Summer is a great time for teachers to catch up on all the reading they may not have time for during the year. I have to have a book going at all times, and I have to read something every day—it feeds my soul and keeps me sane. But I do hear a lot of people say they don’t have time to read (you have to make the time, but I digress). Reading is often viewed as a solitary activity, but the advent of book clubs and bookish websites like the ones I share in the post make it much more social. I don’t think a lot of people who read this blog also read my book blog. I mentioned some of these websites in a recent post over there. I also learned about a couple of other great sites to share since I wrote the post.
- Goodreads: Goodreads is an excellent social network for readers. If Goodreads been around before I started blogging, I might have just posted all my reviews there. As it is, I do use Goodreads to connect with other readers, read reviews (they tend to be more critical than Amazon), scout for giveaways, keep track of my to-read list and let my friends know what I’m reading and have read, and play trivia games. Goodreads also allows users to add as many books as they like, and it’s absolutely free. Feel free to friend me on Goodreads.
- Shelfari: Shelfari is a pretty site, but it has a way to go before it’s as good as Goodreads. I have spent some time writing up book pages, and I do like the wiki user-generated aspect of the site. Goodreads allows you to do this if you become a librarian (which I have done), and you must meet certain criteria. Shelfari does not allow HTML in its reviews, which I think stinks. Until recently, it was better than Goodreads at tracking reading goals, but Goodreads has added a feature that allows for that. I spend more time on Goodreads, but I like to have a Shelfari profile just to connect with readers who may not be on Goodreads. I also do like the pretty shelves, I admit. You can also friend me on Shelfari.
- DailyLit: I mostly interact with DailyLit through my email, as I am always subscribed to a book in my inbox. I love DailyLit. I have read several books I do not think I’d have ever read if not for DailyLit. You can choose to subscribe via email or RSS, whichever is more convenient for you. Public domain books and some Creative Commons licensed books are free, and others are fairly cheap.
- PaperBackSwap: I just heard about this one last week. PaperBackSwap allows you to cull the books you don’t want anymore and put them in the hands of people who do. Each time a book you sent arrives at its destination, you earn credits that you can trade to receive books. I have two Sarah Addison Allen books winging their way to me, and tomorrow I will go to the post office to send out some books I don’t want that others want to read. All you really pay for is packing materials and postage, which are cheaper than new paperback books (not cheaper probably than used bookstores or library sales). Anyway, it’s kind of fun, and I’ve been spending a lot of time on the site in the last week. You can be my friend over there if you’d like.
- NetGalley: NetGalley is another site I hadn’t heard of until last week. If you have an e-reader, you can request e-galleys of yet-to-be-released books, and if you are approved by the publisher, you can load the book onto your reader. I scored a copy of Jennifer Donnelly’s The Wild Rose, which won’t be released until August. I have to finish the second book in that series first. NetGalley not only enables you to read for free, but you also have the opportunity to be one of the first readers. Pretty good deal!