New App Brings Location-Based Services To Books


As brick-and-mortar bookstores close and e-book reading takes off, book publishers fear that readers will be less likely to stumble across new books, and they’re seeking new ways to aid “discoverability.” Now a new app is promoting book discovery by location.

Book Crawler, an app that lets users keep track of and organize what they’re reading, has added on location-based features using Skyhook’s Local Faves technology. Book Crawler can now show the most popular books in a given location. Users can see maps of where their favorite books have been read near them, “check in” to a location via the book they are currently reading, and connect with nearby users who share their reading interests.

Book Crawler is calling itself “the world’s first location-based book app,” although there has already been some experimentation in that field. Book social networking site LibraryThing released its “Local Book” iPhone app in January 2010, allowing users to search for book-related events and bookstores near them. And GetGlue lets users “check in” to books they are reading, along with TV shows, movies, and other types of entertainment. Book Crawler appears to be the first app, however, to focus on check-ins solely for books and to promote discoverability of books in a given area.

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