Wednesday, September 21st, 2005

Similar libraries!!!

(Excuse the exclamation points. I need to express my glee somehow.)

Check out similar libraries feature. It tells you whose libraries are most like yours, but not by adding up the number of shared books. That method is distorted by common books and by large libraries. For example, you don’t share all that much when someone has Harry Potter—everyone has Harry Potter! It’s much better to be the only two people sharing “The Joy of Scottish Lacework.” Similarly, it doesn’t mean much that you share 10 books with oakesspalding—he’s got 2,100 of them.

I didn’t want to just toss up a number, so it computes it four ways. First, it adjusts for book obscurity. Second it adjusts for library size. Third it combines the factors. And fouth it gives you everyone who makes the other three lists—your library doppelgängers, if you will.

Let me know what you think. It works wonders in my case. Zette‘s library is huge and very similar. Oakesspalding‘s library is much the same (although the fact that we give each other books for Christmas distorts it). Languagehat shares many of my interests, like Greek and even Hittite. CaveatLector is the best find—he has only 106 books so I would have otherwise overlooked him, but the nine books he shares with me are all obscure treasures.

Let me know if it works for you, and which of the measures is the most accurate.

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  1. Higoras says:

    Has the similar libraries feature been dropped? It used to appear on my home page, but has vanished and the link from this blog page doesn’t go anywhere.

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