Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Facebook for Books

A Place Called LibraryThing ~ A Space To Have A Love Affair With Books

Shakespeare is to England as Mark Twain is to the USA as August Strindberg is to Sweden as Goethe is to Germany?

Read a forum thread where folks talk about who they feel are the representative authors for various countries

I discovered that thread on a Site called LibraryThing that must have been around for years since it has 1,632,692 Members.

It also has these Vital Statistics:

Books cataloged — 78,495,198

Unique works — 7,356,624

Reviews — 1,967,030

User-contributed covers — 3,322,526

Author photos — 42,548

Groups — 9,101

Talk topics — 142,060

Early Reviewer books given out — 134,500

Total free books given out — 377,299

Here’s more info from the site:

“Your home page shows announcements, books recently added to your library, local events in your area, your top tags, your collections, and links to much more.”

“Each book you add to your library connects you to other people on LibraryThing through its work page. The work page gives you library-quality data about a book and shows you who else has the book and what they think about it.”

“Each book in your library is also connected to an author page for that work. The author page gives you personal information about an author, events for an author on LibraryThing Local, books they have written, links, member ratings, related tags, and much more.”

“All the group forums are connected through Talk. Talk is a special sort of forum system. With Talk, you can see the conversations happening in all groups, or just those conversations in your groups. You can also find conversations that mention books cataloged in your LibraryThing library.”

There’s lots more available on the Site and here are a couple short User Reviews:

“Collection analysis is one of the interesting aspects of LibraryThing. The statistics page reveals aspects of my own collection that I hadn’t realized.”

“This site can allow for a very broad, yet quick search. One can read what others have said about a book before they buy it should they want. I also like that English is not the only accessible language. This could be quite fun!!”

“I was pleased with the ease of inputting my books, the ability to merge information from and the Library of Congress, and the ability to leave my library open to comments from other users. The interface is simple, practical, and not over-designed. Clearly, thought has been given to the user experience of actually inputting your book-list, and it only took me about twenty minutes to input over a hundred books.”

Think this might be a Site you’d want to explore?

Not yet…? — Read this:

“LibraryThing holds about the same relation to Amazon that a brick-and-mortar library holds to your local brick-and-mortar bookstore. Amazon tries to get you to pad your shopping cart at every turn by pointing out related items, add-ons, and discounts; LibraryThing is more concerned with building a book community where people with similar tastes can connect.”

Want to explore it now?

“It really took no more than two minutes to understand how it works and why I absolutely needed it since I was born.”

O.K., just one more :-)

“The Library Thing will also crunch numbers for you in all manner of giddiness-inspiring ways: it will break down your library by language of publication or origin, by year of publication or date of entry; it will tell you if any of your books are owned by just one other user so that you can seek out the other misfits who were drawn to this strange corner of the literary world; it will even turn your list of authors into an alarming diagram which reveals that your snooty graduate school tastes will never outpace your secret love of mysteries and fantasy.”

Well… Maybe one more really good one :-)

“Cataloging content is only one of the amazing parts of Library Thing. Anyone who visits the site can learn about titles in a particular genre, with a particular theme, with a certain type of character, and so on. It’s a great tool to use when creating ‘more like this’ lists and to connect with readers with similar interests.”


Now go check it out and come on back and tell me what you think in the Comments, ok?

{post-publication edit: I just started my own LibraryThing :-)
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