Nothing makes you realise just how little you know about the reading tastes of your friends and family like standing in front of the New Fiction table at Waterstones trying to pick out Christmas gifts. The selection is so vast – what if you make a huge mistake?
Because book discoverability is a huge challenge, isn’t it? You know what you like, but how do you find books to suit the diverse likes and dislikes of your friends and family in a marketplace that pumps out a bewildering 300,000 new titles every year?
Well, you could always ask a Penguin!
This month, Penguin Random House unveiled the Penguin Hotline. It’s a simple yet absolutely genius concept.
First, you fill out a form and answer some basic questions about the person you’re buying for. How old are they? What hobbies do they have? What magazines do they read? What are their passions?
Et voila. Within a day or two you’ll receive a cheerful email from a well-read member of the Penguin team absolutely brimming with personalised book recommendations, as well as directions to a bookshop near you.
Better yet, the holine promises to be “publisher agnostic”, meaning they will include books published by a variety of different houses.
What do you think of this idea? Will you be giving the Penguin Hotline a try? How do you usually find titles for people on your gift list?