Social Networking for Bibliophiles

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!