A new website called Bookish, founded by Hachette Book Group, Simon & Schuster, and Penguin Group, lets readers find recommendations based on their favorite titles and read content created exclusively for the website by authors like Elizabeth Gilbert.
Bookish allows users to buy titles off the website, but also includes links for buying books on sites like Amazon and Barnes & Noble, as well as independent bookstores. The website will publish exclusive interviews with authors, as well as excerpts from books that readers can peruse. Users can also create accounts which lets them add titles to their electronic “shelf,” and will get advanced access to Bookish website content, among other perks. The site will also include original articles about the book world written by Bookish staff.
“Bookish was created to serve as a champion of books, writers, and, most importantly, readers," Ardy Khazaei, Bookish CEO, said in a statement. "Ultimately, we seek to expand the overall marketplace for books, and whether a book gets into a reader's hands via Bookish's e-commerce partner or another retailer, everyone – from the publisher, to the retailer, the author, and the reader – wins.”
The site also compiles lists such as one titled “For Moms,” which recommends books like “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot for mothers. Searching for a title brings up any lists the book appears on, recent news articles about the book, selected quotes from the text (uploaded by users who registered for an account), as well as recommendations of other similar titles on the site. Visitors can also check out user reviews.
Bookish’s launch was delayed because of various technical problems after it was first announced in 2011, according to the Wall Street Journal.
So far, original content uploaded to the site includes a piece by Elizabeth Gilbert challenging Philip Roth’s statement that writing is “torture,” an interview with writer Michael Connolly conducted by fellow author Michael Koryta, and pieces by the humor website The Onion in which they review bestsellers like “Fifty Shades of Grey” and “The Great Gatsby.”
“F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel is renowned for having characters, figurative language, plot, themes, symbols, and 'point of view,'” the Onion’s review of “The Great Gatsby” reads.