I have been a consistent user of LibraryThing (LT) (www.librarything.com) since March of 2009. I have mentioned it a few times in earlier posts in this blog. I use LT to record my reading. As soon as I complete a book I add it to my catalogue, suitably tagged so that it shows up in my collection of ‘Read in 2009’, or ‘Read in 2010’, or, more pertinently ‘Read in 2011’. I also rate each book I add there, but I consider that mostly just a memory aide. I like to know which books I have read that I would definitely recommend to someone else. (In my case, I’m happy to recommend anything to which I give a 4-star rating or higher.)
Recently I started exploring some of the social aspects of LT. I’m not a big one for participating on fora, joining group challenges, or commenting on what other people read. However, some time in December I started ‘watching’ the group 75 Books Challenge for 2011. I was curious because I have in fact read that many books in 2011 (I’ll post my 2011 reading list on the 1st of the new year). Would you be surprised to learn that this group has more than 1000 members? Would it further surprise you to discover that a sizeable portion of the group surpassed the 75 book challenge? Maybe not, but it did surprise me.
By visiting the discussion ‘threads’ of a number of the prolific readers in this group, I learned that not only were they voracious readers, many were also substantial contributors to LT in terms of writing reviews of the books they had read or proffering recommendations to other members of the group. Here, in fact, was a vibrant community of sensitive and sensible readers – the kind of folk who like to talk about what they read, what they love about the books they read and, sometimes, what disappoints them. I think I may have been missing out these past couple of years on one of the fun parts of LT.
With that in mind, I was quick to sign up to the 75 Books Challenge for 2012. That group was initiated on 26 December, and one day later there are already more than 100 people signed up. This is one motivated group of readers. I hope I am up to the challenge in 2012.