Feature Friday: iDreamBooks

By Hannah Bennett

By compiling movie reviews and creating a score for each movie, Rotten Tomatoes has made itself an invaluable resource for movie lovers.  A quick look at the website’s ‘tomatometer’ gives you an idea of what the critics thought of each film.  As an avid Rotten Tomatoes user, I’ve often wondered why no such site exists for book reviews.  Apparently, so did the creators of iDreamBooks, a new book review aggregation site modeled after Rotten Tomatoes.

While many readers have come to appreciate the recommendations of Goodreads, those recommendations are crowd-sourced rankings rather than professional reviews.  It’s a matter of personal preference whether the critics’ reviews are more or less helpful than crowd-sourced rankings in choosing your next read.  Many believe that the opinions of the masses, voiced on such websites as Yelp and Amazon, hold more power than the critics these days.  Regardless, what iDreamBooks hopes to offer is a one-stop shop for professional book reviews.  Like Rotten Tomatoes, iDreamBooks provides both the individual critiques and an overall score, along with basic information about the book.

I heard about iDreamBooks through a Huffington Post article entitled, “iDreamBooks Review Site: Rotten Tomatoes For Books?”  The article does an excellent job detailing the challenges and drawbacks in aggregating book reviews.  According to the article,

The site gives Danielle Steel’s romance novel, “Betrayal,” an 87% ranking, and Téa Obreht’s National Book Award nominee, “The Tiger’s Wife,” only 67%. This is likely because book reviewers function differently than movie reviewers: Because of the quantity of books produced each year and the time it takes to read them, it’s uncommon for a reviewer to cover every big hit. Reviewers have fortes.”

However, it is important to remember that iDreamBooks is a relatively new project, which is still expanding and improving.  As it evolves, I look forward to seeing how the book community responds!

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