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Tuesday Thingers: recommendations

From Marie at The Boston Bibliophile:

Today’s topic: Recommendations. Do you use LT’s recommendations feature? Have you found any good books by using it? Do you use the anti-recommendations, or the “special sauce” recommendations? How do you find out about books you want to read?

I don’t really use LT’s recommendations feature very much. It either shows me books that are related to old books I have, in which I have no interest, or books I already know that I want. In that respect, I suppose it works, I’m just faster at getting ideas. When I put in new books, usually then the “new” recommendations are the ones I want, because those ignore my high school collection of romance novels.

I like looking at the Unsuggester – like many others’, it’s mostly full of Christian works with a little mystery and suspense. I don’t like any of these and it’s occasionally entertaining to see what it comes up with. Of course, when a book I’ve heard about is on there, it actually makes me more interested to read it because I wonder if my tastes thwart LT’s view of me. I think they do, based on the Early Reviewer books I have and haven’t received, but that’s not the question here. ;) Actually, several books I own also show up on the Unsuggester, so I guess I’m already thwarting LT. Apparently people can’t like both fantasy and Tudor history.

I usually find out about books I’d like elsewhere. On LT, I usually read a lot of the Talk forums and as I have a good idea of what I like, I glean lots of recommendations from what other people are reading. If a book has several mentions, I’ll check out its reviews and ratings and add it to my wish list, either mental or physical. I try to find books that are similar to those I already have, as well. I also have a google reader full of book blogs, which are both wonderful and disastrous for my TBR list. I love reading them, though. And of course, I get books through ARC requests and offers, and if I don’t get them then I’m looking out for them when they come out. I rarely just pick up a book and decide I’d like it, unless it’s very cheap.

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5 comments to Tuesday Thingers: recommendations

  • I haven’t looked at the unsuggester, but I have a feeling I’d enjoy it!

  • I do like you. I go with what people are saying more that LT suggester. I had a thought while reading your post. You said you try to pick books similar to what you have, and that reminds me of Amazon’s “people also bought” thing. Sometimes I look at that, too… though I’ve never picked anything off of that either.

  • The only time that I’ve found Amazon recommendations to be truly helpful is for non-fiction. After I read The Worst Hard Time for example, I was interested in the Dust Bowl, and the “have also looked at/bought” feature turned up some gems.

  • I do wonder how the unsuggester actually works. It seems to be just a “the people who have this book in their library, don’t have any of the books you have in yours” sort of thing which in theory seems like it should work. But I think it ends up giving most people the same selections. What I’d like to see is what’s on the lists of those people who actually own all those Christian books that show up on everyone else’s lists.

  • The Tudor History not meshing with Fantasy must come from me (although the fantasy thing is because I haven’t read any of it before). Sorry, my bad! :)