Yes, my love for books is obsessive and freakish. Sometimes I crack the spine of a new book and inhale the pages like it’s crack. Do you inhale crack? See. I’m not much of a druggie. Books are my crack.
I have a handful of websites that I LOVE referring to on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. I figure other bookish folks will enjoy them as much as I do.
TO FIND YOUR NEXT GREAT BOOK
“Whichbook enables millions of combinations of factors and then suggests books which most closely match your needs.” The design of this website is a little archaic, but the results are pretty damned awesome. On the left side of the homepage: sliders with incredibly specific descriptions will narrow down your reading options. I love Goodreads, but I find their recommended reads to be off most of the time (or they keep recommending the same thing over and over again).
You can choose up to four sliders. Today I’m looking for a seriously unpredictable book with easy-ish language and beautiful writing. What I like the most about this website is that it pulls books that you might otherwise not hear of. I got “Moses Citizen and Me” by Delia Jarrett-Macauley, which sounds like a pretty decent read.
TO GET STOKED FOR YOUR UPCOMING TRAVELS
Remember that time I wrote about why reading fiction when you travel is better than reading non-fiction only? Well somebody clearly also had the same brilliant idea and created a whole website around it.
TripFiction is incredibly easy to use: just type in your destination, and see what pops up. The search results are limited, but so far every destination I’ve searched for has popped up with at least a few results. The first for “Newfoundland” is Michael Crummey’s Sweetland, one of my favourite reads so far this year. Clearly someone has good taste.
Another favourite: A Year of Reading the World. Ann Morgan spent a year reading literature from around the world, from 196 different countries. In the process she’s pulled together this incredible list of recommended reading from each country http://ayearofreadingtheworld.com/thelist/. I’ve consulted it several times while planning my upcoming travels. These don’t necessarily have anything to do with the country itself, but the authors are prominent authors from that particular place. What better way to get to know your destination? (Besides like actually going there.)
TO KEEP TRACK OF YOUR READING
This one is fairly obvious, but I LOVE Goodreads. It’s so much more social than any other book site I’ve come across, and I love connecting with fellow readers. Plus I’m pretty gung-ho about creating lists, and I like being able to track my books throughout the year.
You can also create your own book challenges on Goodreads. My only warning is this: super users have a LOT of authority over reviews, so take them all with a grain of salt. Yep, even book websites aren’t immune to cyber bullies.
TO GET INSPIRED
Jamie is a HUGE reader, and somehow she never runs out of fun book-ish blog topics. When I need a book recommendation, I usually go to her. Her favourite genre is YA. Seriously, if you’re book obsessed, you’ll get sucked in for hours.
My other favourite book blog is Book Riot. Like Jamie, this website churns out fabulous book posts about everything under the sun. And it’s not just literature in genre – you’ll find book art, bookish places, podcasts, etc. For the people who dream of having a Beauty and the Beast kind of library someday (srsly you know what I’m talking about).
TO SHARE BOOKS
I’ve used Bookmooch a lot over the years and have come across some treasures along the way. The only issue I have is that I can’t bear parting with my books most of the time, so I’m not exactly a prime candidate. There were one or two horrid reads I didn’t mind getting rid of (“The Shack” comes to mind), but that’s about it. You collect points per book you send out, allowing you to use those points to earn books from other users. You post your wish list to the site, and then you’re matched with someone who’s trying to get rid of the same title.
Obviously you have to pay for your own postage, though, so sometimes it’s cheaper just to go out and buy the book. (Some people just like the idea of sharing books, on the other hand.)
Finally there’s Bookcrossing, which allows people to track their books around the globe. Say you have a book you want to pass along to someone else. You affix a code/label inside the book cover, and then track where it goes. You can also connect with people who read your book. Cool right?
What’s your favourite book-ish website?