Austin SXSW Video

Squirl Reinvents Book Discovery, Shows Us At South By Southwest

Squirl Book Discovery Startup

Other than recommendations and algorithmic referrals how else is there to discover new books?

How about by location. What if you were roaming the streets of London England and you happened to be on Baker Street, there you could learn about Sherlock Holmes as Baker Street is an infamous address for Shelockians.

That’s what Squirl is all about. Squirl is location based discovery for books. We aren’t talking about where authors are from, but more along the lines of places that are mentioned in books or where their stories take place.

Take John Green’s “The Fault In Our Stars” for instance.  There’s not a lot of mention in the movie about the town Hazel is growing up in being Indianapolis. Well what if you were walking past the church where the teenagers had their support group or the cancer hospital. Squirl could alert you to that book location. Perhaps you’re  a big John Green fan and don’t realize that another of his books is set in Orlando Florida and another is set in Birmingham Alabama. There are millions of locations worldwide where characters everyday are the centerpiece of a brilliant novel or a historic nonfiction book.

Squirlfounder Squirl Reinvents Book Discovery, Shows Us At South By Southwest

Squirl founder James Van der Avoort is an avid reader and hopes he’s on to something with this new way to discover literary works. He’s hoping that authors will add their own locations to the Squirl database to help  more readers find books.  He’s hopeful that Squirl will help readers “bump into books”.

Imagine all that could be learned by location based discovery for books? You could read a great novel by a well known author or a newcomer while you’re on vacation in a new town or city. Then if circumstance permitted you could eat at the same restaurant, drink at the same bar, dance at the same jazz club. The possibilities are endless.

We got a chance to “bump” in to Van der Avoort at South By Southwest in Austin Texas last week. Check out our interview with him below.