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Reading suggestion engines: Your next read

Sometimes readers’ advisory doesn’t come easy.  Sometimes we need some quick help recommending titles.  A number of my students, most notably my Book Club kids, belong to book networking sites like GoodReads, LibraryThing, and Shelfari. But not everyone really wants to join and build a reading network based on tagging and rating and reviewing.

I’ve been gathering and pointing to some speedier book recommendation tools that don’t require a membership commitment beyond a basic registration, a variety of sites that lead readers to quick book hook-ups based on recent reads, favorite authors, genres and other traits.

BookSeer presents readers with a simple form asking what you just finished reading. It pulls recommendations from sites like Amazon and LibraryThing.  Results are delivered with a sharable link and the reminder that you can seek additional help at a local bookshop or library.

Scholastic’s Teacher Book Wizard is designed to help teachers create and customize book lists.  It searches the publisher’s significant archive for young readers and allows searching by interest and grade, reading level, book type, topic/subject, genre/theme, reading motivation program, and language.

JacketFlap boasts that it contains a browsable and searchable list of pretty much every children’s book and young adult book ever published.  The Advanced Search filters by author, title, publisher, illustrator, reading level, subject, and publication date.

The folks at were concerned that

while most online book stores proudly offer in excess of 2 million books, browsing and searching for a book without a title or author in mind is very difficult. In fact trying to find new authors is quite a difficult task. We started YourNextRead to make discovering, buying and enjoying a book as simple as finding your next film or band.

The site links to Amazon and Goodreads.  Search by author, title, genre and other fields.  Registering for an account allows users to visualize and connect favorite titles and to create and share recommendations with a web-like MyMap.

Enter a title, author, or ISBN number of a book you loved in the What Should I Read Next search box, and the search engine will analyze our database of real readers’ favorite books (more than 75,000 different titles so far, and more than a million reader recommendations) to provide book recommendations and suggestions for what to read next.

Free registration allows you to build and save a favorites list.

An old favorite, Database of Award-Winning Children’s Literature has indexed more than 8,400 children’s titles, across 101 awards since 1997.  A project of librarian Linda Bartel, its purpose is to create a tailored reading list of quality children’s literature or to find out if a book has won one of the indexed awards. Users can search by books by selected age of reader, format, setting, historical period, setting, language, format, genre, multicultural connections, gender, author, title, publication year, or specific award. features a couple of unique search tools, offering searchers

an enjoyable and intuitive way to find books to match their mood. Instead of starting from the overwhelming choice of books available, whichbook starts from the reader and enables each individual to build the elements of that elusive ‘good read’ we are all looking for but don’t quite know how to define.

A scale interface allows users to determine how happy, funny, optomistic, short, or sexy you’d like your next read to be. Or you may choose to use the character, plot, setting interface. The database claims to include every book published in English since 1995, including large print and audio choices.  Clicking on borrow, links users to public libraries in the UK.

Bettendorf Public Library’s Young Adult Books In Series and Sequels Wiki is a handy tools for helping series fans figure out what to read next and is also just fun to search or to browse using alphabetical lists of authors or series names .

TasteKid is a discovery engine for books, authors, movies, shows, and music.

Gnooks is a self-adapting community system based on the gnod engine. Discover new writers you will like, travel the map. of literature and discuss your favorite books and authors.

Search using the traditional fill-in-your-favorite-authors boxes or generate a super-cool interactive literature map of authors.

Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza


  1. Joyce,

    I am a recent follower of your site, not a librarian but smart enough to know that I should hang out with them! I can’t believe the gems you give us every single week. sometimes I want to scream, “Stop, I can’t process this!”

    It is great to know someone like you is scouring the web on my behalf, I will recommend you to all my friends!

    thanks for all your work

  2. Jamie Renton says:


    As always, your blog post is so helpful! Great resources! Thank you!

  3. Stephanie Light says:

    The English teachers at my school absolutely loved these resources! Students gravitated towards YourNextRead for the superb graphics and mapping. What Should I Read Next had my favorite recommendations when I tested the same book in each engine. I will be using these tools often! Now to find more reading time…


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