Manage Your Reading A Little Better

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I remember settling in a cramped airplane seat one afternoon a few years ago to start reading a book.  By the time I was maybe half way through the flight, I realized I'd read it before.  Wasn't too pleased.  For one thing, I was flying out of Detroit, so that meant I still had a flight home to come.  Plus I had wasted time and had to lug the book around (as this was the days before the Kindle).

Ever visit ShelfariRon Baker, a fellow blogger here, head of Verasage Institute, mentor and friend, introduced me to it a little over two years ago.  Now owned by Amazon, it is a social media website for books, readers and authors.  Quite simply, I use it to track what I've read and what I plan to read.  Both of those are a good thing.  Sometimes I deliberately reread a book, but a couple of times I've started looking at a book, look it up on my phone (rudimentary web version available for BlackBerry), and put it down.

Things I like about Shelfari:

  • The stuff I said above - being able to keep track of what I've read and what I plan to read is fabulous.
  • Like any good social media website, you can link up to your friends that are also on Shelfari.  Ron Baker in particular is a voracious reader (my "shelf" has maybe 280 books on it and his has more than 2,000) and I like to see what he's read and what he recommends.
  • Shelfari now has a "Series" feature.  I'm one of those geeks who likes to read a series in the order they came out.  I just finished The Monkey's Raincoat by Robert Crais, the first in the Elvis Cole series.  I was able to go to the Series section and add the second book to my Plan to Read section.
  • Recommendations - a newer feature, Shelfari recommends books based on what your friends have read and rated highly and therefore you might like too.

Things that could do better:

  • It used to be a lot easier to add friends.  I think they have gone to more of a Twitter type "following" concept now.
  • For something owned by Amazon, it isn't heavily connected to it.  They have an option to Import your Amazon.com purchase history, and it will tell you if the book is already on your shelf.  But that seems to be it.  You'd think that when you review a book on Shelfari they'd be able to have it show up on Amazon.com as well.  So far no.
  • I'd really like for the review feature and the "What I'm Reading Now" to connect to the Amazon application on LinkedIn but so far nothing.  So I write a review in Shelfari and have to copy it to LinkedIn.  Not hard but a bit annoying.

In addition to Ron Baker, Scott Heintzelman the Exuberant Accountant and fellow member of the Blogger Crew is on Shelfari.  Maybe a couple of others too.

Interested?  Check out my public profile.  Join and get more out of your reading (ok that is a bit presumptuos).

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