If you’ve known me for even a brief amount of time, you’ll known that I’m ever so slightly OCD when it comes to arranging my books. At home my books are sorted into four categories: fiction, non-fiction, textbooks and cook-books. Within each category (with the exception of cookbooks) they are sorted first alphabetically by author, and then alphabetically by title (with the exception of series which are arranged by reading order instead of alphabetically). I love organizing books, and my sisters have been known to ask me to come over for the sole purpose of getting me to arrange their books for them! (Love sisters who know me!)
As the Internet became more and more versatile, book listing sites began to slowly pop up around the place. During the years I have been a member of several – some with more success than others.
I think the very first one I joined was Chainreading.com (I also think this site is no longer active as I haven’t been able to access it for quite awhile). It was very basic and unfortunately not all that good. On Chainreading you could list books you wanted to read, books you were currently reading, and books you wanted to recommend to others. There was no way of listing books you had read, but didn’t like. And so, even though I liked the interface, I quickly moved on.
Lists of Bests wasn’t much better though. At least here you could list whether a book was “worth consuming” or “not worth consuming”, but that was it. Again, I quickly moved on.
The first site I really fell in love with was Bibliophil.org. Now we were talking! Finally a site where apart from just adding books to a list, I could sort into sublists according to genre, add a rating and a date for when I read the book! The interface was pretty primitive, but I could live with that, considering that it had all those other things going for it. It wasn’t really much of a social site, but I could live with that, as long as I could properly organize my books 🙂 I think this one is slowly going too though – I can still access the site, but I can’t log on…
Then suddenly along came LibraryThing. I clicked over to see what that was all about, and loved the look and feel of the place, so I was all ready and eager to sign up… until I discovered that the site was only free for the first 200 books added. Any more than that, and you had to pay for a permanent account. I don’t remember the amount any longer, but more than I was willing to pay when I had other options. Since then I have actually signed up because of their First Reader program, but have to say that while they do have their interface and a few other things going for them, as a whole, it doesn’t seem as ‘polished’ as site as others.
Same goes for Shelfari. Again, I like their way of displaying books, but that’s about it.
Finally I found Goodreads! And I’ve never looked back since! Goodreads let me do everything that Bibliophil did, but was much more userfriendly and had a much nicer interface. So now I’ve found my little spot on the web. I can organize my books to my heart’s content, it’s easy to add new books even if they aren’t in the database originally, I can write reviews and add quotes. In addition to all this, I can share my love of books with others. Goodreads is a very social site, and I love sharing book recommendations with others, commenting on their reviews and getting comments on my own. One of the best things about reading, is sharing my love of books with others – this site makes it even easier for me to do so, and I love it there 🙂
That’s not to say it doesn’t have its disadvantages. I’d love a more advanced search and an option to list writer aliases, and add reread dates, but I can live with that.