Making Reading Social?


I’m a huge fan of Goodreads. I’ve been using it since I first discovered it, in March 2011. I was very excited to find a way to keep track of my reading that didn’t involve having to carry my “book journal” around with me and finding somewhere to keep the older, filled up versions of them–because yes, I need some other way to keep track of what I’ve read beyond just keeping it my brain…I’ve read too many books, and have too much stuff in my brain already not to have outside help, sadly. šŸ˜‰

I primarily use it to keep track of the books I’ve read, am reading, and want to read; if I’ve read a book and posted a review on my blog, it will be reviewed on Goodreads too. When I first found the site, I did get somewhat involved in some of the social aspects of the site–I responded to some friend requests, joined a few groups, and followed favorite authors. Even though I’m on Goodreads pretty much daily, I’ve never gotten super active with the social parts of it–if I don’t “know” someone, either in person or virtually and they either 1) don’t answer my “Why do you want to be my friend on Goodreads?” question (either at all or satisfactorily) or 2) have far more friends than books listed (or just very few–or horror above, no–books) I probably will ignore their friend request. I’m really on there for the books, and could take or leave the social bits of it.

(There really is a lot you can do with Goodreads widgets and social media/blogs–I do have fun with that. Here’s the widget for what I’ve last done on Goodreads; hopefully when you see it there’s nothing too embarrassing listed down there ;))

I amĀ interested, however, in the idea of connecting my library to Goodreads and seeing what could be done there. Back in 2007, OCLC (Online Computer Library Center, Inc.) teamed up with Goodreads in order to give libraries more visibility on the web, and it’s something I’m definitely going to be taking advantage of in the next few months. There’s a how-to page for getting your library on Goodreads here. So far I’ve done the first item–made sure our information is up-to-date through the Library Spotlight program–but that’s it. I need some free time when I can watch the webinar about creating Library Groups pages–and time to actually take care of a Library Group page!–and I don’t see that happening until after graduation. Since our system just got a new online catalog in the past month, and one of its newer features is being able to click through to a book’s Goodreads page from its page on the catalog, I think it’s definitely an idea whose time has come.


Another book site that I use, though not as frequently, is LibraryThing. I sometimes review books on it, and have been known to enter the monthly contests for ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) but am not as rabid about keeping it current as I am Goodreads. Part of this is because the publicists/PR companies that I work with on my (other, the book review one) blog who require us to submit links to our reviews specifically ask for Goodreads ones, partly this is because I’ve used it more and longer and am just more comfortable with it. When I worked at the library of a county correctional facility I had thought that maybe I could use their TinyCatĀ feature to try and catalog at least some of the books we had there (there was NO catalog system at all at the time) but it is an online-only system, and I was unable to access the internet while on the job. I had hoped it would have some kind of software that could be downloaded into my office computer, but no such luck.

So…how about you? Do you use social media-style book sites at all, either privately or with your libraries? If so, which ones and how? Any suggestions?


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