Saturday, June 14, 2008

Good Reads + Facebook

I discovered the ultimate social networking site for the literarily inclined: GoodReads. Forget poking, grouping, and writing on walls -- now you can send your friends all your favorite books with your reviews and get their comments and favorite books with reviews. A lifetime is too short to read all the stuff you can find this way! It's the ultimate virtual book club, except for the tea and cookies part.

The only thing missing on Good Reads is a women poets group, or a group for recommending poetry books (by women or not). The whole group thing on Good Reads seems fairly disorganized.

So I'll toss out an invitation: anyone reading here interested in forming a Good Reads group related to recommending good contemporary poetry books? A group on Good Reads, as on Facebook, includes a discussion board, so a lot of interactivity is possible but not necessary.

To that end, I've set up Good Reads' first poetry group: Poetry Current Best Reads. It may be clunky grammatically, but it gets the mission over in four words -- join and recommend poetry books you can't put down and think we should all read.

Facebook, by comparison, is far more advanced in forming groups, but it has a social networking dimension I simply don't have time for. In today's virtual globe, one must make choice and set priorities, as in the material world. One simply can't do or have it all, unless one wants to have to learn the lesson of King Midas -- how getting everything you want can be simply hell. And Facebook has become YouTube-vast. I have the feeling of being lost in a huge airport, with people rushing around grouping up, writing on walls, poking and playing games at a frenzied pace. Good Reads has a nice, narrow focus. Books. Just books.


  1. I've been on Goodreads for a while now, but I've only just started putting my poetry reads on there. Such a slacker!

    I'll hunt down your group.

  2. Facebook is susceptible to spreading viruses. As I found out within a couple of days of joining. But I didn't quit facebook, I just don't use it all that often.

    I was invited to join shelfari a while ago and did so. So when people started asking me to join goodreads I thought, "I don't have time for this. "

    It's all getting to be too much. What with you-tube, myspace, shelfari, goodreads and a half dozen other 'social' networks to choose from who is to know which is the right venue or even if there IS a right venue.

    Think I'll just stick to blog reading.


  3. Rachel -- You should also try Library Thing...that's my favorite!

  4. Hi Rachel -
    I also prefer Good Reads to Facebook. I just can't keep up on the latter, but Good Reads is really interesting.
    (I also tried Library Thing, but after 200 books you have to pay, and I need a good reason to do that.)
    I saw the poetry group you started, and plan to join.

  5. Julie -- I just started the Poetry group without much of a clue as to what I want to do with it, so it's wide open for ideas. Come on by and help create the group.

    And everyone else too -- Sarahjane, please do come into the group and help create its mission.

    Blue -- I didn't know Facebook had that problem, but it makes sense. All those high-traffic places make me suspicious.

    Karen -- I'll take a look at Library Thing. I wonder if there's a book swap site along these lines? I'd love to clean up my literal shelves, while setting up my virtual ones. I'm drowning in books!

  6. Rachel,

    There is a big poetry group on goodreads already. I was a member a while back, then quit, and just joined again. But there is still room for one dedicated just to poetry book reading and recommendations, since the big group is more news and chat.