What is Learn by Reading

1. My reading interests

I’m not a typical reader. I seldom read any fiction. Instead, I spend most of my time reading Nonfictions: Outliers, Creativity Inc., Antifragile, Guns, Germs, and Steel, Hackers and Painters … to name a few. I enjoy reading them because I can always learn a lot from them.

For this reason, I call these books Learnable books, instead of Nonfictions. Nonfiction is too general. For me, the learnable books consists of Business & Money, Biography, Social Science, Science & Math, Sports and other categories.

2. Problem

I always search on Amazon to find good learnable (aka nonfiction) books, because it has many good reviews on it, so I can reduce the risk of spending time reading the bad books.

However, Amazon itself does not display reviews readily, and many books with high ranking are not really highly-rated. It’s very common to see a book on the first page them find out the review says it’s simply not that good. This makes me always spend a long time searching for books and in the end find little to read, which is really frustrating.

3. Solution

So I collect the data from Amazon by myself, and apply some simple filter to it. And Learn by Reading is created.

http://learnbyreading.herokuapp.com/

The idea is very simple:

  1. Filter the data and display the reviews upfront, so the only the top-rated books are displayed, and there are reviews to back them up.
  2. Combine the categories of Business & Money, Social Science and others, so I can get a quick look on all interesting books together.
  3. A notification system (RSS/Twitter bot/Mail) to automatically tell me when some new good books appear.

It’s not a rocket science technology, but if you share same reading interests with me (the Learnable books), and always looking for good books, you might find this simple site helpful.

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