Pandora analyzes music according to what it calls “genes,” about 400 of them. What variables does BookLamp look at? According to GalleyCat, they’re:
- Motion: “Motion refers to the level of physical motion in a scene or book”.
- Description: “Description refers to the level of descriptive language that the author uses in his or her writing.”
- Pacing: “Pacing refers to the layout of the text on the page. A scene with high Pacing will have characteristics that quickly move the reader’s eye down the page.”
- Density: “Density refers to the complexity of the text. Text with high Density will take longer to read than a text of equal length with low density.”
- Dialog: “Dialog refers to the amount of spoken text between two or more characters in a scene.”
When I checked out the BookLamp site and its underlying Book Genome project, I realized that there are a lot more variables involved. The five above seem to be part of what the creators call LanguageDNA. So the system seemed more promising.
I tried typing in Billy Bathgate as a novel I’ve liked. BookLamp suggested…another historical novel by E. L. Doctorow. I don’t think I needed software for that suggestion.