Database of the Month: Novelist
Have you ever had a book hangover? That feeling when you finish a book and you just can’t make yourself start another one because you’re still stuck the book you just read? Or maybe you’ve found yourself in a reading rut, where you can’t find anything that really sucks you in. Or sometimes you just don’t know what to pick up next and don’t want to wander around the library’s shelves for an hour looking for your next favorite book. Well, do we have good news for you! Today is your last day ever of not knowing what to read next.
Novelist is a librarian favorite, and for good reason—it combines lots of great information about fiction and nonfiction titles and makes finding a book to read feel more like picking what to watch on Netflix. When you first arrive on the site, you’ll find some examples of ways that you can mix and match what you’re in the mood for. This is called the Appeal Mixer and you can try it out for yourself if none of the options appeal to you. Once in the custom Appeal Mixer, you can explore the drop-down menus and find what appeals to you. Do you want a culturally diverse, fast-paced, witty book for teens? Novelist recommends trying A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee or Rainbow Rowell’s Wayward Son.
Read-alikes, Reviews, and Recommendations
So, you click on A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. In this title view, you’ll see the title, cover, author, what kinds of awards it’s won, professional reviews (you have to scroll down a bit for these), and all the information about the book (called metadata in the biz) that the Appeal Mixer uses to help you find what you’re looking for.
But say you’ve already read Gentleman’s Guide and its sequel and are looking for something similar. That’s where the read-alikes come in. On the right-hand side of the screen, you’ll find a column of books that are recommended as being similar to the book you’re viewing. You can hover over the cover and see why they’re recommended. One of the great things about these titles is that a lot of them are hand-picked by librarians and other readers to be read-alikes for this book! You can even see why they recommended the book. Then you can click on which book sounds interesting and find out more. You can also use the search bar at the top to find your last favorite book and see its read-alikes, which is really great for that dreaded book hangover.
But I don’t want recommendations from a machine!
Well, we can still help! Did you know that Stark Library has a special service we offer to help you find your next read? We helpfully called it My Next Read and you can find it on Stark Library’s homepage.
Just answer a few questions and you’ll receive a personalized email or phone call with your suggested titles from one of our librarians! We’ll even put the titles on hold for you to pick up at your branch. Want an audiobook or eBook? We’ve got those too!
Whether you’re in a reading rut, a book hangover, or some other meme-able mood, we’ve got a solution for you. And if you ever run out of ideas, you can always just ask a librarian! We love it when people do that.