HarperCollins launches recommendation site for book lovers

LONDON - Publisher HarperCollins has launched a website which offers book recommendations based on a user's previous reads and the opinions of other users.

BookArmy.com, which could be described as a Last.fm for books, provides a community for book lovers who in turn review and recommend books to fellow users.

Visitors can enter the name of a favourite book and the site will automatically generate a list of literary recommendations from a library of more than 6m titles.

Members can build and share a list of personal favourites, rate books and authors, enter discussions with fellow readers and find out about relevant events.

There is also an option to buy books listed, which redirects users to Amazon.co.uk.

After a spell in private beta, BookArmy is now looking to improve recommendations it can offer by signing up more people. As an incentive to join it is offering entry to a prize draw for an African holiday through Lastminute.com.

The site, which was created in conjunction with Fleming Media Online, is being rolled out across the English-speaking world.

Tom Wright, a director at Fleming Media Online, said: "It is a very sophisticated site based on a set of algorithms that will constantly feed our members new suggestions based on real members’ recommendations.

"The beauty of BookArmy is that the more reviews it receives the better it works."

Today's launch coincides with World Book Day and the results of a poll that revealed 65% of people questioned had at some point claimed to have read a book when they had not.

The most common false claim was in reference to George Orwell's 1984, which 42% of people admitted to lying about having read, followed by Tolstoy's War and Peace and James Joyce's Ulysses.

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