Sometimes I think that I’m pretty up on what the cool kids are into- streets ahead, you might say-, and sometimes I am years behind and have literally no idea what’s going on. Reading has always been a pretty huge part of my life, so obviously I’ve been avidly using GoodReads to catalogue, research, and review all of the books that I read, listen to, and want to find. However, in the span of about three days I was introduced to not one but two new social networks for reading and I have no idea how I hadn’t heard of them before now! Here is a quick intro and review of LibraryThing and Litsy, to hopefully spur you on in your reading pursuits!
LibraryThing is slightly less social and slightly more catalgue to me at this point, but I find that incredibly helpful. I find that GoodReads recommendations can go off of the rails pretty quickly. GoodReads, why do you decide to recommend the SparkNotes for eighteen different works from Shakespeare when I review a piece of classic literature? Would me reading the actual book not imply that I in fact want to read books, not summaries? LibraryThing is the answer! From what I’ve seen, all of your recommendations come from your reviews and collection- it will actually show you other readers who have similar collections to you. In the few hours I’ve spent on the site, I’ve had more relevant recommendations than the last six months on GoodReads, and as someone who reads incessantly, this is invaluable. From my limited experience so far, it feels like this is more data driven than Goodeads on the whole. As a “serious” reader so to speak, I like this more dedicated approach! To be 100% honest, it’s not the prettiest site/app, but if I can get more appropriate and relevant recommendations and connections for and through my books, I will take a plain website.
I do enjoy that it’s easier to find other like-minded readers on LibraryThing- it cuts out the legwork of that aspect of GoodReads. I don’t want to necessarily have to click through book after book to try and find people to connect with, or wait for Facebook friends to slowly join. It also makes it easier to find books to purchase- you can decide which website you want it to default to. I left it at Amazon but you can change it to any number of sellers! I don’t typically go straight from looking at a book rec to ordering it immediately but it’s a nice option. GoodReads just lists all sites even if it isn’t available on it- very frustrating when it makes me think that it will be available on Kobo when it actually isn’t. Small problem in the grand scheme of life, but overly preferable!
If you spot AnHistorianBlog about on LibraryThing, it would be yours truly! Feel free to add me!
Okay, how I haven’t heard of Litsy before now, I will never know. Only an app (not a website), Litsy is purely social, and I already love it after a week of use. You actually don’t do that much on Litsy when it boils down to it. You can Review, Blurb, or Quote a book- that’s it! Reviews are just that, your review of a book. Once you mark a book as read, you rate it as Pick, So-So, Pan, or Bail (which just make me laugh, quite frankly). A Blurb could be your current thoughts on a book, a picture of the cover or the page you are reading, or even your view while you are reading! A Quote is obviously a quote. All three options allow for images to be posted along with the text and can be marked for spoilers. You must tag your Review/Blurb/Quote to a specific book, which is a very cool way to share your reading experience with everyone else!
Most people do post an image- it makes a huge difference, as you can see above. You can decorate your picture with stickers and text and filters, and personalise it in pretty much any way you could imagine. It might sound weird, but I love it- it feels like I’m right there along with my Litsy friends, getting their thoughts and feelings and even what they are seeing. I also love that people include their audiobooks on Litsy! People can be very uppity about audiobooks, that it doesn’t “count” as reading. Well, I firmly believe that it does, and it’s very cool to see the audiobook love happening here on Litsy!
So the one thing that I’ve not entirely figured out is your Lifluence. You start at a Litfluence of 42 and you gain it by people shelving books from your posts, leaving comments on them, or liking them. I’m currently still at 42 but somehow I’ve already got 6 followers and people responding to me immediately. I’m actually feeling super engaged with Litsy because of it, too. I want to know what everyone re-reading Voyager before season 3 airs in the fall is thinking, and I want to see what books people are spotting when they are out in a bookstore. So far, all of the people that I’ve come across on Litsy are pretty regular with updates, so it has been great fun following along!
Want to hang out with me on Litsy? Find me as anhistorianabouttown!
So, dear readers, what social networks for books are you into right now? Any recommendations on where I need to be?