What can I use my new personal library database for?
January 21, 2015 1:35 PM   Subscribe

I've just finished adding all of my owned books into a personal database app. Now what can I do with that information?

I'm curious whether this can be used for anything fun? For instance, I know that I could use the app's "Lending" feature and automatically send text messages to a friend who has a book borrowed from me for too long. But I'm thinking about Netflix movie recommendations or that new psych evaluation from the University of Cambridge that tells you your five-factor personality model based on your facebook "likes".

Is there a website that will scan my library and recommend books based on my entire collection? I know Amazon does this based on my order history. But what about my library? I would be enthralled if it kicked back the email address of a person with whom I have a significant correlation of books owned, for instance.

What other cool things could I do--even if they don't really exist yet?
posted by jefficator to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (5 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Librarything has a lot of features in this vein and would be worth checking out.
posted by selfnoise at 1:42 PM on January 21, 2015

Sites like LibraryThing do recommendations, but that's based on you entering your books into their database.
357 Mefites on Librarything
384 Mefites on Goodreads
15 Mefites on Shelfari
posted by zamboni at 1:44 PM on January 21, 2015

Best answer: Upload your data into Goodreads and they will give you recommendations. I know that you can compare lists with friends, but you may be able to do it with anyone who has made their shelves public.
posted by soelo at 2:05 PM on January 21, 2015

Yes, you can compare your lists on Goodreads, irrespective of whether you are "friends" with the other person. Frequently, I'll see a book I wonder about, and I'll look at a few of the five star review and check the "compare books" function for the reviewer. That tells me not only how many books we have in common and what percentage of each library that represents, but it also shows me our comparative ratings for the books we have in common. In addition, it throws in 20 books we don't have in common (presumably just in case I have read the book and forgotten to update it on my own feed). Goodreads will quickly upload all books you have purchased from Amazon at the click of a finger if you like.

On Librarything, there's a function that predicts whether you will like a book and gives you a confidence rating as to the accuracy of the prediction. I don't use that quite as much, because it's slightly opaque, but I have used it in the past and found it correct.
posted by janey47 at 2:45 PM on January 21, 2015

Also wanted to add that the automatic recommendation function isn't incredibly helpful on Goodreads because it doesn't seem to aggregate lists, but rather it recommends based on specific books. I created a list of books that I wanted Goodreads to use as a basis for recommendations, but instead of saying the equivalent of "oh I see you enjoy mysteries written in the UK by women so maybe you should try Denise Mina." Nope. It said the equivalent of "you liked The Likeness by Tana French so you should consider The Secret Place by Tana French." Not what I wanted.
posted by janey47 at 2:57 PM on January 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

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