Links for Book Lovers
Most bibliophiles will agree that the Internet has enhanced their book reading, sharing, and overall enjoyment. With the click of a button one can read book reviews, catalogue their library, sale used books, compare prices on new/used books, and even swap books with others - all from the comfort of home.
As a book lover who uses the Internet faithfully, I would like to share with you three of my favorite book-loving websites; ones I believe no book lover should miss adding to their bookmarks file.
Each of these sites has added to my enjoyment of books and reading, and enabled me to take my personal library and love of books to new heights. They have enabled me to keep a record of all of my books and where I am on my reading list. Through these sites, I can trade, swap, or share books with others around the world at any time. I am also able to rate my favorite books and write reviews on them to help others decide if it may be something they, too, would enjoy reading.
So, grab a cup of your favorite tea and keep reading to learn about my "must-have-bibliophile-bookmarks"!
LibraryThing was the first book-lover's website I ever stumbled upon, and I have been a faithful member ever since. The website allows you to keep an online catalogue of your personal, home library. The site uses the information you plug-in to, also, connect you to others with the same reading interests.
One of my favorite features of LibraryThing is the ability to download your entire library file to your cell phone or similar PDA-type gadget. This is invaluable when you're book shopping and can't remember if you have a certain book, or which volume of a series you're on.
Membership is free for up to 200 books, and then you can opt for a $10/year deal or plop down $25 for a lifetime membership; I have a lifetime membership and haven't regretted it once.
The site also offers widgets that display your library for your blog, website, MySpace profile, etc.
Having my entire collection of books online is wonderful for quick reference (no running down and scouring my many bookshelfs, bookpiles, and backpacks) and I feel safer knowing a list of every book I own is kept somewhere safe - in case of loss or damage from fire, Mother Nature, etc.
The site is easy to navigate and simple to use with a no-fuss, no-frills design. You can add information to your personal profile, write reviews on your favorite books, authors, etc. and join groups of like-minded readers.
Check it out at librarything.com.
BookCrossing is a fun, innovative way of sharing books you love - or ones you just want to get rid of! - with the world.
The idea is this - you send a book off ("into the wild", as the site says) after assigning it a site-generated code. The next person to find the book, enters it into the site, and then - hopefully - sends it back out "into the wild" for another lucky person to stumble upon. Think of Where's George? except with books.
The site has over 600,000 thousand particpating members in over 130 countries, and it's free to join and play. Some books have made their way across oceans, while others go round-and-round a circle of people who have decided to all share and read a particular novel.
Sending your books "out into the wild" is fun and exciting, even moreso when someone finds one of your books and records it at the site. Though some books never get found or re-listed, you can still take pleasure in the fact that someone, somewhere got a free book and (hopefully) enjoyed it!
So what are you waiting for? Get in on the fun, and do something fun, creative, and generous with those old books you've been meaning to donate to the local library!
Check it out at bookcrossing.com.
Shelfari is basically the same concept as LibraryThing, with a little more sophistication and features. I use both, however, religiously; as soon as I get a new book in, I add it to my bookshelves at both sites.
With Shelfari, you can meet up with others who share similar book interests to discuss ideas and books, or offer recommendations with reviews of books or authors, and by joining groups.
Like LibraryThing, Shelfari offers the obilgatory show-off-your-shelf widget for your blog, website, or social networking profile. It's customizable and has an animated feature that's pretty neat.
Shelfari also gives you the option of sorting your shelf by the separate categories of "Read", "Reading", "Want", and "Own". There is also an "All Books" and "Favorites" view. This makes finding, organizing, and keeping up with your book collection all the easier.
The site is free and doesn't require additional fees for adding more books.
Check it out at shelfari.com.