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Great book list! Must check them out soon.

Great book list! Must read them soon.

The context is informal, like a comment in a blog post. Is there any difference in the meaning of these two expressions?

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No, these phrases do not mean the same thing.

In this context, "check them out" means "look at, and consider either downloading, borrowing, purchasing, and/or reading".

If the context involved a library, "check them out" might mean "borrow from the library".

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