Thursday, August 25, 2011


This weekend I'll be attending Context 24. This will be a laid-back con for me; all I'm committed to is the Broad Universe Reading on Sunday at 1:00. If you're around and you enjoy Lovecraftian detective stories, stop by for a listen.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Booklamp vs. Novelist

I was just reading about a "new" idea in matching readers with books. It's called Booklamp, and the developers describe it as "Pandora for books". (FYI, I'm familiar with Pandora but haven't used it myself.) The idea is, Booklamp takes data from the books you love, analyzes such data as plot, characters, etc., and based on those analyses provides you with some other titles you might enjoy. It's a great idea. That's why Novelist has been doing it for years.

As far as I can tell, the difference between Booklamp and Novelist is that you need a public library card to access Novelist. And since I'm a public librarian, I'm going to plug Novelist right now for those library users who aren't familiar with their libraries' wonderful database collections. If you've got a public library card, visit your library website. You'll probably see a button on the main page that says something like "Premium Resources" or "Databases". For example, on Columbus Metro's Page you'll see it in the dropdown menu under "Reference".

When you click that tab you should see a number of resources. Scroll down until you see Novelist. (Disclaimer: of course not every library webpage is arranged the same way, so the process at your library may be a bit different.) When you click it, you'll probably be prompted to enter your library card number and possibly your pin, so have those handy. Now go to town. If you're lucky enough to accessing Novelist from your library, the friendly librarian there will help you with any questions, but you should be able to navigate it pretty easily.

And if your library doesn't have Novelist, call them up and ask them what the deal is.

Seriously, Novelist is pretty cool. I just used it to discover Algernon Blackwood based on my preference for H.P. Lovecraft. I'll be checking him out soon.

But back to the original topic: Booklamp. Has anyone used it? (I understand it's still in beta.) Anyone used both Booklamp and Novelist and have a preference?