Monday, April 12, 2010

Online Tools for Your Reading

I recently facilitated a webinar for my sorority about the joys of reading. I had a great time putting together the materials for the presentation and learned some great information myself as well!

I've found some fabulous websites that really help keep track of your reading, and help to steer you in the direction of additional reads you will love.

The first I want to mention were already familiar to me. Shelfari and Goodreads are fantastic resources for those who want to keep track of the books you are and who want to share that reading with friends. They also provide a fun visual record of the books you have read, which I find to be a great motivator. I love seeing all my books lining up on my virtual shelf, and sometimes it's just the inspiration I need to pick up my latest book instead of turning on the TV. And you can link up with friends who also have accounts for a fun way to share your latest reads.

The next set of resources are great if you are looking for something new to read. Have you ever finished a great book, but then been at a complete loss for what to read next? These websites are here to help! The first is What Should I Read Next? This website lets you type in a book or an author that you love, and then generates suggestions based on that information. You can also register for a free account and it will keep track of your preferences for even better recommendations. And finally, I want to share The Book Explorer. This website actually serves multiple functions. First, it provides comprehensive lists of recommended books organized by genre. And the genres get very specific. You can search for a list of literature about topics like friendship or technology, or for a collection of essays about nature or pop culture. If you want to read more about a particular topic, this website could be your new best friend. Once you select a book, you can also read comprehensive reviews provided by the websites members and find additional information. You can also join this website to provide your own reviews.

I hope that a few of these websites might become a valuable tool for your reading journey. I want to start providing more reading resources, in addition to reviews and thoughts about books and reading in general. Is there any information in your reading life that feels lacking? What are your obstacles to reading as much as you would like? I'll be back throughout this week to share some of the other information from my webinar.

Happy reading!


Katie said...

I love Goodreads!

Time is the big thing that keeps me from reading. I think a lot of that though is "time management". I read a lot more if I mentally make time for reading. If I come home thinking "I hope I get to read some tonight", I won't. If I approach it as, "I'm going to read for at least 30 minutes before I start dinner, I'm not only more likely to read but more likely to find more time to read later in the evening.

Caitlin said...

Yes, Goodreads is excellent!

I have a similar problem. I have so many books begging to be read, but a lot of things happen before I get around to it. I definitely need to set more specific goals about my reading time. I like your strategy. I think the key is BEFORE you make dinner. I often say I'm going to read 30 min or whatever on a particular evening, but it doesn't get any more specific than that. So I end up doing other things until it's way past my bed time. I like the idea of making it the first thing you do instead of something you'll get around to eventually!

Jamie said...

Ditto to what Katie said... I'm very fired up about trying our What Should I Read Next? I'm constantly on the prowl for recommendations and now I have a posse to help :-)