TheReadingRoom.com Reinvents the Independent Bookseller

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Digital community for literary lovers expands social offerings with print marketplace.

Algorithms can play a part ..., but they can’t recommend books from people you know and trust, or find that unrelated hidden gem.

TheReadingRoom.com, the leading independent online portal for avid readers, announces today at the BookExpo America conference in New York the launch of its print sales offerings starting June 1 – reinforcing the company’s place as a viable and genuine independent alternative for buying and enjoying books in the digital age.

By combining the power of social networking, with carefully curated content, recommendations and featured selections, and the ability to buy eBooks and soon print titles in the U.S. (followed later by other parts of the world), readers can now discover books much in the same way they have in the past from people they know and trust. With more than seven million book records, TheReadingRoom.com simplifies and personalizes the book selection process by providing readers with both social networking tools and curatorial expertise to help discover new titles through tailored suggestions.

“Finding the right book online can be difficult, particularly when you don’t know what you are looking for,” said TheReadingRoom.com CEO Kim Anderson. “We function as an independent bookseller but take the relationship one step further than mere browsing by also serving as a reliable and trusted digital source, with a range of online tools and community resources – providing the powerful potential for discovery.”

TheReadingRoom.com also provides reviews and expert critical analysis from the highly respected New York Times and The Guardian (London) as well as reviews from its members and respected book bloggers. “We separate reviews from posts and comments. While the latter are a great way to build awareness and hype, sometimes they’re not enough for a reader to get a sense of whether they will enjoy or want to explore a new writer. Reading outside your favorite genres is not typical for most readers, so breaking in can be difficult for first-time authors and new titles.”

“Algorithms can play a part and these days are pretty smart, but they can’t recommend books from people you know and trust, or find that unrelated hidden gem that you never would have unearthed without the guidance of a friend,” said Anderson.

Browsing featured bookshelves, award winners and bestseller lists are another great way to discover great books. And, being able to browse members’ bookshelves, or follow members as well as authors, is also extremely helpful. Members are notified when a “followed member” posts a review. There are also thousands of book clubs, private and public, and widgets for bloggers to display their latest reviews on their own pages.

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Jeffrey A. Salzgeber
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