Amongst the plethora of new and interesting websites which crop up every month, there were a few which caught my eye recently that weren’t related to the usual photos, videos and blogs. Instead they were related to books, and whilst no doubt most of the websites won’t take off, there were some interesting ideas among them.
British Library – Alright, so the first link isn’t exactly a new idea, but the British Library have recently unveiled their new website, with a particular emphasis on its new search capabilities to retrieve results from its increasing online resources.
What Shall I Read Next – This website does exactly what it says on the tin. Type in a book title or author you read recently, and up comes a list of recommendations based on what titles others have read together. However, the system relies on a wide range of users for offering recommendations beyond the most popular titles, and as is mentioned here, the chances of catching up with the years of data a website like Amazon have accumulated in order to provide reading recommendations is quite slim.
BookMooch – BookMooch offers a different approach to ‘peer-to-peer sharing’, and takes what some might consider a logical step. The idea is that readers can swap titles they’ve read with other users, paying only the cost of postage, whilst simultaneously being able to search for titles they would like to receive. A points system is in place to assure the credibility of its users, and to help readers find worthy homes for their old books. Whilst there is still room for abuse, the system employs some safe guards regarding ratios and feedback comments to prevent fraud. Overall a pretty interesting idea, the basis for a small book-bartering economy.
Full Books – On the other hand, if you can’t wait for the postman to deliver your next read, you could always head here for something to tide you over. The listed titles are quite varied, some might say even random, and the website seems quite sparse otherwise, with titles published in standard HTML format. Probably not the best place to go first if you’re looking for a work that’s out of copyright.
Bookalizer – The final site on this list isn’t technically to do with reading, but instead a method for making a little money out of readers! Essentially it offers an easy way to generate Amazon book adverts for your website according to either page content or your own criteria, by specifying key words or product IDs. Using Amazon’s associates programme, the clicks generated can give your website a little bit of income, or else go to some predetermined ‘good cause’.