It's the timeless dilemma of the book-lover: what should I read next?
Browse your Amazon and you'll find some recommendations, but they'll be based on all of your past purchase and viewing history, with your personal ratings factored in. It sounds great — and often is — but what if you want to get more specific?
Goodreads is an excellent place for recommendations from fellow book lovers, but it can take time to build a network of people with similar taste.
What if you just want a quick way to find your next sci-fi fix? Or maybe you want something in the historical fiction realm, somewhere between, say, Matthew Pearl and Ken Follett?
That's where What Should I Read Next? comes in.
WSIRN is a simple service that recommends books based on specific user input, not past ratings or browsing history. Start by entering the name of a book or author, or multiple books and authors, and click the button. Results are served up quickly, in a seemingly endless stream of titles. Each list item contains a link to the book's Amazon site.
You don't need to sign up to use the service, but if you do (using only your email address- no password), you can save lists. You might save that historical fiction list, and start another one for good biographies, for example.
So how does WSIRN make its recommendations? It's all based on "mass opinion." The recommendations depend solely on user lists. When a title is added to a list, that title becomes affiliated with the other titles in said list. The more often two books appear in a list together, the stronger the correlation, and the resulting recommendations.
It should be noted that the current service only utilizes physical books; ebooks are very few and far between. I point this out because it highlights a glaring hole in the books ecosystem: currently, there is no centralized database of ebooks from which WSIRN can extract data. It's something the owners of WSIRN, Thoughtplay are looking into.
All in all, this is a dead-simple service that does what it says on the tin. If Amazon's algorithms aren't doing it for you, head on over and try it out.
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