"A library book, I imagine, is a happy book." Cornelia Funke

"Everything puts me in mind of a story." Ben Franklin

Friday, May 8, 2009

Thing 35: Books 2.0

Alice in Wonderland Book Sculpture, photo from http://www.flickr.com/photos/rominaespinosa/

What a wonderful topic! I think that this Thing will take a long, long time. So much to explore.

Organize Your Personal Library

I already have a lifetime membership to Library Thing as cleery, with 508 books from my personal library cataloged to date. I love it because you can tag the books as you wish, and you can view them by title or cover picture. I used to use Library Thing as a place to keep new titles I'm interested in, and tagged them under Unread, but now I've started to keep those in Facebook. Also, I'm married now, and I'll be adding my husband's book collection. So, my books are in transition.

I was excited to find iTrack Mine , because you can also keep track of your media. I'm leaving my books on Library Thing, but I'm starting to put my movies and music on iTrack Mine. The first site I tried was Lib.rario.us , which i find an annoying name because of the punctuation. I started this at the end of March, before I had my surgery, but if memory serves I didn't like Lib.rario.us because the tags you use are their predefined categories, and I want to be able to create my own. For one thing, I want to be able to enter my VHS tapes as well as my DVDs, and I want to know which is which. Lib.rario.us didn't seem to allow me that function. On iTrack Mine, you can make custom lists, so that's how I keep my tapes separate. There is also a social component to this, where you can make "friends" and see their collections and reviews, but I haven't even scratched the surface with this.

Readers' Advisory

I've signed up for ReadingTrails, because it looks intriguing. I will explore it shortly. I tried What Should I Read Next?" , but the first book and author that I put in, Coventry by Helen Humphreys, generated an error message. I then tried Affinity by Sarah Waters, and got ten results. So, I think that it will be hit or miss, but I may still join.

What's Next promises to find the next book in a series, but I had middling results. It brought up the Betsy-Tacy series by Maud Hart Lovelace, but gave me no results when I tried to put in Erin Hunter's Warriors series.

BookStumpers is a nifty site, part of Loganberry books, where you can post a description of a book and let others help you find the title. It seems like most of these are children's books. You can also help answer the stumpers. Some months ago I answered a stumper that was Magic Elizabeth by Norma Kassirer, and it seems many agree that this was the answer. It's fun to look through the stumper lists, especially since the inquires go back to books from the early 1900s!

I joined Booklamp because it promises to make book suggestions based on books you already enjoy, "to find books with a similar level of tone, tense, perspective, action, description, and dialog - while at the same time allowing you to specify details..." Sadly though, at this point it's just a technology demonstration and search access is yet to come. It looks promising though.

Online Book Communities

Looking over the suggested sites, I realize that I already use Living Social through Facebook, as I mentioned above. I track books I've read, want to read and am reading now. I usually don't review my books, giving only the shortest blurb when I do. No time! But, I do like to see what my friends are reading, and this does show me.

Bookgroup Resources

Book Sprouts immediately interested me because there are about 641 book clubs that you can join. This leads to fun browsing. I searched with the key word "teen" and found that many libraries have their teen book groups list, mostly by invitation only. So, bravo! to these libraries. I'm interested in this function. Predictably, I also searched under Young Adult ( 5 results), Fairy Tales (0), Folktales (0), Mythology (0) and Helen Humphreys (0). The only local bookclubs I found were invitation only. I know this site is beta, but it needs a way to search for clubs that are open. It's tiring to have to browse with all those invitation only clubs included.

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