It’s Book Lover’s Day, and if you’re like me, you have a handful of websites you like to visit which supplement (or complement?) your addiction to the written word. I’ve put together a few of my favorites for the occasion, so I hope you enjoy this list of bookish websites! Did I miss your favorite? Tell me in the comments!
Goodreads is essentially social media for book lovers. Make your lists – “to read”, “currently reading”, and “read”, and keep track of your progress. Make friends with others, and you can trade book recommendations, compete, and more. Includes ability to review books, access to quotes, reading groups, message boards and discussions, trivia & quizzes, creative writing areas, and much more! LibraryThing offers some similar services, but Goodreads is the OG Cadillac of social book-reading. Import your book lists, link to Amazon and auto-add your book purchases, and more. Oh, who am I kidding, LibraryThing is pretty cool in its own right. What can I say? I’m a book website aficionado.
Billing itself as the “world’s largest book club”, PaperbackSwap is a great way to get rid of the books you’ve already read, but also get something new in return! You see, it’s an eye-for-an-eye trading group that includes hardcovers, audiobooks, and more in addition to paperbacks. Sign up, and they start you with two free books, which you’re requesting from the homes of anyone who is in the club. Add the books you’re willing to trade to someone to your “bookshelf”, and every time you mail one off, you get a credit to choose something you like from someone else. What could be better! I’ve been a member for years and I can vouch for the selection and the warmth of the community, which has stayed honest and good even though the site has blown up in recent years. Bookmooch is similar, but much smaller.
Are you a fan of used bookstores? How would you like to browse thousands of them at the same time, in your underwear? With over 7 million titles, ThriftBooks is the largest online seller of used books in the United States, and possibly the world. They even have an “under $5.00” section, with free shipping on orders of $10 or more. Yes, please! It’s hard to beat wandering between dusty shelves and touching everything as you wander through a great used bookstore, but the online equivalent is pretty sweet nonetheless.
Scribd is basically Netflix for books. How can you go wrong? For $7.99 per month, you get access to books, audiobooks, magazines, documents of all kinds, and more, all from your computer, tablet, or phone. Your membership buys you unlimited access to selected items, and 3 free books and 1 free audiobook of your choosing every month from the full library. I particularly liked their celebrity reading lists – do you want to read like Barack Obama? Scribd can help you check out his reading list. As a member, one can upload documents as well, so many of those are particularly interesting. Try it free for 30 days.
Project Gutenberg was begun to offer widespread public, digital access to books in the public domain – that is, books whose copyrights have expired. Typically, that’s 95 years after the publication date, recently upped from 75 years. Now, they have over 53,000 books you can read on your computer, tablet, or phone, absolutely free! This means that there are a lot of classics available, which might come in handy if you’re taking a class on classic literature and don’t want to pay exorbitant bookstore prices. There’s also a lot of art, history, science, psychology, philosophy, and much more.
Having trouble deciding what to read next? Whichbook is a fun little service that chooses your next book for according to your mood! Simply move a few of the sliders – are you feeling happy? Adventurous? Want something safe and predictable, but funny? Whichbook has got you covered. Set your mood, click “go”, and you’re off to the races. I said I’d like something a little sexy, larger-than-life, funny, and unusual, and it suggested “Why Don’t You Stop Talking”, by Jackie Kay, and “The Englishman’s Wife”, by Louis Sanders, which was described as “a cross between Tarantino and David Lynch.” Whoa! Off to the bookstore I go (again.)
Tired of shipping costs and/or late fees? A subscription to Booklender will afford you unlimited paperback or audiobook rentals. There’s no due dates, and they ship for free! Simply sign up and select a plan, create your book list, and they send you the first book on it. Once you read and return it – but no pressure on the time, ship it back for free and they’ll send you the next book on your list automatically, just like that. Not sure if you want to join? You can browse their library without signing up.
Do you like Groupon? Bookbub is essentially Groupon for books! Simply sign up (it’s free), tell them what you like to read, and then tell them which services you’d like to receive coupons for – Kindle, Nook, Apple iBooks, Google Play, or Kobo – and they’ll do the rest!
Audible, an Amazon company, offers over 180,000 audiobook titles that you can download to their free app, for $14.95 per month. You can try before you buy with one book of your choice and a 30-day free trial. Your membership will include 1 free book each month, plus 30% off any additional books. If you normally get your audiobooks from Amazon and delivered to your Kindle, this could be a money-saver!
Read Any Book is another free eBook reading service! They’re small-ish so far, and their selection is eclectic, but very promising! You’re sure to find something that interests you, and the price is definitely right.