This past weekend, friends and I had a long conversation about our latest and greatest reads. I found myself scrambling for pen and paper to write down all the recommendations. Then, a friend pulled out her laptop. Turns out, the web is home to a plethora of useful sites for book lovers:
• For the über organized: LibraryThing, Goodreads and the Amazon-owned Shelfari are free social cataloging websites that allow users to create virtual libraries based on what they are currently reading, plan to read, and have already read. Though each site is unique, users on all three can review books, share recommendations, and create or join discussion groups.
• For Pandora lovers: Just as Pandora introduces users to new music based on their tastes, BookLamp recommends new books based on features such as writing style, pace, description and dialog according to their own comparison engine, the Book Genome Project.
• For those who judge books by their covers: Never mind the old adage. The Book Cover Archive is a collection of more than 1,000 book covers, categorized by designers, authors, photographers, illustrators, typeface and more. Users can leave comments on each cover and suggest additions.
• For those who hate late fees: PaperBack Swap is a community hub that allows members to trade all types of books for free. When a member requests one of your books, mail it using the site’s exact-postage labels and then request one for yourself from the site’s five million-plus titles.
• For serious clubbers: Book Glutton is like an online book club, where users can actually read public domain books through the web. The social community is also super interactive: users can not only chat with others, but also annotate, bookmark, and make comments directly into virtual books.
(Photograph by Onderwijsgek via Wikimedia Commons.)