Introducing The Virtual Bookseller

As book lovers you know, when you’re looking for a recommendation, engines and algorithms can’t replace a face-to-face conversation with a knowledgeable bookseller. But sometimes, despite your best intentions, you can’t get to your local bookstore before you need the book. And there are, of course, many book lovers who don’t even have a local bookstore to begin with.

So, though it lacks the personal touch, when you’re trying to make life work, sometimes online shopping is the best or only option. If only there were a way to bring the conversation you can have in a bookstore online.

Readers of the world, introducing The Virtual Bookseller; personalized recommendations with (most of) the convenience of online shopping. Here’s how it works:

Fill out this form. You’ll be able to specify books you liked, books you didn’t, genres you’re interested in, and any other reading priorities you might have. Your answers will be sent to all of our booksellers here at Porter Square Books. (That’s right, all of us will have a chance to help out.) In a couple of days you’ll get an email with a link to book list of your specific recommendations.

Of course, this doesn’t quite have the give and take that makes those in-person conversations so much fun and the gratification isn’t quite as instant as online shopping, but you do get a list of recommendations from the entire staff and not just who happens to be here when you are and it’s a list that you can order from, build a wishlist from, or share with friends and family.

Our goal is and always will be to get the right books to the right readers, wherever they may be and in whatever format they prefer. The conversation between readers and booksellers is a vital part of that process. With the internet and social media we get to have that conversion with different people in different ways. We hope our new Virtual Bookseller can be a new way to have that conversation with more readers.