January 20, 2014
New app lets readers share their favorite books
by Nick Davies
A startup company based in Washington is launching a new app to let users share their favorite books with friends, Dianna Dilworth writes for GalleyCat. Available for Apple products, Books I Love lets readers connect with each other and share recommendations with personalized notes, as well as preset categories of what they like about it.
Books I Love co-founder Elizabeth Dimarco said that the company created the app as a way for people to record their book recommendations that otherwise get forgotten or lost in the shuffle. “With this app,” she explained, “we believe we’ve built a way to digitize word-of-mouth recommendations that happen every day — at home, at work, at play — but are rarely captured in the moment.”
The app is available now and has a fairly intuitive feel, as you can see here:
You start by searching for a book, like–oh, let’s say Rachel Cantor’s A Highly Unlikely Scenario. You can then pick from 30 different aspects of the book that you enjoyed, including the author, cover, dialogue, romance, sidekick, and others.
Once you choose an element of the book you enjoy, you come to this screen with 72 different adjectives to specify exactly why. Do you like the hero, for example, because he/she is dark, complicated, joyful, sassy, or just because?
Once you’ve made all your selections, you can see a preview of how your recommendation looks.
And finally, you can select people from your list of Facebook friends or contacts with whom to share each recommendation.
Being a new app, Books I Love isn’t without its flaws. For one thing, there isn’t a way to do a blanket recommendation to all your Facebook friends; you can only scroll through and pick the ones you want. And without, as far as I can tell, a way to see which friends actually have the app, it’s unclear what happens if you recommend a book to somebody who doesn’t have it. It might simply go out into the ether. If that’s the case, it’s going to take a critical mass of people using the app to make it truly worthwhile, though it remains in any case a cool idea.
Nick Davies was a publicist at Melville House.