Google has added a new feature to Play Books today called “Discover,” and if you’re an avid user of Play Books what Discover will do for you is just as the name of the function suggests. It’s designed to help you discover new books to read. At least, that’s the most basic way of explaining what it’s main goal is. Deeper down beneath the surface, though, Discover has much more to it than helping you find new books. While the update to Play Books which includes Discover should be hitting users as of now, Google notes that it has only been launched in the U.S. so far, and only on Android for now, although they do state that it will be coming to their iOS app in the near future.
As users could technically discover all kinds of new titles to read without this feature simply by browsing books in the store, Discover is aimed at helping users find books to read in a more intelligent way. It can do this by more or less scouring the web for the best stories, and then delivering those recommendations to you in the Discover list. It looks for things like which novels or book titles might be recommended by NPR, which ones are getting good reviews, and which books that are being turned into movies.
In addition to recommending the “best stories from around the web,” Discover can also offer up recommendations for your next great book based on books you have already read, and it also has the capability to lift book titles from article pages and drop them into the Discover list. For example, if you’re reading an article about Game of Thrones and it mentions any of the books in the series of A Song of Ice and Fire, the next time you open up Play Books and navigate to the Discover section you would see those books listed. Of course, Discover doesn’t just feed you books that you may want to read, it also populates a weekly digest of all the best stories, news, video highlights and more from around the web and compiles them all into an easy to read section. Lastly, Discover is also joined by another new feature called Google Play Editorial, which is a roundup comprised of author interviews and essays by favorite writers, as well as book selections from notable people in the literary community.