I am a reader. Like breathing and eating, reading is just something I have always done and, hopefully, will always do. Yet, every once in a while, I find myself in a dry spell. I pick up and put down more books than I actually finish. Something isn’t quite right about each book and I find myself browsing the shelves for something else. None of the books piled next to my bed appeals to me and I wander through the house in search of…something. I’m in one of those dry spells right now, and I need to find something really great. Something to re-kindle my passion for books and transport me out of this dreary, faux spring weather into someplace else. Any place else.
You’d think that working in a library, I’d have an advantage. And I’d agree. Yet the main resource I use to find my next great book is available to anyone with a computer and internet access. My favorite place to find great books is http://www.goodreads.com. Goodreads is a free social networking site for readers and, more importantly, a great place to get recommendations for books you might enjoy. By adding the titles of the books you’ve read, you can find others who share similar reading tastes and then look at their list of books to get ideas for books you might enjoy. I have found a couple of my favorite books by reading the recommendations of people I follow on Goodreads. Goodreads will also suggest other books you might like based on other books you’ve read and enjoyed.
To get started, just point your internet browser to www.goodreads.com and sign up for an account. Start adding books you’ve read and are currently reading and rate them from one to five stars. You can even write a brief review about what you most enjoyed about the book. A sentence or two is enough. To get the full advantage of Goodreads, you’ll need to find some friends to follow. To find friends, go to the upper right-hand corner of the page and look for the little icon that looks like this: When you open the next page you can add the library as a friend by searching for Cook Memorial Public Library and clicking on either the button that says Add as a Friend or Follow Reviews. You will start seeing others who also follow the library and can look at their books and reviews to see if you have similar reading tastes and then follow them.
Reading someone else’s enthusiastic review of a book is often enough to inspire me to look for that book. Goodreads is a wonderful site for readers. In addition to reading reviews and getting recommendations, you can interact with authors, play book-related trivia, and join groups of like-minded readers. All from the comfort of your computer. Then when you find a great book, come to the library and tell us about it. We love to talk about great books!