August 30, 2007

GoodReads database hits 5 million books

Just wanted to send out a short congratulations today to GoodReads.com, one of the three literary social networks I belong to, for recently reaching a giant milestone: users there have now officially added five million books to their central database. In fact, this is something I think overlooked about GoodReads a lot, what with all the fuss over the more indie-loved LibraryThing.com and better-funded Shelfari.com -- that the database over at GoodReads is huge, with over 300,000 members now, over 125,000 books being marked by those members as currently being read, and with huge piles of short reviews appearing there for almost any book you can mention. GoodReads also sends you a daily email if you want, showing what books your "friends" have added in the last 24 hours; and another cool feature there that neither of the other social networks have is the ability to instantly "compare libraries" with any other member you come across, letting the computer do the math and just presenting you at the end with a nice little list of what books you've both read, and what you both thought of them.

In fact, science-fiction author David Louis Edelman was talking about this just the other day, about how deceptively hard it is to declare a "favorite" among these literary social networks right now, because of each of them offering slightly different features that the other two don't -- LibraryThing, for example, lets your reviews be as long as you want, has a fascinating and addictive page of statistics, plus presents just generally a more fun, laid-back feel, while Shelfari has a more professional look and feel then either of the other two, the best interface of the three, and is always giving away cool stuff too, via user contests, because of its close corporate connections.

Anyway, like I said, I participate regularly at all three myself; you can find links to my profiles in the sidebar of this website, if you're a member of one of these networks and would like to make me a friend. I heavily rely on my friends at these networks, to tell you the truth, to point out and recommend great new underground books I might not otherwise hear of; definitely let me know of your existence if you'd like a small hand in helping determine what gets reviewed here in the future.

Filed by Jason Pettus at 8:03 AM, August 30, 2007. Filed under: Arts news | Literature |