BookLikes.com is a service dedicated entirely to helping users find a book they will enjoy. The application strives to provide a resource for book lovers that is similar to IMDB for movie fans. Users can create a profile and share their opinions about the books they read. BookLikes utilizes an algorithm that reviews the user’s reading preferences and suggests titles that fit those preferences. Users are also encouraged to see what other users are reading, have read or will be reading to determine if that individual has a similar taste in literature. Users who find similarly minded readers will know that a recommendation from that person will be a better fit. BookLikes intends to offer better quality book recommendations that aren’t influenced by popular trends.
BookLikes was founded in 2011 as a specialized book recommendation service for avid readers. The concept is very appealing to anyone with specific reading tastes. That being said, some users noticed that the recommendations generated by BookLikes were not always accurate. Strange options would sometimes appear that seemed to have nothing to do with the user’s preferences or reading history. The site is still in beta, so it is possible that these issues will be resolved before official release.
There are a number of websites dedicated to books. What makes BookLikes so interesting is the way the application offers recommendations based on the user’s preferences rather than popular opinion. Any retail book site will display a similar collection of best sellers because these are what makes them money. BookLikes helps users find books that they will actually want to read, regardless of what titles are the latest trend on and off the web.
BookLikes has a very mature, stylish feel about it that is accentuated by a wood grain header and dark brown and green elements. Each title is displayed neatly, with a thumbnail cover image, synopsis, related URLs and star ranking. The site feels very smooth, allowing the user to glide from one area to the next without feeling obstructed by load times or unnecessary visual elements. The user friendly design helps visitors discover books in a new way.
New users can join the BookLikes community by clicking the dark brown “Sign Up” button in the upper, right hand corner of the page. A drop down box appears and invites the user to sign up with an existing LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook account. Users can also click the green “Join Us” button to create a new account for BookLikes. The login form bounces up, dropping back down to reveal the registration form. The user is asked to provide a first and last name, username, email address and password to create an account.
BookLikes is available to all users for free. There are no subscription fees or other charges required to create an account and receive book recommendations. This is a good thing because the website needs more users to participate to help grow its recommendations data base. Users can view other user’s reading history to find individuals with similar tastes. The website is still in beta, so it is possible that future updates could include a subscription. For the time being, everyone can enjoy BookLikes at no cost.
BookLikes.com is intended specifically for readers. Anyone can obtain book recommendations on the site. Although users who are avid readers will get the most use out of BookLikes, even casual readers can use the site to look for their next good read. The application is very easy to use, so anyone can quickly master the interface and explore the books listed on the homepage. Genres are not restricted so users can find almost any title on the site.