Read the First Pages of Books Without Knowing the Author or Title

Photo: Thomas Bethge, Shutterstock
Photo: Thomas Bethge, Shutterstock

If you’ve already read your way through your bookshelf after spending months at home, you might be looking for something new. Maybe you’re usually into historical fiction, but don’t know to go about picking something from another genre. There are the usual ways, like getting recommendations from friends, getting recommendations from strangers on Goodreads, or asking a librarian or person who works in a bookshop, but we just came across a new (and fun) method you might want to try.

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How to get new book recommendations

Remember when we were kids and our teachers told us not to judge a book by its cover? That was probably more of a commentary about how we treat other people (because at that time, books did have pretty visually descriptive covers), but if this concept intrigued you (or still does), there’s a website that might be of interest. It’s called “Recommend Me a Book,” and that’s exactly what it does.

The homepage doesn’t contain any flashy graphics or really any other visuals — just the first page of a book. Not only is the cover absent, but you also don’t know the title or author of the book. At the bottom of the page, you have the option to reveal the author and title. If you’re interested in reading it, you can add it to your virtual bookshelf. Only the first pages of the books are available on the website, but it does link directly to the book’s Amazon page so you can easily order it (or use the information and get it from your local independent bookstore or library).

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When you’re ready for another one, click “next book” and see what pops up. Even if you’re not interested in committing to a full book at the moment, it’s kind of fun to read the first page of something, find out who wrote it, and then read the next one. You can play other fun games, like trying to guess the author or genre based on a single page. I wasn’t very good at that, but was on a hot streak identifying books written by men, based solely on how they describe the physical appearances of girls and/or women.

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