Top 10 Online Book Club Sites
By Aimee Hosler Apr 2, 2012
Are you an English class junkie? A transient book lover forever in search of the next great read, similar to the forlorn Joad family in their journey to California? Looking for more of your own kind? Bookworms rejoice: You are living in the age of digital book networking. Social reading sites link bookworms the world over, and have revolutionized the way we find, discuss and even think about books. Think of them as a real book clubs, minus the wine and gossip (mostly.) Ready to dig in? These top 10 social reading sites are a great start.
Let's go (book)clubbing
Copia is a one-stop-virtual-shop for avid book lovers. Find books, read reviews and purchase digital copies, then collaborate with others via discussion threads and virtual margin notes. They even have a snazzy app that makes sharing on the go a cinch.
Ever wished there were a literary matchmaking site that could pair you with the book of your dreams? It turns out there is, and it's called Goodreads. This site helps you find your next favorite book by analyzing your reading tastes, finding others who share them and making recommendations through reading lists.
Every used book shop enthusiast knows that inscriptions, dog-eared pages and margin notes can tell you a lot about a book's previous owner, and they can be fascinating. Capitalize on that with BookCrossing. Track books' owners using unique BookCrossing IDs and collaborate with them through virtual journals. Just enter a book online, print and attach a label, then donate. With any luck, future owners will log in and keep the chain going.
Shelfari is one of the Internet's best known social reading sites, and with good reason. This book lover's haven lets you share and discuss your favorite books with friends or strangers. Bonus: In the age of e-readers, stocking and sharing your virtual bookshelf can be incredibly satisfying.
LibraryThing is a very functional tool that allows you to virtually catalog your entire personal library. Connect with fellow bookworms, discuss great reads and keep tabs on your favorite authors. You can also use the "Local" tab to find events and brick-and-mortar bookstores.
This self-described "largest book club on the planet" lives up to its name. Not only does Scribd allow you to review books and touch base with other readers, it allows you to upload your writing in a variety of different formats for others to read and critique.
BookLamp's mission: "Applying science to the written world." The Pandora.com of the social reading world, BookLamp's algorithm will help you find new books by analyzing the actual content -- writing style, pacing, perspective, etc. -- of those you already know and love.
BookGlutton takes book networking to a new level. "Meet" up with friends, choose a book and then actually read it online. Then, collaborate with your pals by discussing your chosen book, attaching notes or comments actually inside the chapters.
Are you an armchair book critic in need of an audience? Find it on BookTribes where you can manage your reading list and post reviews on your favorite (and not-so-favorite) books for everyone to see.
BookMovement is where real life book clubs and the Internet collide. This helpful book club management site allows clubs to manage club activities, review books with a mind for the clubbing experience and find their next selection.
Taking your literary education to the next level
Sure, virtual book clubs are a great way to spend an evening (or a lifetime) exploring your passion for the written word, but they have academic perks, too. If you are not traditionally a book lover and have found yourself struggling to get through "War and Peace" for a class, chances are you can find a lively discussion online that can boost your enthusiasm, or at least give you a new perspective. Social reading sites are particularly useful for those attending online colleges -- just form an online study group and you're good to go.