Last week an online acquaintance and fellow COL contributor, Chris Lugo, emailed me an evitation to join goodreads.com. My first reaction was “Oh no, not another time wasting, social networking site.” But to my surprise, I have found it to be very useful, and most definitely not a waste of time –in fact it saves me time.
Let me give you some back story. When I read a book, I use a blank sheet of paper as the bookmark. As I read, I jot down ideas for what I might want to read next. So by the end of a book, I have a bookmark with scribbles like, the Whiskey Rebellion, Michael Parenti, or The Flying Burrito Brothers (I also jot down artists/songs for further consideration from pandora.com, but that is another review entirely.) I take those scribbles and head to the Clarksville-Montgomery County Public Library‘s website and search to see what hits look interesting. So far, this process has been very rewarding, yet somewhat time consuming.
But that was pre-goodbooks.com. Goodbooks has an extensive database of books, which you can put on your online bookshelves (I’ll come back to the bookshelf feature.) A user can search the database, locate books which you have read, rate the book, and if you choose review the book.
Now comes the social networking feature. I can see what “my friends” have on there bookshelf, how they rated the book, and read there review or comment on the book. If I see a book from there bookshelf, I can select the book to put on my “To Read” bookshelf.
So back to the online bookshelves. A user can create different bookshelves. My current book shelves are “Read”, “To Read”, and “Currently Reading”. But I can see as my library grows, more classification would be useful to both me and my nosy friends.
This weekend I needed to find a book to read. I opened goodbooks and the library’s website at the same time, and conveniently toggled back and forth. The website is also linked to online bookstores, so you could easily transition to a website to make a purchase of the selected book.
The website let’s you silently gloat about what you read and how much. My online library grew quickly. Perusing other friends bookshelves, I noticed they had read books I had also read but forgot about – so I added those to my bookshelf. My online library grew to over 60 books really quickly. It is also a bit voyeuristic to see what others read, what they like, and what they don’t like.
The website also has an extensive library of videos of interviews of authors, a nice database of quotes, events calendar of book signings and discussion groups, as well as a place for you to post your ebook for the world to see.
I highly recommend this site. If you join, please look me up….