Booklikes: My New Website Crush

October 7, 2013

Book blogs have been around for as long as the Internet has been, and WordPress alone probably has hundreds of them. But now there’s a website created for the sole purpose of hosting book blogs, making it super easy to connect books to your entries, with templates for book reviews and quotes from books ready to go. Perhaps that doesn’t sound all that much more special than just inserting images and links to any old blog, but there’s something magical about a blogging site that’s all books, all the time. I think I’m a little bit in love.

The website is BookLikes, and it’s got an interesting story. Initially, its main attraction was its book recommendation engine. Then it crashed, losing all its data … but rather than throw in the towel, its creators listened to what the initial users were saying, which was that they wanted a site devoted to book blogs. So BookLikes was born anew, and I found and fell in love with it in its current state.

My kitty loves books, too!

I’m already an avid user of a couple other book websites. I post reviews of everything I read on Goodreads, and I inventory the books I own at LibraryThing. You can use BookLikes to inventory and review books, too, and in fact, I do cross post my Goodreads reviews there (as well as some of the posts from this blog, when they relate explicitly to books.) But it’s also provided a place for me to reflect more intimately on the books I’m reading, to share thoughts in progress or to connect books to my own life and memories in a way that I don’t in more straightforward reviews. I don’t think anyone much reads them, but that’s okay. I find the process of creating alone to be cathartic and rewarding.

So, if you haven’t checked it out, do stop by. And if you’re already a Booklikes convert, let’s “follow” each other. Hope to see you there!

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Social Networking for Bibliophiles

June 23, 2011

A good friend recently sent me a link of these ten social networking sites for readers. I found myself feeling both intrigued and a little overwhelmed. Why so many different sites? Sure, they all have a slightly different focus — Goodreads is purely a place for talking books, while Scribd seems to be a place for uploading and browsing ebooks in addition to chatting about books and tracking reading patterns. Wattpad and Copia both focus on ebook libraries, with Wattpad catering to DIY authors who upload their stuff to the site for others to read. LibraryThing, which surprisingly wasn’t included in the list, is mostly a databasing tool. Almost all these sites can be used in various ways to suit your own ends — I use Librarything to keep track of the books I own, while I track the books I read on Goodreads. Honestly, I would like to have an account on all, and explore them all, including the plethora of sites that exist for writers. But it seems I may have to be independently wealthy before I can devote myself to that kind of exploration — so I want to know which sites are the best. Which “book-ish” social networking sites do you use, and what do you think of them?

I love Librarything because my brain can no longer keep track of my book collection by itself, and I love Goodreads because it contains a detailed bibliography of everything I’ve been reading for the last several years, not to mention connects me with what real-life and Internet friends are reading. Another cool thing about these sites: both established and emerging authors use them, and connect directly with their readers. And sometimes the line between “friend” and “author” is thinner than you might think, as I discovered when I received a message on Goodreads from my friend Carrie. She wrote to announce that her middle grade/YA debut novel, Maryanne and the Benjamin Bohnes , has just found agency representation. Check out her website to learn more about this gothic, Burton-esque offering — I can’t wait to put it on my virtual and actual shelves!


Books and Busy-ness (or Business)

August 19, 2009

Yesterday, the day I’d been waiting for all summer arrived: my local library’s annual booksale.

For the first time (at my mom’s insistence), I paid $10 to get into the “pre-sale” and was there when the doors opened. The pre-sale price was defintely worth it — I’ve never enjoyed such a wide selection at a library booksale before! I came away with 44 books for $30 (well, $40 if you count the presale fee, but that’s still less than a buck a book!) Over the next few days, I’ll be uploading my finds to LibraryThing if you’re really curious. The biggest gem was a paperback, like-new copy of The Tale of the Genji, arguably the first novel ever written. I’ve been looking for an affordable copy of this since I edited an article about its author, Lady Murasaki, for New Moon Girls magazine. In other news . . .

  • Speaking of New Moon Girls, a few days ago I posted about their donation campaign, in which you can donate to give New Moon Girls to libraries, schools, or girls’ organizations. If YOU work for or know of a library, school, or organization that should be the recipient of a New Moon gift, you can email New Moon to put your name on the list.
  • I recently received my second high-scoring review from Scribendi, the editorial services company I contract with. This means I’m being “promoted” to a higher service level, and that I’ll have access to more orders. If you’re ever in need of a good edit, Scribendi provides high-quality (if I do say so myself) edits at rates that are cheaper than most private editors.
  • Despite the 44 books that cheerfully opened this entry, I realized when I got home that I’d forgotten to pick up a book about gardening to help me turn my brown thumb green when I have the land to plant on. So, yes, I’m going to the book sale again today. Wish me luck — or restraint!