It has begun…

currently playing on my iPod: Rabbit Heart by Florence and the Machine

A few posts ago I mentioned my thoughts on how us readers will dig through all the upcoming digital books, new and old, good and bad. About how we might need recommendations and assistance and how that will most likely come from publishers–becoming their new job. Yesterday Publishers’ Lunch revealed that this has come to pass. Scholastic launched their site YouAreWhatYouRead.com which includes a searchable database highly reminiscent of iTunes’ celebrity playlists. On said site you can click on a nice pic of Daniel Radcliffe and see the covers of the five books that have influenced him the most in his life. This site includes playlists–deemed bookprints as if the person has their very own publishing house–by celebrities, authors, and politicians. Interesting? Yes. Scary? Absolutely. I mean, if the lists were honest (C’mon, you know they won’t be…would you tell everyone that you secretly love Charlaine Harris as opposed to Harper Lee? C’mon.) they would be fun and helpful, but these lists are simply a new version of people showing off their living room bookshelf to guests while the books they really like are hiding under the bed, wrinkled and true. Now, another site, Peroozal.com, which is only in beta form today promises more. Well, maybe. Peroozal is Writers’ House agent Simon Lipskar’s baby and it only contains the recommendations of authors. No celebs or various types of lesser beings. (JK here people) I am quite excited to get my cursor on those lists, but I have to admit that here lies another beast, lurking beneath the happy browsing. That beast being: You scratch my back and right back at ya. How are these lists compiled? Are we supposed to seriously believe that an author logs on and just types her faves out with no deals involved? I hope so. Oh I hope hope hope so. That would be so great. But I’m not nine years old. But even if there are deals going on behind the computer screen, these sites are still useful. They are better than roaming around in your ereader for a year and a half, overwhelmed by the sheer volume of material. I believe, and I’m sure most would agree with me, that word of mouth will remain most important when readers consider what to buy/download. I know that if my friend Candace likes a book, I should buy it. I know that if friendwithtastefarfrommineyikes recommends a read, I smile and ignore her completely. So will our book buying behavior be swayed by these new sites? I would say yes, in part. Check the sites if you like and let me know what you think.     

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