Friday, 8 January 2010

Interesting article in The Guardian about how e-publishing could overtake the traditional ink and paper publishing format, given the right software.

Its an interesting idea, in which the reader can create 'playlists' of novels they like, in software akin to Spotify (the music streaming software). You know why this wouldn't work, though? Because books aren't the same as a three-minute pop song. You can't listen to a book in under three minutes. You can't divide your attention between reading a book, say, and crossing a road. What's the point of creating a 'playlist' of novels? It's not like you can flick between one novel and the next. You'd only get confused about the plot.

You know what would be a really great piece of software for voracious readers? A piece of software more like radio. Using Lost.FM radio, music fans can 'scrobble' (brackets: 'find') bands similar to their existing favourites. How could would that be if it existed for books?!! I would love to use a piece of software that recommended authors to me that wrote in similar styles to the ones I already enjoy. Existing recommendation systems are clunky at best, or embarrassingly wide of the mark at worst. I'm talking to YOU, Amazon Recommends. A Quiver Full Of Arrows, for me? Really?!

I can't be the only keen reader who'd love to be able to get personalised recommendations for new authors, recommendations of authors she's actually likely to enjoy. I would buy this software, for sure.

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