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Website Review: goodreads.com

Posted By Blayne Clements On Tuesday, July 14, 2009 @ 2:28 pm In Technology | No Comments

goodreadsLast week an online acquaintance and fellow COL contributor, Chris Lugo, emailed me an evitation to join goodreads.com [1].  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 [2]‘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 [3].  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….


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URLs in this post:

[1] goodreads.com: http://www.goodreads.com/

[2] Clarksville-Montgomery County Public Library: http://www.clarksville.org/

[3] goodbooks.com: http://www.goodbooks.com/

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