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Find Reasons to Read Online

September 4th, 2008

goodreads-books.jpgThis article by Ashley Ludwig is aimed at book lovers and introduces readers to different websites that can be used as social networks for people who like to read. Following up on her article about LibraryThing.com, the author reviews a relatively new site in this genre called GoodReads.com and describes its most relevant features.


So, what’s your favorite hobby? Chances are the love of reading is right up there at the top of your list. Whether or not you have the time or the inclination, book lovers abound on the Web.

There are a plethora of sites available for book lovers to unite, load up their personal libraries, and read each other’s reviews and picks. So, with all of these online social networks for bibliophiles, the question remains: which one is right for you?

If you use a social network like FaceBook or MySpace, you can find quick and easy bibliographic applications and add them to your page with a few clicks. Here, you can post what books you’re reading at any given time, and compare those with your “friends” on and offline, and even write reviews for the world to see. However, the applications available there pale in comparison to the book fan sites that are in existence and growing strong, such as GoodReads.com and LibraryThing.com.

GoodReads.com is one of the up and coming social networking hubs for avid booklovers. At GoodReads, it’s easy for a user to invite friends from their e-mail address book, and set up online book clubs with your existing buddies. GoodReads has the opportunity for you to paste widgets directly onto your other social networking hubs, and really get the word out for books you are in the middle of, want to read, or wish you hadn’t read at all! The rating system is easy to use, and the upload mechanism is a piece of cake.

GoodReads seems to have taken all that was good about LibraryThing and bumped it up a notch, with the one codicil that GoodReads is free, compared to the pay service available through LibraryThing.com. However, bear in mind that free skips along hand in hand with advertisements, which many might find annoying.

Granted, the cost for becoming a ThingOlogist or a ThingLover is minimal at best. LibraryThing.com remains the favorite of many loyal Tim Spalding fans. Where else can you organize your library by the Dewey Decimal System? Or see those brilliant tags and word clouds on the Zeitgeist page? It will take awhile for GoodReads to topple LibraryThing, if it ever happens at all. With the multitudes of booklovers out there, perhaps there is room on the Internet for both of these giants. Who knows what they’ll think of next?



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