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On Goodreads, you can compare books with another member by clicking on compare books on their profile page. It’s also available in a few other places such as the invitation page when someone asks to friend you and on the friend suggestions page.

The compare books function can help you determine if you are interested in the same books as someone else. It will tell you how many books you have in common, what percentage of your books that is and what percentage of their books that is. It will give a percentage of how similar your tastes are, based only on the books both of you have rated. They did have a bar that graphically displayed the number of books you have in common, but they replaced it with a Venn Diagram (basically two overlapping circles). Unfortunately the Venn Diagram is currently (hopefully they will either fix it or return the bar) not working correctly because the two circles are showing as the same size no matter how different your number of books are.

The books you have in common will be listed with covers, titles, authors, their rating and your rating. Only 100 of the books you have in common are displayed. There are two different sorts (inverse popularity and ratings), but they just resort the same 100 books. This was done for performance reasons. To select a different sort, you have to choose it in the selector box, clicking on the headings doesn’t work here. The ratings sort option sorts by the other person’s ratings in descending order and the inverse popularity sort option sorts the books starting with the least popular of the books. An asterisk denotes books that the other person has reviewed. Clicking on the asterisk will take you directly to the review.

To see more of the books you have in common you can restrict the books compared by shelf. You can select a shelf you have in common or you can select one of your shelves and all of their shelves, or all of your shelves and one of theirs or one of your shelves and one of their shelves. This is a good use of a favorites shelf  – yours or theirs. I even created a friend-matching shelf just to use with compare books, since my reading tastes have changed so much over the years that I could match a large number of books with someone and still not have any current books in common. I like to compare my undecided shelf to a friend’s read shelf to read reviews they have written.

At the bottom of the page it will show up to twenty of the other person’s highly rated books one at a time. You can rate each book or skip it. One problem with this feature is that it doesn’t work quite as well if you’ve chosen to compare books to only one of your shelves. The choice of selecting shelves was added to the original compare books function and the suggested books at the bottom of the page don’t omit books that aren’t on your selected shelf.

At the top right of the page are choices to go to the other person’s profile, to recommend a book to them and to take the compatibility test.

Thanks for reading and good luck comparing books!

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