Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Social Media for Readers

I'll be the first to admit, I struggle with Twitter. First of all, it's nearly impossible for me to condense my thoughts down into 140 characters. Case in point, I got what is swiftly becoming a common question from my Aunt this weekend when I was showing off the proof of my novel: "How did you write all that?"  I guess I'm starting to recall how most people see stringing 100k words together akin to climbing Everest or running a marathon.  I mean, I used to look at books with that same aura of mystique until I'd written one.  Then, I realized that it's more like walking to the store.  You just put one foot after another and eventually you get to your destination.

I also pointed out a well-known fact among my familiars: I'm not exactly short of words.  In fact, some would say that I possess a gift for turning something seemingly simple into a rather lengthy discussion.  Usually with myself, as everyone else has long since lost interest.  Thus, Twitter doesn't really fit me.  I'm diligent about answering questions on there, mind you, and I like to poke my nose in conversations from time to time with a witty comment, but I'm hardly prolific. 

I'm all right with Facebook.  I was in college when that phenomenon began, meaning I've had an account since before it was available for those outside of colleges.  A lot of what people are just discovering is already old news to me.  Still, it's not as limiting as Twitter, though can be a bit more convoluted at times.  That, and it lacks focus.  You can do and find pretty much anything on Facebook.  I'm happy with my simple pages and "liking" things and keeping in touch with family.

Don't even get me started on Blogging.  Short story: Hook on Blogging worked for me.

Recently, I've discovered Goodreads.  In setting up my profile, I quickly realized the danger this social media outlet represents for me.  It's basically like Facebook for Readers.  I was drawn in initially by the simple fact that it lets you keep track of what you've read, what you're reading, and what you want to read.  Any heavy reader can tell you, there's nothing worse than when you're ready for that next book and you've forgotten the title.  Goodreads provides a pretty slick solution to this.

And then there's the social aspect.  You can friend people.  You can view lists.  You can join book clubs.  You can discuss.  You can review.  You can rate.  Books, books, and more books.  Is this Heaven?  No, it's Goodreads.

I've added 99 books in the last week and my to-read list has swelled to six (When, while writing, I try to average one a month and usually fail and knock out two.  Incidentally, I gave myself a goal of 12 books this year.  I'm pretty sure that's conservative).  Every time I think I've nailed my "already read" list, I remember another series, author, or entire genre I got sidetracked on.  Books are my drug.

So anyway, if you're a bibliophile like me, you may want to check out Goodreads.  I hope to link myself to my books eventually. You can find my account here.  Friend me, share recommendations, or just lurk in the background.  I'll be doing the same.  Pleasant trolling.


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