By now, many of us know all about websites like Shelfari, Amazon, LibraryThing and GoodReads. If not, do take a moment and look into them. I’ll, ahem, wait right here while you add me to your network on each.
However, there is a certain limit to what can be accomplished on these sites, as they are, really, a virtual bookshelf, with a few sites capable of being friends with your friends’ bookshelves. Sure, it’s interesting to see that there are other people who own a few obscure titles in my personal library, but I have, on more than one occasion found myself wanting a super-mega-tricked-out version of Amazon’s title suggestion tool. Or, perhaps just a literary website that can do something new and shiny and different.
TitleZ: Of most use to writers and publishers prone to obsessing over their Amazon rank each hour, Titlez stores data on how a given book or group of books has performed over time as compared to other books on the market, including historical sales rank data.
What that means: No need to obsess over a book or group of books when TitleZ can obsess for you.
BookCrossing: A book-sharing site, where members, via the site’s “unique method of recycling” allows readers to leave books in a given location like a park bench, a laundromat, or a cafe, then declare the book “ready for adventure” where its new owner then retrieves it and passes it along in the same manner when finished. Interestingly, each book’s ownership can be tracked, which can be entertaining in and of itself.
What that means: Give away your unwanted books without having to coordinate schedules with strangers.
LazyLibrary: While I can’t say I agree with the philosophy behind this website, I do endorse everyone making time to read, no mater how busy a schedule might be, so in the name of more reading all around, here goes: LazyLibrary catalogs only very short books. No book over 200 pages will even appear on the site, period. So, if one searches for, say books containing the keyword “Chicago”, LazyLibrary returns with a list of short-enough titles about Chicago.
What that means: Browse without the “threat” of anything even approaching the 1,472 pages of Tolstoy’s War and Peace.