Although reading is usually a habit you perform alone, that doesn’t mean you couldn’t use some people for talking about the book after you’re done with it. Such “reading colleagues” can be difficult to find in your family or among your friends, and that’s where Book Sharing Sites come in.
There are literally dozens of book community websites, where people can collaborate together in order to provide ratings about books, discuss them or simply hang out with people having the same hobby.
I’d like to share what I believe to be the Top 7 Book Sharing Sites – nothing stops you from using more than one, but I think it would be a little counterproductive. Let’s get started, shall we?
The first site that pops up in my mind when someone is looking for a book sharing site is Library Thing. They are uniting over 1.2 million book lovers and provide a perfect background for any book fan.
After you face a perspicuous registration process, you can fill your profile, name your favorite books, “add” them to your Library and maybe start engaging in the community right away by adding existing friends / go out and make new ones.
Library Thing Perks
Local Events – you can use it as a Facebook for books and organize a local book event.
Tag Cloud – you can save tags during your searches and then easily replicate your search whenever you want. Especially handy for fans of a specific genre or author.
Early Reviewers – Library Thing actively works with famous authors and provide its members pre-launch copies of brand new books for review.
Being a strong competitor in the group of book sharing sites, GoodReads offers a brilliant platform to hang out on. Simple registration process will land you on the homepage and you can immediately start to fill your profile and add your favorite books.
GoodReads also provides something called “Reading Challenge” – you can announce how many books you plan to read in the current year and post regular updates, plus perhaps reviews of the books you read.
Twitter-Like – you can build your crowd by being constructive and adding value to the community; it doesn’t hurt to follow big names either to see what’s new.
Explore Button – GoodReads provide a vast number of ways you can use it. There are categories for writing, quotes, quizzes, giveaways or even book swaps.
Author Platform – GoodReads are very supporting towards authors (regardless of their fame) and provides them with a very large crowd or hungry readers.
You could think of Shelfari as a marvelous organization tool for your Amazon shopping list. You may not need to create a new account this time, because you can use Shelfari by entering your Amazon credentials.
Shelfari layout is done specifically to stress your shelf and the books you have on them. You can mark them in various ways (Plan to Read, Reading, Read) and add books based on your Amazon activity, by browsing the Popular Category or simply based on your search criteria.
Amazon Connection – any book you buy online on Amazon can be instantly added to your virtual shelf.
Widgets – you can use this special attribute to customize your page and make it unique in the whole community.
Members Like You – Shelfari can compare profiles of different users in order to find similar interests and thus recommend discussion partners and ultimately, new friends.
If you’re looking for something simple without tons features and distractions, WeRead might be it. They have a very light and perspicuous layout. Their registration process is very quick and you can then start filling your profile as usual.
To make matters even more simple, you can choose to connect WeRead with one of your social networks account:
“Popular Today” Tag Cloud – you can see right on the front page what’s been popular today and join the discussion right away.
Add to Catalog – WeRead also serves as a large database of books and it’s hardly a surprise that those books are being inserted by members – so why couldn’t you expand the catalog yourself?
My Chucks – you can make notes about books or discoveries you make and then save them to a special section.
“aNobii” is a Latin term for bookworm – an ingenious name idea for a book sharing site. You can create a new account or choose to connect Anobii with your existing Facebook account. No need to fear the registration process, because it can’t get any easier with 3 rows to fill.
The motto of aNobii doesn’t mess around:
You can socialize in two basic ways – either by Groups or by Friends. After you’re done with filling your basic information, you can engage in reviews, discussions and all the usual stuff.
Simplicity – read the motto again.
Custom Link – you can create a custom URL for your profile, all the other sites base it on your nickname
Search Bar Addon – available for FireFox and IE. You can install an addon for your browser and do a quick search through more than 25 million books on aNobii.
A little surprise towards the end. The fact is that Google Books have developed over the years and can now proudly compete with the sites above – especially if you don’t care that much about community spirit and want your own online library instead.
What’s more, Google managed to settle a lawsuit with the publishing industry, so there’s literally no stopping them now in bringing a lot more books online. If you’re looking for a place where you could both find books and keep track of them, Google Books will more than suffice.
Google Books Perks
Find a Book – Google Books is a different service than the others, because you can actually find a book you want to read, not just make a record of it.
Syndication – a lot of people is already using Google these days; it’s very simple to add a Google Books Shelf to your existing Google assets.
It Is Different – in case you’re not looking for book reviews, communities and all that stuff, you can utilize Google Books without all the hassle.
I’m once again shewing the point that the Internet is a vast place. I’m sure that there are many more sites I haven’t mentioned, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do so in the comments. You have been a fantastic crowd so far and I’m very glad I can help you out with my insight.
Thank you for reading!
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