Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tuesday Thingers


Today's question from 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?

Honestly, I have not found the Recommendations feature to be much help. I have checked it a couple of times, but it seems primarily to give me a list of all the other books by authors in my library. It's really not much of a stretch to assume that if I own the first three books in Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series, that I might be interested in the next three, is it? I had hoped it would show more unusual connections. I'm not sure I see the point of the Unsuggester, really. Why would I want a list of books I probably wouldn't like? (And the last time I checked, I found two books on my Unsuggester list that were actually in my library!)

As for the ways I find books, I read a lot of blogs, I read a couple of newsletters (like Shelf Awareness), I read book reviews in the New York Times and on the NPR website, and I make frequent trips to the bookstore and the local library. In addition, I have a host of other LibraryThingers who can and do make great suggestions. I doubt I will ever be at a loss for ideas!

8 comments:

Lenore said...

I do love the libraries in the US!!

sheistoofondofbooks said...

I don't find the LT suggester that useful either. It might be interesting to look at every one in a while, but I get my "best" suggestions from friends, NYT Book Review, blogs, newsletters, like you do.

I don't know how the LT suggester could be improved. It must use tags and categories to some degree, but there is so much about the writing style of a book that is tough to put in a single word tag!

Meghan said...

I agree that the LT suggester isn't that useful. You're right in that most of the books are by the authors already in my catalog, but for me usually the only other books are either ones I know I want or don't want - I haven't found anything new in it.

I like the unsuggester because it's fun. I don't think it serves any other purpose besides that of an entertaining bit of coding. =) Some of the books I own or on my wishlist show up on mine, too.

Traci said...

You used to be able to get omit suggestions from authors in your library, but it looks like they removed that function. I felt like that was better because it eliminated what you mentioned - getting recommendations for the fourth and fifth books in a series you'd already read the first three.

literatehousewife said...

I will have to check into newsletters. Who publishes Shelf Awareness (love the name!)? I agree about the Unsuggester. I would imagine it wasn't that difficult to code and that's why they added it.

thekoolaidmom said...

I never thought of the unsuggester as pointless, but since you put it that way... I'd have to agree. I've only played with it once or twice when it came up for blogging. I trust my instints as to what I won't like more than an algorithm.

I don't read the major reviews, either. I find them to be too focused on the mechanics of writing and their own agendas to be trusted... if fact if So-n-So of the Big Book Reviews said it's trash, I'd run to get it and run from their pet books.

Book Zombie said...

I agree with you about the recommendations about series's. It seems redundant to suggest any books after you already own the first couple. Perhaps if it only suggested series books that are newly released.

Traci said...

I wanted to let you know that I've nominated you in this meme. Don't feel pressured to participate, but if you'd like to, you can read about it here