Barnes and Noble recently launched a new app, Browsery™, a new app that helps you find book recommendations. The new app, which can be found in the Apple® and Google Play® stores, is a community driven application that gives readers a chance to ask for and give book recommendations.
From the press release:
Books have always brought people together over shared interests to make recommendations to one another, and Browsery is rooted in that core experience of the reading life. We’re taking the way people talk about books with their friends and in our stores across the country and giving it a fun mobile presence…Through this innovative new app, customers will be able to recommend great books to each other. We’re also encouraging our booksellers to get involved and share their knowledge and passion with a wider audience.”
I downloaded the app this morning to give it a try. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the app. The setup is very easy for anyone to use . Everyday you are met with a “Question of the Day” which you can answer or see other readers’ answers You can also select which answer you agree with, by clicking on the book cover. The app also allows you to ask a question of you own. Most of the questions are general like, ‘What book are you currently reading?” or “What is your favorite classical book?” But then you will receive the more specific questions such as, “Have you ever bought a paperback versions of a novel that you already own in a hardcover?
You can select which book categories you want to follow and questions related to those categories will show up in your feed on the home screen. The app is also gives you the option of saving a book you would like to read to your profile. Just select the cover image and press save. It is really a great way to add books to your TBR shelf.
Although this app appears to be very beneficial and useful, it is not all necessary. There is already Goodreads and LibraryThing dominates the social networks for books. I have no problem with competition, in fact, I encourage it, but only if you are offering something different compared to the other platforms, which this doesn’t. Even clicking on the book cover, it doesn’t direct you to the Barnes and Noble website, if by chance you want to purchase the book. This app was just released so it is most likely in Beta testing. Maybe they eventually add this feature. But I would think that would be something they would add-on the first try.
If you are looking for book recommendations from real readers other than a computer algorithm, then this is a good app to try. However, I would think that a company that is trying to increase sales in their brick and mortar stores would implement a strategy that would involve the stores in someway. This just increases their online presence, the last thing they need.