What is BookFilter? Is it a bookstore?

BookFilter is a book lover’s best friend. It’s not a substitute for visiting your favorite local bookstore, going online to buy an ebook or heading to your local library. But BookFilter is the perfect first step before you do any of those things. It keeps you better informed about what’s out and is filled with great ideas on what to read. It’s perfect for everyone from voracious readers to someone just looking for a gift idea for friends or family. If you know anything about anyone (their favorite sport, their love of cooking, their passion for history), you can find the perfect gift at BookFilter.

How do I use BookFilter?

Come to the home page and it’s like walking in the door of your favorite bookstore. On display you’ll always find the Top Picks for the current week — the best novels, cookbooks, picture books, biographies and more. For more Top Picks in a specific category, go to your favorite genre. If you’re really a fan of, say, mysteries, you can go to that category, check out the Top Picks we are most excited about and then click on All Releases for a display of every single title coming out that week. You can also switch the time frame from week to month to season and browse even more picks and releases.

What’s a Top Pick?

A Top Pick is a book we’ve personally selected out of the literally hundreds of thousands of titles published every year. It’s a book we’ve highlighted and we’ll tell you why. Maybe it’s an author we love, maybe the publisher is making clear they’re really excited about it, maybe bookstores have been clamoring for it, maybe the early reviews have been terrific, maybe it’s already been a critical and commercial success overseas or — best of all — maybe we’ve already read it and know it’s great. Think of our Top Picks as like a summer movie preview or a fall TV preview — it’s our way of telling you which books we’re most excited about.

How come the Top Picks change? I visited the Top Picks in Cookbooks one week and a few weeks later I noticed you added a new title to the mix.

Our Top Picks are never set in stone. We make our first rough selection sometimes six months in advance of a book coming out. As we get closer to the publishing date, we’re always on the lookout for more information — are the early reviews good, has the buzz picked up for a title we overlooked, was the author given a fascinating profile in the New York Times? The closer we get to the book coming out, the better informed we are. And we share that knowledge with you, moving some books up the charts to the top of our Picks, moving others down, removing some completely and adding still more.

Why do you keep info up for books that came out weeks and months ago?

If you love to anticipate new titles and new authors, BookFilter allows you to go as far in the future as we can, providing information on every release that publishers have announced. Trust us, if you love books it’s addictive fun to see what’s coming out three or six months from now. But if you want to read a book today — right now — and you want recommendations, the book that came out last week or last month isn’t old news, it’s a new book you haven’t read yet. So go forward if you want to peek into the future. But don’t forget to check out our Top Picks and all the releases from the last few weeks, months and seasons as well.

Can a publisher pay you to make their book a Top Pick?

Never. We only recommend books we’re excited about. Did you know many bookstores — especially the chains — charge publishers to place their books on that front table by the door? Essentially, that’s not the personal choice of a book lover; it’s a paid advertisement. It doesn’t stop there. They also charge publishers to place books in the New Releases section, on the displays at the end of aisles and even to “front” a book on a shelf (that’s where the full cover is on display instead of just the spine). The same is true for some websites. We’re not a bookstore so we don’t need to sell you anything. We want to inform you and help you make smart choices and find books you’ll love. You can trust that on BookFilter, every single book we recommend is chosen strictly because we’re passionate about it.

Why should I open an account?

BookFilter provides information on books the moment it’s available. So you’’ll often discover a book you’re excited to read that doesn’t come out for weeks or months. If you open an account, you can add that book to your Wishlist. Then when the book is published, we’ll send you a reminder with a quick link that takes you right to that book. No more scribbled notes on calendars or vows to remember — you’ll never miss a title again. With an account, you can also add books to your Bookshelf, personalize which Bookstores are displayed and share your Ratings & Reviews with the BookFilter community.

What’s in store for the future?

BookFilter has a lot of plans to grow and add features in the months and years to come. Visit the site, open an account, share it with your friends, and tell us what you love most about BookFilter and what you’d like to see down the road. We want to turn BookFilter from a website into a community and together we can. Our slogan is our goal: BookFilter is a book lover’s best friend.