Shelfari has become my latest obsession. This is a site that allows you to make a virtual shelf, like the one visible on this page, that contains whatever of your books you'd like to include. It can be as comprehensive or selective as you choose, and you can also make a "Top Ten" list, a "Wish List", and a "Reading List." I spent about a whole day just filling in my books.
I like it because I get the chance to recall all the wonderful books as I put them up. The list of books I want to reread has grown by leaps and bounds as I've been putting stuff on the site. I keep thinking, "It's been ages since I read that one...."
My favorite part of the site, though, is the groups. I belong to one for AP English teachers, and I think I've finally found a bunch of people who are as Book-Geeky as me. It's nice to be able to chat about the books we're teaching and about the books we're not. Too often, I think AP teachers feel a little isolated. After all, in this area, most schools only have the one, and other grade level instructors don't really have time to fool with anything other than their own preparations. This little Shelfari group is a nice virtual community where we can compare notes, vent, and share the jargon and concerns.
Another thing I like about it is the fact that I can sort of shop for what to read next. Often I go to a bookstore and pick up a book, read the blurb on the back, and wonder if it's really worth my time. With Shelfari, I can talk to like-minded people who have read it, read reviews I'm pretty sure weren't generated by a publishing house press machine, and see if the other books on a recommender's shelf match up with books I've enjoyed in the past. Right now, I think my Reading List of books I want to read is probably enough to keep me busy the rest of the summer and on into the year to come.
It's a nice cyberdiversion. One of the members called it Facebook for Book Nerds. I think I like that description. I'm off to explore....