A few weeks ago I heard about an interesting new website that is still in its infancy, but has the potential for greatness.
http://beta.booklamp.org/aims to find and recommend the right books for you. Using new analytical software the founder, Aaron Stanton, hopes to build a huge database of titles, analyse elements of each book and construct a sort of book DNA. Once this database is crammed full it should be possible to pick a book or books you particularly enjoy, and then start a search. Booklamp will give you a recommendation list. It is a bit like the recommendations Amazon do but based on the information you give Booklamp. No more being offered a crazy selection after you’ve Amazoned all your Christmas pressies.
Please be patient, Booklamp is still in its baby stages, they have only a short list on offer, mostly SciFi, but they aren’t claiming otherwise. They welcome people to join, have a play around and see their potential, and there is a forum that allows users to leave comments and ideas.
The Bibliocafe, Woodland Road, Glasgow
This is a word of mouth sort of place, but now I know where to find it I am hooked. The Bibliocafe sits on the corner of Woodlands Road and West End Park Street in the vibrant West End of Glasgow.
The concept is easy. Before you leave the house, pick up those books you've read but won’t read again. Take books to the Bibliocafe. The lovely lady there will tell you how much the books are worth to her, you strike a deal. She gives you a credit note to the value of the books and you spend the next few hours drinking coffee, eating yummy cake and browsing the shelves for a quality second hand book to replace the ones you took along. If the value of your purchases does not meet the credit note, the note is marked up and you can use it next time around. Good eh?
I didn’t have any books to trade because I can’t bear to part with any printed material, but that didn’t stop me enjoying an organic ginger tea while people watching from the large picture window upstairs. Oh and I bought a book, well I had to. My request for The Poisonwood Bible has been in the library for six weeks and Bibliocafe had a once read copy for £3.00 – what would you have done?