The Biblioracle

Greetings From the Biblioracle

Today we welcome back the Biblioracle, who takes the last five books you read and recommends what to read next.

A short primer to the Biblioracle:

What is the Biblioracle? The Biblioracle is a service in the person of The Morning News contributing writer John Warner, said service being a recommendation for what book you should read next.

What do I have to do to receive a recommendation from the Biblioracle? In order to receive a recommendation, simply list the last five books you’ve read. Based on that list, the Biblioracle will tell you what to read next.

Why do I need the Biblioracle? Each year, somewhere around 175,000 books are published. That’s over 14,000 per month, approximately 3,350 per week, 480 per day, 20 per hour. According to the N.E.A., the average person reads zero books per year, so if you’re going to read a book, it better be a good one. The Biblioracle will help make sure it’s a good one. Even those of us who consider ourselves heavy readers may complete no more than 30 books in an average year, fewer than 2,000 books in a lifetime. The fraction of total published books we’re humanly capable of reading is vanishingly small, so we’ve got to maximize our enjoyment-per-book-read ratio as much as possible.

It’s true, sometimes I feel a lot of anxiety about which book I should choose, and I spend a lot of time worrying about choosing the wrong one, and sometimes I experience a kind of paralysis when I try to figure out what to read. The Biblioracle hears you. He experiences the same problem when it comes to buying toothpaste. He now buys the one that comes in a dispenser shaped like Spider-Man because it’s fun to see red-striped toothpaste goo come out of the stop of Spider-Man’s head. In fact, there’s even several books examining this phenomenon, which the Biblioracle does not recommend because he does not believe in recommending books that contain information we already know.

What qualifies the Biblioracle to make these recommendations? Primarily because he thought of the idea first. But here’s some other things you should know. The Biblioracle was quite literally raised in an independent bookstore co-owned by his mother in his hometown of Northbrook, Ill. While spending hours upon hours reading Asterix comics and mini-biographies of professional hockey players, he witnessed his mother engaging in the alchemy of the independent bookseller that is matching book to reader. Either the book recommendation ability is in his blood or he has merely been well trained in this particular art, but the questions of nature and nurture do not matter. The fact is, the man can recommend books.

The Biblioracle is also a writer of books and he reads a couple of books a week. He is also paid to teach college students about books. Books.

But don’t I already have access to this kind of service automatically through internet retailers like Amazon that offer recommendations based on my browsing and buying history? It is important to draw a distinction between Amazon’s “Customers Also Bought” feature and the Biblioracle. Amazon is primarily constituted of servers and processors and computer programs. Amazon employs only seven actual human beings plus Jeff Bezos, who is a cyborg. The Biblioracle is flesh and blood. Also, unlike Amazon, the Biblioracle has no financial stake in recommending specific books aside from his own.

Does this mean the Biblioracle has read every book he recommends? If at all possible, the books recommended by the Biblioracle will have been personally read by him. However, there may be occasions where the Biblioracle will recommend a book he has not read but is merely familiar with. Sometimes the Biblioracle just gets a feeling and he’s got to go with it. You understand.

Does a Biblioracle recommendation come with a money-back guarantee? Of course. If your chosen book fails to please you, the Biblioracle will refund you the cost of your free recommendation. He also invites you to email him at in order to tell him all the ways and whys you did not care for his particular recommendation.

Does the Biblioracle offer insight and wisdom into things other than what I should read next? The Biblioracle is happy to receive any book/reading/writing/publishing-related questions at At future appearances, in addition to offering book recommendations, he will answer reader questions.

What if I don’t get my Biblioracle recommendation request in during the designated window? Do not fret, the Biblioracle shall return!

List the last five books you’ve read, and the Biblioracle tells you what to read next.

The Biblioracle is now closed. Due to overwhelming response, the Biblioracle can only respond to requests submitted prior to 3:00 p.m. ET. If you missed your recommendation this time around, watch for the Biblioracle’s next appearance this summer!

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TMN contributing writer John Warner’s first novel, The Funny Man was recently published by Soho Press. He teaches at the College of Charleston and is co-color commentator for The Morning News Tournament of Books. More by John Warner

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