What did book lovers do online before 2007? They definitely didn’t use Goodreads, the social cataloging website that has more than 20 million users as of July 2013. A site well loved for its social activity within the literary community, Goodreads gives book lovers a chance to score free advanced reader copies of books and free membership into thousands of online book clubs. It is best known as an online place to store lists of books you’ve read, wish to read or are currently reading.
Content writers who moonlight as authors of fiction and nonfiction can attest to the ability to connect with readers on the author’s pages of Goodreads. Perhaps some of the best fan feedback available comes from Goodreads; readers will comment their honest and forthright opinion regarding books they share, whether they are good reads or downright difficult to get through reads. But in case you find Goodreads lacking in privacy, kid friendly pages or a more traditional style of shelving, here are three other sites dedicated to book lovers.
Another social cataloging site, Library Thing was started two years before Goodreads. However, Library Thing has only 1.65 million users as of April 2013. A bit clunkier to use compared to Goodreads, Library Thing lists Groups and Talk with lists of forum discussion links, the latter of which are compiled under the tab Zeitgeist. No colorful book covers in your list of books, and Library Thing also sticks with simple fonts, basic colors and no frills—unlike Goodreads. You do have the option of creating a Library Thing Author page, which would benefit authors who want to increase their online exposure.
Adults aren’t the only readers getting into the social cataloging game. Enter into the ring Biblionasium, a kid focused virtual bookshelf and reading motivator. Nearly 80,000 kids are registered on the site, as of January 2014, and over half a million books have been “shelved” by members who live in 33 different nations. Books feature the Lexile Measure reading level and they are presented on a virtual wood grained bookshelf with the covers in clear view. Kids get to read while logging their time with the reward of weekly prizes. They can also get recommendations of books according to category, author or reading level. Parents can also use Biblionasium for searching for recommended readings for their kids, as well as to check their child’s school reading list and assignments depending on if the child’s teachers utilize Biblionasium. In combating worries of online social networking, Biblionasium promises a secure and safe kid zone dedicated to books and reading.
For a nice balance between the uber popular Goodreads and the all too basic Library Thing, check out Shelfari. A solid combination of social cataloging features and social networking features, Shelfari was started in the same year as Goodreads. Also just like Goodreads, Amazon owns Shelfari. However, as far as the usability of readers and book lovers who utilize these sites, Shelfari doesn’t have as much functionality as Goodreads. Yet for hardcore book fans, being able to view your virtual bookshelf in the traditional wood grain style, you’ll appreciate the look of Shelfari as an online book cataloging system.
Miranda B is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.