5 Offbeat Useful Websites For Booklovers & The Social Joy Of Reading

Saikat Basu 28-01-2011

The web isn’t really helping us curl up under the quilt with a favorite book. Not directly at least; but it is giving the booklover immeasurable pleasure in a whole lot of other ways. While we still have to shell out a pretty penny for a bestselling hardcover, we are starting to discover new authors, new genres, and new books thanks to the viral spread of online recommendations.


Even as tablets and eBook reading apps come into our hands, ‘novel’ book services are giving us new ways to look between the covers and spur our reading habits. The range of book web apps is very wide – you can download free eBooks 5 Sites With Lots of Completely Free Ebooks That Don't Suck If you know where to look, you can snag free ebooks to read online, download to your computer, or transfer to your Kindle. Read More ; you can compare prices of books BookLookr: Book Price Comparison Engine Read More across online retailers; you can organize your books Track the Books You Have (and Want To) Read with Goodreads Read More online; you can get recommendations 3 Book Recommendation Engines For Quick Book Searches These book recommendation engines will help you decide what to read next! Read More from like-minded readers. Think of something and you can bet that it’s being covered by some book app.

Here are five fresh websites for booklovers that are helping me read books with a new light.


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Information wasn’t so rampant when some of our favorite authors lived. But Infloox tries to bring a bit of it back by helping us find the reading habits of our favorite authors. It’s about those who shaped us with their books”¦and the books that probably shaped them.

For instance, Agatha Christie used to like the works of Charles Dickens. The site is like a ‘collective search engine’ too, giving us insights into the favorite reading habits of entire countries, regions, job types, cultural movements or groups in general.


The Book Cover Archive

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The domain name, the homepage, and the tagline are all self explanatory. Book covers are the first thing that draws you to the shelves holding them, and this website is a tribute to some cool book cover designs. The book mentions are linked to Amazon, but I think you can stay awhile on this artistic book review websites and just admire the art.

Also, check out the different ways you can go through the collection by using the dropdown.


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BookGlutton is like an online book club where you can read and talk about books in real time, connected through the web. The social book reading community is very interactive as you can not only chat virtually with others but also share passages in a book by annotating, commenting, and bookmarking them. Right now, this book review websites community has 2,151 books in its collection.

BookGlutton can also be used as an education tool as groups can discuss books and teachers or students can use the markup features for topics.


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The book web service positions itself as the ‘Pandora’ for book lovers. Just like the music service tries to match listeners to new music according to their tastes, BookLamp tries to do the same for book lovers. Think of it as an automated book recommendation service which can correlate the book you like with another one that has a similar writing style and features like pacing, density, description, dialog, and action.


BookLamp removes the subjectivity of other recommendation services and gives more objective results based on their own comparison engine. You can recommend your favorite books for a comparative ranking by giving the title, author, and ISBN. Some of the results were hit and miss, but it’s still fun to try out because you do discover gems.


book review websites

ReadFeeder recommends books by their popular mentions in well known blogs. Expert blogs across topics are scanned and books mentioned there are sorted according to how many posts have been written about the book. So, expect to find books that may miss any of the bestseller lists but get words of praise from enthusiastic bloggers. The book ‘feeds’ are arranged neatly according to the topics covered by the expert blogs. Each recommended book gets its own page with excerpts from the blog mentioning it.

Of course, you have to buy the books to read them, but that shouldn’t stop you from finding out what the blogosphere is raving about.


Just like the turn of a page, the web also turns over. Some of these book review websites may not survive the digital churn that usually gobbles up promising startups. If they do, we book lovers are the winners. If they don’t, they at least give us a chance to enjoy the world of reading in a new way.

Which is your favorite online book app? We have covered a lot of book apps ourselves. Browse through them too. Some are with a bookmark.

Image: Shutterstock

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  1. Saaaa
    January 29, 2011 at 5:06 am

    Did they give up on infloox or something? The concept is something I love, but for nearly every person I put it, it says there's no person with that name. Their blog hasn't been updated in months, either. What a shame. I see members can add people, but I'd be adding people forever if I tried to do everyone I'm interested in and the influences I already know.

    • Saikat Basu
      January 29, 2011 at 8:28 am

      Probably the site is not gaining as much traction as it should. The concept appealed to me too and some of the results are really interesting.

  2. Craig De Ruisseau
    January 28, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    What? No GoodReads?

    • Saikat Basu
      January 29, 2011 at 8:26 am

      GoodReads and Shelfari are pretty common, so I left them out. You will find then under the 'book apps' link at the end of the post.