Social-Networks Activate! Help Me Find A Good Book to Read

March 16th, 2009 at 12:03 am
Bookstore by ImaginaryGirl on Flickr

"Bookstore" by ImaginaryGirl on Flickr

When I was young I read a lot. Then I went to University. Some of you may be familiar with my 9 year dance with post-secondary studies. The details of which being longer than I ever care to write about, the take-away point is that during this period, I pretty much stopped reading anything I wasn’t required to read (two exceptions being The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings books, and the Harry Potter series, the inner-nerd in me types gleefully).

Over those 9 years, I kept telling myself it was ok because I was just tired from all the required readings from school. Then, once school was finished, my tune smoothly transitioned to the I’m-so-busy-at-work and recently the oh-my-god-being-a-new-parent-is-so-exhausting excuses. But I’ve grown tired of these excuses and want to find something to read… damnit!

"Hardy Boys Collection" by hyperboreal on Flickr

"Hardy Boys Collection" by hyperboreal on Flickr

One problem: decisions. Some of you may be familiar with my 30 year dance with decision making. When I was 10 and there were still a couple thousand Hardy Boys books left to read the decision of what to read was really easy, just read whichever book was next in numerical order. Later, I had endless time to wander the aisles of the Lindsay Public Library and found some authors I enjoyed. As an adult, though, how does one choose what they want to read? While Harry potter was fabulously fun to read, I did of feel somewhat like a twelve year old when deciding I was going to read it: Magic?! Awesome!

GoodreadsSo I turned to the interwebs for advice and signed up at Goodreads.

Goodreads is the largest social network for readers in the world. We have over 1,900,000 members who have added over 44,000,000 books to their shelves. A place for casual readers and bona-fide bookworms alike, Goodreads members recommend books, compare what they are reading, keep track of what they’ve read and would like to read, form book clubs and much more. [“about goodreads”]

Unfortunately, Goodread’s “find friends” service (really awesomely providing Google Friend Connect and Facebook App as options) was merely an quick and easy way to discover I don’t know a single one of those 1,900,000 members. The site seems to be reasonably well designed though and I think it would be a lot of fun if I knew some people on the service.  One feature I liked in particular was the ability to customize the “book links” that appear below each book.  In addition to standard Amazon, and, I saw you could add links for the Toronto Public Library search, and added my own for the Ottawa Public Library.

So, take 2. I’m casting out this post into the murky social-netwaters to find out who of you are avid readers, how you find and share good books online, and what the hell you think I should read.  Add comments below, email me, or if you don’t already have an online service to manage your virtual book shelves give Goodreads a try and add me as a friend so I can list something more than the Harry Potter and the Lord of the Rings books on my profile.

3 Responses to “Social-Networks Activate! Help Me Find A Good Book to Read”

  1. Ainsley says:

    I think a good start would be CBC’s Canada Reads list.
    I read The Outlander. Very compelling plot, but I didn’t care for the characters. I didn’t think character development was very good.
    My parents say The Book of Negros is very good.
    Sarah (Jamie’s mom) LOVED “The Fat Woman Next Door is Pregnant” and will lend it to us.
    Based on the CBC discussions, I don’t feel compelled to read “Fruit” or “Mercy…”.

  2. Ian Graham says:

    Hi Brent,

    I usually get my next reads suggested to me by meeting with folks FTF. On a cautionary note my ability to collect books far exceeds my capacity to read them. As I sit here typing this note in my home office my to do reading pile sits next to my desk. Here are the top 3 books in that pile; Wikinomics, The 8th Habit and Outliers.

    I also tend to read several books at the same time; The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck (bedside), Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill (Family Room) and Mistakes where made but not by me and Founders at Work (at the office).

    My favorite books are:
    Winning Friends and Influencing people
    Good to Great
    The Power of Kindness
    The 7 habits of Highly effective people
    The 7 laws of spritual success.

    Much also depends on why you want to read. If you are looking for a break some light fiction is great like LotR (my personal favorite fiction book have read it 3X) or the Hobbit. I tend to like to read to learn now.

    Best of luck with you next reading choice.


  3. Brent says:

    Thanks for the suggestions Ian (and Ainsley previously)!