May 4, 2012

A New Way to Choose Books:

Thanks to a friend's recommendation, I found the coolest new tool: Whichbook.

From their site:
If you're not good at remembering book titles, or if you are the sort of reader who likes to choose by browsing round a little and seeing what tempts you, Whichbook is the perfect solution to help you find what you are looking for.

Everyone has their favourite writers who can be trusted to deliver the goods. But there are thousands of books out there. One of those might satisfy you even more but how can you tell? Whichbook enables you to search for a book that up to now may only have existed in your own mind! Move the sliders to express what you’re looking for and see what comes up. Scroll down to see all the books which match your chosen sliders or click Find similar to see books which match the specific title most closely. If you don't fancy any of the books offered, change your choices and try again - there are millions of different individual permutations possible.

Every title on Whichbook has been read by one of a changing team of 70 people who are drawn from libraries and literature organisations and come together to share training to create the entries. The ratings and comments are created by real readers who care about books.

In choosing titles for the site, we concentrate on the books people won’t find by themselves 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. We don’t include the biggest bestsellers as everyone knows about them already (though sometimes we’ll have added a book before it became a bestseller!) We do include lots of intriguing and less well-known titles. If you’d like to suggest a book to be included please contact us.

I love to find books off the beaten path, and I loved playing with this tool. Whichbook lets readers choose various attributes they are looking for in a book, including: happy/sad, funny/serious, safe/disturbing, expected/unpredictable, and many more. Or, you can choose based on character, setting, and plot options. I could literally sit and play with this for hours on end.

For fun, I put in funny, unpredictable, beautiful, and demanding... this was my result:

The Shadow of the Wind
by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Book Summary: This book is full of every delight that a novel could possibly offer. A mystery, a strange adventure, a tender coming of age drama, set in a city dense with people and tragedy and weather. The book is full of powerful ideas, glittering humour and packed with startling characters. It takes you to a real place, and lets you right in to its heart.

Then, I used the character, plot, setting feature with female, generations, USA South for this top result:

The Orange Blossom Special
by Betsy Carter

Book Summary: A warm and deceptively light story of recently widowed Tess coming to terms with bringing up her daughter without her husband. Set in Florida in the sixties, it deals with bereavement, love, friendship and prejudice. The characters are believable and warm despite their flaws and eccentricities.

I can't wait to try these two out. If I like them, I'll definitely be using Whichbook more often.

How do you choose books? 


Jaleh D said...

That site sounds really neat. I store books I've read and want to read on Goodreads, but for finding new books, I usually have to go to the library where I may not find something that strikes my fancy on a given day. And if I want to buy a book, I have to hunt at the bookstore where too much scanning titles, especially with head cocked to the side, makes my stomach churn. I like the idea of a way to more selectively browse based on what I want to look for.

Beth said...

Thanks for sharing this site -- looks interesting!

Tia Bach said...

Jaleh, I love goodreads, but this website was quite fun, too.

Beth, thanks for mentioning it.