentrate on less well known, but still great books, and go for the widest range possible. Books must be fiction or poetry, written or translated into English and published in the last 10 years. Not included are bestsellers (everyone knows about them already, though sometimes a book is added before it became a bestseller).  The ratings and comments are created by real readers who care about books.

Whichbook has 40-50,000 individual users every month. The site was completely redesigned in 2011 with greater functionality - you can now save and share books and access the site from within Facebook.

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