Archive for September, 2009

Good.Reads.

goodreads

Generally I’m a pretty loyal website user.  If I’m using something I like, I’m not one to abandon it all of a sudden because something shinier comes along… well, most of the time.  So for a long time I didn’t bother joining Goodreads.  I had Shelfari, and surely one book-organizing site was all I needed.  Plus Shelfari had… shelves.  Virtual shelves that had books on them and whatnot.

A friend sent me an invitation to Goodreads, though, and I joined almost out of a courtesy in June.  And I have to admit, I love it.  I don’t know how to explain it, but there’s something so user-friendly about the site.  It has a much cleaner look than Shelfari, and the sleek design reflects the simplicity of function, too.  I really love the ability to “compare” books with friends or other users, and I love that authors can have member pages combined with their author pages, so you can see what your favorite authors are reading!

Maybe what I like so much about it is that you can really be as involved with the site or not as you like, no pressure involved.  I think wish Shelfari I was often feeling compelled to do things, like answer other people’s questions about whether they should read a book or not (which I do think is a nice feature, really, I just don’t want to feel pressured to do it).  And really, Shelfari just gets a little frustrating for me.  The little pop-up menus that you can change disappear too easily, usually before I’ve been able to mark if I’ve finished a book or whether I want to list it as a favorite or something, so I have to end up doing this multiple times before I can get it to work.

To give them credit, Shelfari has improved immensely since I first joined it, and I still really do like the site a lot.  I think it’s a better site for debate on whether or not books are worth reading—though maybe that’s just because I haven’t investigated Goodreads thoroughly enough.  And I know there are people who emphatically lean to the Shelfari side.  That’s the very nice thing about the internet, we have both, and people can choose as they will.  I think Goodreads has secured my vote, though.

What about you?

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It’s taken 24 and a half years…

But I am now a convert.  Really this should have happened long ago, but there were always obstacles in the way, things that held me back… and what exactly am I talking about in the first place?

books

The public library.  That wonderful place that will let you take books away for free, so long as you promise to bring them back when you’re done.  Now, I know some of you are gasping in shock.  Here I am, a professed book-lover, and I wasn’t entirely familiar with these wonderful things called libraries?  Well hold back those pitchforks for a moment here… I was an avid school-library user growing up, but once I got to high schoolish age, I started buying books.  And… well it’s an addiction.

But like all true addictions, buying books costs money.  A lot more than I have at the moment.  And my library has a surprisingly nice selection of new YA (my constant guilty pleasure) and of course the classics that I live and breathe.

And it doesn’t hurt that there’s a decently adorable librarian boy who smiles at me when I come in.  It never does hurt, does it?  I had a library card back home, but I almost never used it… in fact, the two times I can remember using it in all the years I had it, was for big, boring non-fiction books that my mother needed for some reason or another.  Never for books for myself.  And so the freedom of drifting into the library, and picking up a book, or not, or just pulling one from the shelf and sitting down to read it… it’s just a delight.  Of the five times I’ve been to the library the past week (I’m having wireless issues) I’ve checked a book out three of those times… the latest today being Laurie Faria Stolarz’s Blue is for Nightmares, the first in a series I’ve looked at a hundred times and never bought… now I’m reading it fairly entranced, even though the magic stuff kind of squicks me out a teensy bit.  The mystery is keeping me stuck to the story.  A lot of Stolarz’s books (and she has more than I thought by far) look really good… and I’m sure I’ll be checking them out in due time.

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