Whether you have a private library or picking up a book for the first time, making a choice can be hard. You always have the option to ask your friends but why depend on a limited source when you have far better ways to stumble upon good books? So without further ado, here are some of the best book recommendation sites and apps to nail your next read. Let’s begin.
Sites and Apps to Recommend Books Based on What You Like
1. Recommend Me a Book
If you believe in the concept of ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’, this one is the perfect book recommendation site for you. It picks a random book and shows the reader only the first page of the book. If you what you read, you get an option to reveal the name and author of the book at the end of the page. In case you don’t like the first page, make use of the Next Book option to shuffle.
The genre feature is one option I like the most. It allows you to apply filters to the search results and choose a specific genre. For example, adventure, biography, horror, humor, etc. You can also change the font size and the text alignment if you like.
- No sign-in required
- Clean webpage without ads
- Shows Amazon links for books
- No book reviews
- Limited book database
2. The Book Apothecary
The Book Apothecary is a section of a larger website, Read it Forward, which caters to book lovers. The website has multiple sections such as yearly/monthly book lists, book excerpts, etc. However, I’m just going to talk about the book recommendation section. A user can easily reach the section from the Your Next Read option on the website’s top bar. The Book Apothecary has a very unique way of recommending books – according to your mood. It requires users to select mood in two stages after which they are shown book results.
The suggested results are limited to three books which is disappointing and I also found the recommendations off the mark. However, if you take other sections of the website into consideration, it’s a good package. You can find podcasts, essays, articles, videos, and even author interviews which might be of interest to many.
- Recommends books by mood
- Multiple useful sections for readers
- Frequent book giveaways
- Multiple shop links (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks)
- Limited to three book recommendation
- Low perfect match probability
Visit The Book Apothecary
3. Read This Twice
Every once in a while, we come across posts on social media with a list of books famous people have read. Whether it’s Warren Buffet’s book recommendations for budding investors or Steve Jobs’s favorite book list. If you like to read more books by influential personalities, Read This twice is a good starting point. It has a whole section dedicated to the books recommended by personalities along with their quotes and views about the book (with source).
There are multiple genres to select books from. The sidebar is dedicated to various genres and professions be it actors, bloggers, scientists, and many more. In addition, you get a short bio about the person, book summary, Goodreads rating and also comments (if recommended by more people listed). You can also add your favorite books to the library, although it requires sign-in.
- Large database of book recommendations
- Covers personalities from various fields
- Shows Goodreads rating, publish date, category, ISBN number, etc.
- Contains a comprehensive list by book genre
- Shows if a book is available on Audible
- Found broken Amazon links
Visit Read This Twice
Consider Whichbook a book recommendation site with a bit of all the above websites combined. There are several ways you can look for your next read. You can filter books by emotion/mood, character, plot and they cover bestsellers too. What makes this one different from all the others is the world map section. As you might have already guessed, you can browse books by country of origin. It’s a great way to find books related to a certain culture or geographical location. All these are presented in a 3D scrollable map where you can simply click on the continent > country and find a list of books.
Another unique feature is the borrow section which displays all the public libraries where you can borrow books from. The rest of the book recommendation filters such as mood/emotion and character/plot section are comprehensive. The mood section allows the user to drag the slider to set the intensity of a mood. For example, happy or sad, gentle or violent, etc. In terms of character/plot, you can filter by plot, race, age, gender, etc.
- World map of books
- Multiple filter options
- Public library listing to borrow
- Books cover used as templates
- Shows book extract and related books
- Fairly limited books for specific countries
- No sign-in option (can’t save books or make a list)
There is a subreddit for everything under the sun and so is there one for book recommendations. The best part about subreddits is that you can join multiple communities which can fall between both generic and niche topics. Apart from that, you can post about the books you are looking for, ask for recommendations, and discuss the book’s storyline. Here are some book recommendation subreddits you can check out.
- Suggest Me A Book
- Book Suggestions
- Books (in-depth discussions)
- The Reddit Book Club (one/two book a month)
- Audiobooks (Audible users)
- 52 Book Challenge (one book a week challenge)
If you wish to discuss a specific genre and can’t find a subreddit for it, you can simply create a Reddit community (subreddit) in a few easy steps.
Android doesn’t have a lot of book recommendation apps but BookSloth is one of the few good ones. It’s a fairly simple app and you start by choosing your favorite genres such as biographies, crime, fiction, etc. Once you are done choosing a genre (at least 3 or more), the app asks you to choose reading elements.
The app also allows you to connect to other readers natively with its community section. You can share your favorite books, take part in discussions, follow others and also check out their book recommendations. One issue I faced while using the app is a dead recommendation page. Even after selecting multiple filters, the app didn’t show any result in the discover section. Keeping that aside, if you are in for a book community and want to see what others are reading, this is a must-try.
- Allows you to make a unique profile
- Sections on book recommendation, reading, to read, etc
- Sports Instagram like social community
- Discover section often failed to suggest books
- Can’t verify other users or their recommendations
- App focus more on user-generated content
So I saved the best one for the last. Goodreads is a one-stop-shop for all your reading woes. Since Amazon acquired Goodreads, the app has seen an increase in the number of users. Goodread’s Kindle integration also makes it a convenient choice for Kindle users.
You can search for books by genre and also set a yearly goal for the number of books you wish to read. The only downside is that the recommendations take time. The app has a steep learning curve and it recommends good books once you have rated a fair number of books. So the more books you rate, the chances of getting a quality recommendation also shoots up. Goodreads are great for organizing your books. The shelves section allows you to add books that you are currently reading and also helps you make a wishlist.
- Large database of books
- Allows you to add tags to books
- Syncs Kindle notes and highlights
- Allows search and scan books
- Limited sign-in options
- Takes reviews to make a good recommendation list.
Closing Remarks: Which Book Recommendation Sites or Apps Should You Choose
In my opinion, there are far more tools for the web when we look at book recommendations. I highly recommend using Whichbook as it offers plenty of filters when you are searching for a book. On the other hand, if you have some particular needs such as a book that doesn’t have its main character or simply a supernatural series, Reddit should be on top of your list. Lastly, if you wish to use an app, install Goodreads.