Top 10 Websites for Book Lovers
The internet is undoubtedly a great place for book lovers. Some might worry about the effect the big online retailers have had on local bookshops but you can't deny it's been a great thing for the average bookworm. Prices have tumbled, there is more choice than ever, and there are lots of places online for book lovers to interact and share their passion for reading. Here are some of the best sites.
Amazon.com - Amazon.com and it's local sites in different countries, are the world's biggest bookshop, and the biggest online retailer. It offers arguably the cheapest prices on new books, and via it's Marketplace, offers cheap 'used and new' books from thousands of individual sellers. One of Amazon's biggest assets though is not its prices, but it's unparalleled database of millions of book reviews. These, along with recommended reads, user lists and customer discussion forums, offer readers lots of information and personal insights to help them choose books to read.
Abebooks.com - Abebooks is a huge online marketplace of booksellers, offering over 140 million books for sale. The site differentiates itself by concentrating on the secondhand book market, including rare out of print books, first editions and signed copies. If you are into older books or like collecting, then this may be the site for you.
Audible - Audible is the number one audio-book destination on the web. These days most people listen to audiobooks on MP3 players rather than CD (or even Cassette Tape). When you buy an audiobook on Audible you don't get a physical book, you just download the audiobook and then you can add it onto your MP3 player to listen at your convenience. They've got tens of thousands to choose from, and offer a real bargain subscription offer which allows you to get audiobooks at a fraction of their retail price.
Social Book Sites
Goodreads.com - Goodreads is a an interactive book site where people keep track of the books they've read, recommend books, participate in book groups and loads more. You can follow friends, see what they are reading and discuss to your hearts content. There are lists, contests, quizzes, giveaways and much more besides. I particularly like the online book groups and the giveaways where you can sign up for free promotional copies of books.
Librarything.com - Librarything is a bit like Goodreads. In principle it is a website where you can catalog books that you own, but a lot of people use it instead to record the books that they've read, whether they keep them or not. You can chat to people, and join groups with people who have similar interests to discuss books and get recommendations for what to read next. It has a much smaller membership than Good Reads, but with 1.5 million members, it's still a very large and active community. I particularly like the fact that you can browse the library collections of famous people from long ago (Thomas Jefferson's library is a particularly good one).
Bookcrossing.com - Bookcrossing is a social book network with a difference. Members give books away, or 'release them into the wild'. This involves putting a sticker in the book, usually on the inside front cover. The sticker has a unique Bookcrossing ID number on. When someone finds the book, they can take it home, enter the code on the Bookcrossing website, and register it. The person who released the book will then get a message to say that their book has been found. It's a great concept, and some books have travelled all around the world. There's lots more to the site, including some excellent forums, but that's the gist of it.
Lovereading.com - Love Reading is a book recommendation site. Each month they choose a selection of books in each genre which they recommend, profile author, and generally help you find new books to read. Each book they feature comes with a free first chapter you can download and read, and because it's been going for years, there's quite a big archive to browse through. It's a lovely site, reminiscent of dropping into a small local bookshop, being able to sample lots of books and chat with knowledgeable people about what to read next.
Project Gutenberg - This is a site that digitises out of print books and turns them into free e-books which you can download. At last count they had over 38,000 to choose from.
Book and Reader - Book and Reader is a book forum site, with lots of active discussions on all genres of books.
Choose Your Own Adventure - A fun site where you can read and participate in Choose Your Own Adventure books. If you don't like any of the options, create a new one and make the story your own!