- The big news this week was that Goodreads was bought by Amazon. I’m not much of a fan of Amazon, and I dislike seeing one company taking over so much of the book world. However, I’m not so anti-Amazon that I won’t deal with anything they touch. It’s been years since I bought a book through Amazon, although once in a while I’ll use the site to purchase other items. And I’ve bought from Book Depository, which Amazon owns, and I use LibraryThing, which Amazon has a minority stake in (The precise stake is not public, but it’s less than the widely reported 40%, per LT’s owner.) A lot of people are deleting their Goodreads accounts in response, but I haven’t decided what I’m going to do. I use Goodreads primarily for keeping track of book I’d like to read but don’t yet own, but I also enjoy the social aspects of the site. I’m considering keeping a TBR list at Worldcat (see Stefanie’s post on how to do that) or just keeping a spreadsheet. But I would miss the social aspects of Goodreads. There’s also a small part of me that likes the idea of abandoning lists altogether and just reading what pops into my head. So we’ll see. Amanda’s post at Book Riot sums up my feelings at the moment.
- Another big change is the coming loss of Google Reader. I’ve played around with other feed readers over the years, but none that worked as well for me as Google Reader. At the moment, I’m using Bloglovin for my blog reading. What I love about it is that it takes me right to the page of the blog I’m reading, which makes me more likely to comment. (Google Reader has a “next” bookmarklet that does something similar.) However, there are times when I want to quickly skim/read a bunch of posts at once, and Bloglovin isn’t so great for that. For that, I think The Old Reader may be the best option, but I haven’t used it enough to be sure.
- The loss of Google Reader came with a lot of talk about how RSS is dead and how people are using social media to keep up with their favorite sites. I like Twitter a lot and tolerate Facebook, but neither is great for making sure I see everything on my favorite blogs. But I do wonder whether blogs that rely on RSS for sharing their posts will end up losing readers when Google Reader dies and people don’t bother getting a new RSS readers. Here at Shelf Love, Jenny and I provide the option to subscribe by e-mail. (See the sidebar on the right, just below the search bar.) And I share links to all our posts on Twitter. I share my own posts on my personal Facebook page, at the request of some of my friends and family. We’ve talked about creating a Facebook page if people want to follow us that way, but I’m concerned about having something else to administer, and I don’t want our conversation to get fragmented. But if people want it, we’ll consider it. Let us know whether that interests you (or not) with this quick poll:
- This week, Amy announced that she will no longer be coordinating the annual Book Blogger Appreciation Week. I’ve enjoyed the celebration each year, but it’s a massive undertaking, and I fully understand Amy’s need to let it go. I think, though, that we can all keep the spirit of it alive by making a point to link to each other and share the stuff we like from other blogs.
- Ana recently posted about a MOOC (massive open online course) on gender in comic books that starts this week, and I decided to enroll. It looks really great, and I’m interested in the MOOC model as a means of lifetime learning. (But I do want to note that I do not think MOOCs can possibly replace in-person or even limited-enrollment online classes.)
- The TBR Double Dog Dare is officially over tomorrow. I’ve mostly held to it, with a couple of exceptions. I read Let’s Pretend This Never Happened on impulse when nothing on my shelf suited my mood, I couldn’t wait to read Life After Life, and I’m reading Stet by Diana Athill now for the Slaves of Golconda discussion.
- The next Dewey’s Read-a-Thon is scheduled for April 27. That’s the end of my vacation week, during which I intend to do lots of reading, so I may be all booked out—or it might be the perfect way to cap off a week off work.
- Jenn at The Picky Girl wrote a great post this week called “A Reader’s Responsibility” in response to an author complaint about readers getting her books from the library instead of buying them. I think it’s important for us to think about the impact of our buying decisions, whether it comes to where we get our books, buying new or used, borrowing from the library, and the diversity of our reading choices. But there’s no one right answer to any of these questions, and every reader will decide differently.
- Over at So Many Books, Stefanie has started an interesting discussion of electronic literature and whether it should be considered a separate genre and the implications of creating literature that’s meant to be experienced electronically.
These book reviews, all of books I’ve previously read and enjoyed caught my eye this week:
- Simon’s review of Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson
- Danielle’s review of Testing the Current by William McPherson
- Iris’s review of Quiet by Susan Cain