Finishing a good book is rough. First you mope around for a while, then you gradually get over it and begin your search for the next good read. But in times like these, a good book is just so hard to find. Ebook subscription service Scribd issued a redesign for its website, which will soon rollout to its mobile app in the next few weeks. The redesign features a handy new tool, which helps you find what to read next.
The website now shows more rows of ebooks, categorizes them by non-traditional topics, and highlights specific authors, series, or ebooks that are popular at the moment. Scribd also added reading recommendation lists that are curated by actual people. Some of the lists are Scribd staff favorites, while others are put together by semi-famous guest curators. The rest of the recommendations are put together by algorithms that know your reading history and can predict what you might like to read next.
“The result is as if we’ve built every reader their own personalized bookstore, with the human touch readers love, that they are now able to carry around in their back pocket,” Scribd CTO Jared Friedman said in a statement.
In other words, Scribd is becoming even more like Netflix for books. The recommendation lists might as well be the “You watched W, you might also like X, Y, or Z,” section on Netflix. Since Scribd has a lot of off-beat books and not so many well-known titles in its 500,000-book library, accurate and intelligent suggestions will be very helpful to its users.
If Scribd wants to pose a real threat to Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited ebook subscription service and keep competitor Oyster at bay, it will need to convince users to read books they’ve never heard of. In a way, Scribd goal is to become the ultimate place to discover literary gems that haven’t hit the mainstream yet.