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Social Networks for Book Worms February 15, 2008

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Books, social networks.
Tags: , , , , ,

Yes, even book lovers have their own social networks these days. The two best sites appear to be Shelfari and Library Thing. All others don’t stack up (ha ha..er..um sorry).

Here is a quick review:


BookBump is described as the iTunes for books. The interface is the best around but it doesn’t have all of the web 2.0 sharing features that Shelfari and others are offering. Still, if all you want to do is manage your book collection and you don’t care about sharing book collections with others, then BookBump could be the right service for you.
Here is a screenshot of its excellent user interface for managing your book collection:bb_managepic.png

***Pai’s Pick***

Shelfari has a nice look and feel and offers many features all for free. Your book collection is displayed cleverly on a virtual bookshelf (hence the name).

There are several types of collections or shelves you can create:

  • Books I’ve Read
  • Book I’m Reading
  • Books I Plan to Read
  • Books Owned
  • Books Wishlist
  • Favorite Books

Another unique feature is the Groups (Book Clubs) you can create or join to discuss and share reviews about different types of books.

You can creature customized widgets to display whatever you want on your blog or website. Here’s an example of my shelf (only two books added thus far):

LibraryThing has a huge amount of book titles to choose from, but their free account limits you to only 200 books. It’s $10 a year for unlimited books which is dirt cheap.
The website itself is nowhere near as impressive as Shelfari and doesn’t offer as many features or types of collections you can keep or share.

Catalog with Amazon, the Library of Congress or 175 other world libraries. Import from anywhere. Get recommendations. Tag your books and explore others’ tags. Put your books on your blog. Enter 200 books for free, as many as you like for $10 (year) or $25 (life).

BookMooch is not really a social network for book lovers as the previous two sites are. What it really offers is a bartering/trading system where readers can exchange books to earn points which they can use to get more books to read. The service is free with the only costs involved are the shipping fees to mail books to other members, who will return the favor (in theory). Interesting concept, sort of a NetFlix for books.

SwapTree is similar to BookMooch in that you can swap books but it also allows you to exchange other items such as Music, DVDs, and games!

Final Thoughts:
Shelfari appears to be the clear leader when it comes to social networks for book worms. It’s an excellent way to track which books you’ve read or want to read.


1. Leo - January 3, 2008

I prefer http://www.swaptree.com to all of these sites. Great site for books, cds, dvds, and video games.

2. PurpleCar - February 9, 2008

Awesome list! I’m in bookmooch, but I’m going to check out the others. Thanks! Mind if I repost/pingback this on purplecar?

3. Stephen - February 15, 2008

I prefer swaptree as well. its important to note that shelfari and librarything do not allow trading. only bookmooch and swaptree do that , and only swaptee does cds, dvds, and games.

4. Paisano - February 15, 2008

Good points Leo and Stephen. There is a big difference among all of these sites. I think it’s great that we have such a wide variaty to choose from these days. 🙂

5. Jason - February 15, 2008

I think Swaptree is FAR better than the other sites of tried. Swaptree also allows multi-way trading, which makes it easier to get the stuff I want.

Shelfari doesn’t seem that interesting to me. I mean, isn’t the point of books to read them? Swaptree lets me discover books but then I can actually get them (and for free).

My $.02

6. Koka - February 17, 2008


Thank you for the comment you left on my post. I will be reading more of your site.

7. Shelfari and LibraryThing first impressions at Sims Learning Connections - March 3, 2008

[…] American Pai, a mention of some other second-tier services in this […]

8. Max - June 19, 2008

i signed up for swaptree because of positive comments made by some people here.

i listed “Mario Kart Wii with Wii Wheel”, swaptree told me there’s a trade for it, i accepted, swaptree told me to ship it. i did. sounds good, eh?

well, that’s what i thought too. 4 weeks later, i still have not gotten ANYTHING back! customer service is terrible there, i must’ve sent 10 emails, swaptree never got back to me.

so my video game is gone! and no one wants to take responsibility for it.

bunch of crooks, that’s what swaptree is. a heaven for thieves.

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