Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Library Thing

As an English Professor, my reading list should be riddled with profound and transcendent titles, the stuff I'm supposed to pass on to my intellectually hungry sons or lurking students. Well, it turns out that those days are gone. My reading these days is typically, in a word, transactional (the anti-profound). Truth be told, like many others of my ilk, I spend most of my reading time reading (evaluating?) evolving student work.

When I do have a moment to read anything other than student work these days, I either read a Spanish language newspaper (part of my continuing, but painstakingly slow Jeff-hungers-for-a-meaningful-second-language project), a police procedural, or, if a new one has dropped from the James Lee Burke tree, a Dave Robicheaux mystery.

Unfortunately, I do tire of Spanish language news (not for the Spanish, but for the news), and prolific as he is, Burke's output isn't nearly enough to take care of even my part-time reading needs. So, I find myself asking: who next?

Who Next?

Sure, my wife is a voracious reader, and my department is full of colleagues who have the kind of life in which books rise to the top of their own honey-do lists. But, frankly, if I've found nothing else out over the years, I've found that my tastes are... just that. Mine. Mis propios sabores.

Still, I've thought there must be some Web 2.0 answer to scratching my who next itch.

The Social Book List

Enter Library Thing--a Web 2.0 social networking site that "with over 800,000 users and 40 million books" that "allows one to find some 'eerily similar' libraries and a Zeitgeist full of random information."

While you can take a tour on your own, allow me to offer a couple of highlights here.


Like many social networking sights, your profile facilitates your connection to those who share similar interests:


Knowing who you are and behind whom and what you stand is, of course, insufficient--and certainly not why I checked out and joined Library Thing. Groups are the reason. And, groups they've got, hundreds:

For now, you can find me trying to decide whether I'm more a Sofa Reads, a 75 Books Challenge for 2009, or a Build the Open Shelves kinda groupie.

More--if I can ever make my way from the front page of this Library Thing to its last--anon.

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