Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Week 4: Goodreads

Ok, like Twitter, this is another one that work has already introduced me to. I heart the day Tosca showed me Goodreads, and I blame thank Romance Readers Challenge Group for firing up my interest in throwing myself into books that I may or may not enjoy. I'd got into this space where I was mostly re-reading, and only really reading authors I knew already. Yuk. SAFE. After joining Goodreads I found myself trying new stuff on a whim, following trails of recommendations to things I'd never heard of, reading outside my regular genres... and consequently have spent the year with this blissful feeling that there is far too much good stuff to read for the amount of time available. Seriously and without exaggeration, this site has made me a billion times more passionate about reading - and about sharing that experience with other enthusiastic readers - than I was before. And I did enjoy reading before. So yes, of course I would recommend this to library customers, and the benefits for me have been huge. I have requested a lot more, read a lot more, recommended more purchases.

There are other uses for it, as a library staff member. I think we could start to make use of the readers' lists to feed into our Top 5s and our NextReads newsletters. I already use reader reviews to help me assess whether a title is likely to be popular/worth putting into the NextReads newsletters I edit. I've had to give up the Groups I belonged to after coming back to work (they were brilliant during maternity leave but almost impossible, timewise, now) - but these would be great 'support networks' for staff attempting to familiarise themselves (or become an expert!) on a particular topic or genre. In the Horror group I joined, for example, I was able to keep up with and discuss new and upcoming books that were creating a lot of buzz - often with fellow librarians in the group. I also enjoyed adding NZ books to the database, if they were small press enough to not be on there already - felt like I was doing my bit to promote NZ lit!

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