Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Book groups and cataloguing

Over the past year, I have discovered several book sites that allow you to catalogue your books, interact with fellow readers/bloggers, swap books, participate in reading challenges, preview advanced copies of books, and much more.

One of these book sites is LibraryThing. I joined LibraryThing almost a year ago. I was so excited that I had a place to store my books. Unfortunately, life got in the way and I was not able to do much with it. In fact, I think I was only able to catalogue one book and write a single review. Well, here we are one year later and I have made much progress. I have catalogued 165 books (only those that have been read during the last few years) and added two more reviews - I do hope to be able to fill in a review of all the books but, memory being what it is, I may have to re-read some of them.

After cataloguing my books, I then looked around LibraryThing. I read reviews by several other readers, joined a group or two and finalized my profile (nothing is ever final). This is where I found the capability of listing my homepage. Well, let me see ... what did I do with that information? I created my on blog page. My initial intent was to only put book reviews on this site. I may end up doing that but, I didn't want to lose any momentum so, I have posted non-book review items. I will try to keep all posts book related though.

Since the cataloguing went well on LibraryThing, I downloaded the free version of Libra 0.9.2 in order to have a private catalogue of my books on my own computer. I was able to export the LibraryThing catalogue and then import it into Libra. Looks okay.

I am a frequent participant in the Barnes & Noble First Look Program. This program provides Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs) to many B&N book club participants. I cannot tell you the number of individuals as B&N has never divulged this information. Needless to say, it seems to be a fairly large number. At the start, B&N provided the ARCs on a first come first receive basis, moderated topic discussions, and ultimately an on-line discussion with group members, the book editor, and the author. I have a feeling that the way the books are distributed is changing and will be based upon participation - posting during the discussion and possibly writing a review. This is a fantastic program!

I joined the Harper Collins First Look Program several years ago. This is also a program that provides ARCs. Their selection criterion is different that B&N. They require you to write a blurb indicating your reason for wanting to read the book in question. This write-up must be submitted by a certain deadline (each book is different). I also think that the number of books is substantially less than the number provided during a B&N First Look; however, I have never seen the number of books available. I have NEVER received one of these ARCs and I have been participating for over two years. Recently, they sent a survey to the First Lookers implying the possibility of revamping their First Look program.

I am also considering joining the St. Martin's Read-it-First e-mail book club. Each weekday morning they will send samples from the current week's selected book. By the end of the week, they promise that I will have read approximately several chapters from said book.

Be sure to check out some of the blogs I have decided to follow and let me know of any others that spark your interest.

1 comment:

  1. I know this isn't really a reviwer site, but I LOVE paperbackswap.com

    You post your books (anything except ARC's) and when someone requests it you just mail it to them. In return you get a credit to request a book from someone else.

    If you decide to join, please list Jennmarie68 as the person that refered you.

    They also have some banners you can put on your blog :-)