Thoughts and Inspiration for Creative Writers

-from Chrysalis Editorial

Social Networking Hits Books

Posted on | June 6, 2012 | 2 Comments

Maybe I am a bit ignorant, but for me social networking generally means one of two things: Facebook or Twitter.  There’s LinkedIn, but in my mind I have trouble connecting the professional world with the “social” aspect of life.  Of course, if you go way back, there’s also MySpace: a thing of the past that can never fully lose its association with middle school girls and creepy pedophiles.  Recently, though, my internship at Chrysalis Editorial has opened my eyes to an unknown side of social networking.

It is official.  Social ngoodreadsetworks have reached books.

Without my knowledge, literary social networking has exploded through sites such as GoodReads, Bookshout, Librarything, and BookAnd.  Each of these networks link readers to each other, allowing them to share, discuss, review, and categorize books to their hearts’ content.

On the surface, literary social networking is a dream come true for every self-proclaimed book nerd.  As one of those nerds, I experienced a very familiar feeling when I discovered this world.  It was the same feeling I get every time I step into my favorite bookstore.  A feeling of utter excitement, often followed by panic and a sense of failure.  I feel uneducated, and even worse, unread.

Being well read is a major life goal for me, one of those abstract ideals for which you always strive but never truly know whether it can be reached  I aim to be kind, positive, understanding, and, of course, well read. Therefore, whenever I enter a bookstore and gaze upon the shelves and shelves of books, the slightly musty scent of newly-bound paper in the air, my excitement is clouded by the overwhelming sense that I will undoubtedly fail this goal.  I am not well read.  How could I be? Look at all the books I have not read, the characters I have not met, the ideas and theories I have not explored.

Obviously the development of literary social networks is extremely exciting for book nerds like me.  There is nothing like an opportunity to connect with people so much like you.  It is a reassuring sign that the world continues to be enamored with the written word and that the intelligence of our society may not be declining as quickly as we fear.  Above all, for better or worse, it is a constant source of new books and authors.

GoodReads is probably my favorite network because it provides exactly that. Along with allowing you to see your friends’ favorite books, GoodReads creates a list of personal recommendations for you based on your ratings of other books.  It also gives users access to thousands of book lists, such as “Books That Everyone Should Read at Least Once” and “The Book Was Better Than the Movie.”

Bookshout seems to be the most unique, as it lets users share comments on the books they are reading, form reading groups, and have debates with authors and other readers.  Its focus is to make reading as social and interactive as possible, and so far I have found that it does just that.

There are so many options when it comes to literary social networks.  We’d love to know which networks you prefer, including those I haven’t mentioned. Look for a blog post later this summer exploring these networks in more detail!

In the meantime, happy summer reading!

Sarah Crain



2 Responses to “Social Networking Hits Books”

  1. Writing Tips, Publishing Advice, and Book Reviews » Five Things Writers Should Do This Summer
    June 27th, 2012 @ 3:46 pm

    […] As any artist knows, you cannot expect to create a work of art without exposing yourself to other people’s work.  So take some time this summer to read. Read magazines, newspapers, classics, bestsellers, and debut novels. Read books both within and outside of your genre. Read anything and everything you can get your hands on.  If you’re stuck trying to find some great new books, check out last week’s blog on Summer Reads, or explore the world of Literary Social Networking. […]

  2. social network book
    August 5th, 2012 @ 11:40 am

    wonderfull information.thanks for sharing…

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