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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Book Recommendation Services Make Me Hoppin' Mad!

This entry prompted by Goodreads email and an article by Allie Townsend for Techland Time called:
"Finally, Goodreads launches book recommendations service."




My nerves are on a frazzle today.  I just received the offer from Goodreads to set up my book "recommendations."  They will be happy to let me know which book I should read next if I'll just go through a couple of steps to let them know what I've read recently and liked.

Please!!  Amazon has this service, as I'm sure other book sites do, as well.  It really irks me.  I know you can't wait to hear why.  Am I right?

One of the last vestiges of our independence in this world of computerized, digitized and size-ized world is choice.  Our own choice for right or wrong.  It may seem like a small thing to give up choosing your own books, but it's not.  It's actually an intellectual exercise in personal interest, education, research and freedom of choice. Ever hear of intellectual license?  There's something to having a "market" on your own mind. 

To allow every choice you would make to be processed under a "recommendation" at a social or book site is to let go of some of your freedoms of individuality.  Put another way, the Big Brother out there has a bead on what you're reading, and that means they have a bead on who and what you are...what you may be thinking on a deeper level than just the social fluff you'd let anyone in on.

I personally get offended when Amazon assumes to make recommendations to me based on my browsings on their site.  I like to browse; I don't always purchase what I browse.  I don't like it when they "cubby hole" me.  It bothers me when people do that to me in real life when they can see me and hear me...so, you can imagine how I feel when a computer program intels me that way.  I actually get angry!

I don't want Goodreads to mess with my good feelings about them.  I like the way things are working right now.  I input what I'm reading and I review my books for others to read if they want to.  I bob around the website checking out what my friends are reading and what they thought about it...but noone is telling me what I'd be advised to read next. 

Don't be asking to pick out my books for me, Goodreads, I don't like it. I like you just the way you are.  And, I wish others who felt the same would speak out, too.

Please let me know how you feel, both pro and con.  I'm curious.

Read the article that prompted my ravings today at:
One of the points Ms Townsend gives is that she's given up her choices due to lack of time.  I once had a very wise teacher who said, "You always have time to do what you want to do."

Deborah/TheBookishDame

2 comments:

Darlene

Thanks for visiting my blog today. I just became a new follower of yours as well! I'm not find of having books picked out for me either. I'm perfectly capable of knowing what I like on my own. I just junk all those from Amazon. Usually they dint have a clue what I like anyway. Lol.

Donna

Thanks for visiting my blog and entering the give away. Thank you also for all the compliments but I can not take credit. The blog tour is the work of Mandie. I agree with you on your post. I don't mind that Amazon directs me at times because like you I browse and browse. I have found some great cook books and others using their recommendations. I hadn't given it much thought that they were pigeonholing me - but had I read the article as you did, it might have dawned on me! Thank goodness Goodreads hasn't approached me. I am like you in that I love visiting friends blogs to see what they are reading and giving away. I have found many new books this way. But, to totally rely on a computer's suggestions? No. Great post. I am sharing it on My Life.'s face book page. Donna

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