All right Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up

24 September 2009

New Pages-In Search of Lovely Lit

I don't belong to a book club--too restricting. I don't really pay too much attention to the Best Seller List---too commercial! I love to roam the aisles of a wonderful bookstore and discover treasures on my own. Like a lot of us, I don't have nearly as much time to curl up with a book as I would like so in the precious moments when I can sit and read I want to LOVE what I am reading.

Now I know that no book comes with a money back guarantee so I trust my own instincts. Those instincts,however, can often lead me down the same aisles with the same genre of literature---sometimes you need a fresh page!

When I don't have time to go play at my favorite bookshops I have found three sites that are like sitting with friends and chatting about books. To help me find my next page turner these "friends" have introduced me to books I might not have picked up off the shelf.

Women's Book Reviews is a "cosy" site that is all about loving books and searching for that next great read. Founder Debbie Weiss dedicated the site to her Mom whose house "...looks like the Library of Congress with books on every shelf imaginable. Her love of the written word has inspired me to keep on searching for all those special tomes that do exist."
Weiss describes the site as "a place where women could go to find out what their friends are reading --- and which books their friends are enjoying --- or not enjoying. Who better to recommend a good book, but a close friend?!...After all, you don't need to work for the N.Y. Times to have an opinion about a book"

It's true...even friends who may not enjoy the same sort of books that you usually like may have some fresh ideas on their shelves. The concept for the site is simple and a lot of fun. On Women's Book Reviews you can read reviews, rate a book and you are asked to contribute your opinions on books you have read. I love the diversity of books I find on the site-sure there are the bestsellers and paperback piles but there are lots of titles I might never have seen. All they ask is that you be honest, courteous and watch your language!!! when reviewing books-fair enough!

Another site worth playing in is GoodReads This site is like a giant library with zillions of titles. You can go to the site and create your own "library" of books you have read, want to read, have heard about...You have three shelves of read, currently reading and want to read...from there you can review books, read reviews, rate what you have read. Have you ever bought a book or borrowed a book and got into it only to realize you have already read it? Goodreads is a great way to organize yourself. You can create your own shelves by your categories-"Books to Knit With" would be one of mine! You can sort your books shelves by title, date read...You can find out tons of info on any book and also become part of a virtual book club or discussion group---lots of fun and a great way to organize your reading and your library.

My favorite site though is dedicated to Independent Bookstores, IndieBound. Online info is great and a wonderful place to learn more about books you might want to read but as I said nothing is as much fun as wandering through a GOOD bookstore and stumbling upon the next treasure. IndieBound is the on line resource from the Independent Bookseller's whose philosophy it is to " people across the United States share and find independently-owned businesses. By connecting indie-conscious people with local businesses, we're working to strengthen the health of Main Street ecosystems across the United States." In a world filled with malls and chain store style don't you love finding that great little shop that carries designers that have not made it into the malls, thank goodness! Independent bookstores offer the same great experience for readers. As the economy sputters small town centers I feel are becoming more and more important to the economic health of a community. Independent bookstores offer a community experience to reading and sharing the love of books, they are also a great spot to pass on the joy of reading to kids with lots of groups and lectures and fun activities always planned. On IndieBound you can find great Independent Book shops in your neighborhood and search for a bookshop wherever you may be traveling. Each month you can print off their Indie Next List-"Great Books from Booksellers You Trust". There are also lists for reading groups and kids . On the site you can create your own Wish lList to take with you when you visit a shop and add your favorite shops, comment on a shop you found...I love Independent Bookstores and in a planet filled with look-alike book covers they can help you find the best tomes to put on top of your stack!

Happy Reading!