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January 10, 2013 / carlispina

Find Your Next Book with BookRx

BookRxAs a librarian and an avid reader, I am always interested in new tools that aim to recommend books based on the user’s interests. In the past I have tried a few of these tools, such as Book Psychic, WhatShouldIReadNext, and Gimme from the Scottsdale Public Library, but when I heard about BookRx, I was immediately intrigued since it recommends books based on your past Twitter activity.

Created by Larry Birnbaum and Shawn O’Banion of the Northwestern University Knight Lab, the tool quickly searches through any Twitter timeline to pull out hashtags, words, and Twitter users that give hints about what books are best suited for this user. Since BookRx doesn’t require a connection to a Twitter account, you can use this to get recommendations for yourself or for a friend, which makes this a great option for finding the perfect gift for your friend who is active on Twitter. After you type in the desired Twitter account, results are returned quickly, with recommendations for multiple books in each of six different genres chosen from amongst all of the genres BookRx recognizes, including Science & Technology, Business, Sports & Fitness, Politics & Social Sciences, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Food, Literature, and Humor. The results page also explains what words, hashtags and Twitter users led BookRx to make these recommendations, which can help you decide which results seem most relevant. I found the results to be very promising, though, of course, results in some genres were more relevant than others and I was actually surprised by the genres that BookRx chose to highlight for me. Overall though, the results compared well to other online book recommendation tools I have tried. If you are an active Twitter user or are shopping for someone who is, it is well worth a try.

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