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January 20, 2014 / carlispina

Recommend Books to Your Friends With The Books I Love App

Books I Love LogoAs a librarian, it might seem like a stereotype, but I love reading books and recommending them to people who will enjoy them. Books I Love is a fun app for saving your thoughts on books and sharing them with your friends. Rather than asking users to review every book they want to recommend, the app is based around a series of icons that help you summarize your feelings about the book.

To get started, you have to create an account with the service. You can opt to do so through Facebook or by using your email address. Once you have set up an account, you can start recommending books by searching for them in the app’s database. The app has access to over 19 million titles according to its FAQ, so popular books are likely to be available but more obscure titles may not be. As of now, the title you wish to recommend must be in their database in order for you to recommend it.

Build PageOnce you have found the book you wish to recommend, you are presented with a picture of the title along with the author and title. At the bottom of this same “Build” page, you will also see a series of icons that help you to craft your recommendation. Clicking on any applicable icon will open another page, entitled the “Describe” page, which then lets you select descriptive words about the element you have selected. You can choose as many of these icons as you wish, or you can just select the “Just Because” icon. Once you have selected all of the icons you want, you have the option to repeat the process for another element of the story. When you feel you have adequately described the book with the icons, you can click the next button to finalize your recommendation. At this point, the app uses the icons you clicked to generate a short sentence or series of sentences about the book. You can save this recommendation for later or immediately share it with a friend either via email, by adding them from your iPhone contacts or via Facebook. Even if your friend does not have the Books I Love app, they will receive a notification of your recommendation.

RecommendationThis app makes it quick to review books and the use of icons will be helpful for people who aren’t interested in composing their own lengthy review of books that they read. The company offers a process for suggesting new icons, which means the list is likely to be refined over time, but it already has a fairly lengthy list. The entire process is an easy way of tracking your feelings about books and sharing them with friends, though I felt that the brief descriptions that the app generated didn’t always reflect my actual feelings about the book since the icons don’t allow for a very nuanced description. However, having said that, I think that many users will think that this a lower pressure way to share book recommendations. The free app is currently only available for iOS devices and is only optimized for iPhones, but the company plans to release an Android version soon.

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One Comment

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  1. ashleyisee / Jan 22 2014 10:27 pm

    Love the post! Your feedback is great and I’ll make sure to relay it to the BooksILove team! Thank you so much for helping spread the word about the app!

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