Top Ten Tuesday – Online Resources for Book Lovers
I hope that today’s Top Ten Tuesday post is as informative for one of my readers as I know it would have been for me as a fledgling reader/book blogger. I like today’s subject matter, as not only is it a good way to highlight potentially useful resources to you that you don’t know about, but it is a good way to compare how other people manage their reading hobby!
Whilst I feel that this is an obvious place to start in today’s top ten Tuesday post, it is one of the main online resources I use.
If, on the off chance, you aren’t aware of what this site offers, it is essentially a huge database online in which you can not only discover new books, read (and leave) thousands of reviews, but you could also sort books into lists and record those you have read, want to read and are reading right now using some of their preset options. Your shelves are completely customisable however so you don’t just have to sort them by these criteria. I know people who have shelves set by genre or record it down as the year they read them… The options are endless!
Goodreads also hosts an annual reading challenge. So if you need some motivation, it can be a good way to push you to your next reading goal.
If you are the kind of person who doesn’t have time to sit down and commit to a book, it doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy one anyway. I subscribed to Audible a couple of years ago and I haven’t looked back! It’s not my main way of consuming books, however they are great for times when you can’t necessarily sit down and pick up a book in the conventional way.
I personally enjoy listening to audiobooks while knitting or crocheting, but they are also a great companion when doing household chores, decorating (I can attest from experience) or any physical activity. I have a friend who listens to audiobooks whilst she is out looking after horses. There really are no rules and I enjoy the change in medium from time to time.
The resources used don’t necessarily have to be anything fancy, and this is one of those. I use Goodreads to manage my reading list, however the CEO at my work uses a spreadsheet to mange his list!
I use them for more blog orientated things, such as recording the books I have yet to review and keeping a calendar of any blog tour dates. I appreciate these don’t apply to every reader, but as mentioned above they can be used by anyone. Ultimately, the most important thing is to use resources that work for you.
It’s no secret that I enjoy sharing my thoughts on the books I read of love. You don’t have to be a blogger to do this as there are plenty of available places to share your thoughts on a book without hosting your own site. Be it Goodreads, Amazon, or any known bookstore, there are plenty of sites in which you can review or recommend a book to others.
I like to jot ideas down for a post before I write it. It helps give me a little bit of structure, and if you’re writing a review then you’ll probably want somewhere to write that down. Again, going back to the fact that it doesn’t have to be fancy, any note taking app on your phone will do. I say this because most people probably have a smart phone nowadays and it’s the kind of device you’ll have on you at all times. It’s accessible and easy to use and it’s what I use to plan and draft my book reviews (and blog posts in general).
Books cost money, and not everyone can afford to read as much as they physically want to. The good news is there are plenty of free books out there, but there are also sites that will provide you with a copy of the book in exchange for a review.
Netgalley is probably one of the biggest of these and most well-known to bloggers certainly. It’s great if you are of a mind to provide a review anyway. But if that’s not your bag then this isn’t for you. Whilst you can get away with not reviewing the odd book, the idea behind giving you one is that you do share your thoughts. Even then you can’t access anything and everything. Certain publishers will put books out there for review without any particular stipulation on who can get a copy. However, books by household authors or larger names in general do have criteria you’ll have to meet in order to stand a chance of getting a copy, so keeping that feedback ratio up is crucial.
Obviously I’m a little biased when I say this, but blogs are a great resource. Not only can they provide you with book reviews and recommendations… but they can even provide useful resource posts like this one!
Social media is a great resource. It is “THE” place to share your opinion on the internet and you won’t find many other sites that give you access to so many different opinions in one place.
The different platforms also allow you to do you bookish material in different ways. Let’s be honest, we do judge a book by its cover, so social media sites like Facebook and Instagram are great as they’re very photo-content orientated. Twitter on the other hand is traditionally more word-based so it’s a good place to get more in the way of opinions.
Don’t get me wrong, social media has its downsides too. Whether you choose to use it or not is entirely up to you. Generally if you want to avoid any potential drama that goes with sharing your opinion online, I suggest you stick to the likes of Goodreads.
I typically read either a physical book or on my kindle, however the kindle app has come in useful. Sometimes I end up reading somewhere unexpected, or on a tablet as my kindle has run out of battery. Whatever the reason, the accessibility of being able to have a book on your phone or tablet is great! Although, I have the habit of starting or sampling a book on it and never quite getting round to actually reading the whole thing…
But that’s just me! There are plenty of people out there who read exclusively using the kindle app and that’s fine too!
Both of these apps are great. A lot of libraries (and my local included) may use either of these sites, or equally an alternative, to host their e-book library. I’ve used these apps in order to access books I’m borrowing rather than buying for myself and they are very user-friendly. Using Libby as an example, I know they can host both audiobook and e-book, so if you like having both of those in one place then it may just be worth seeing what your library has to offer.
And of course, at last but not least, check out what your local library has online! Even if you like physical books rather than an e-book library (as above), your library may have a database online of what they have available and whether it’s on loan or not currently. I know mine certainly does, and if ours can do it then I’d be very surprised if yours doesn’t!
You may have a lot more services than I do so it’s hard to tell you to use something when I don’t know it’s available. The best thing you can do if you are unsure is to have a go and look for it. You’ll never discover anything new unless you try!
I hope today’s Top Ten Tuesday post has been useful for you and perhaps you’ve discovered a new resource that you’d like to try. Do use any of the resources I’ve mentioned today? Let me know in the comments, and if you have any alternative recommendations please share them here so we can all learn something new!
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