With lots of time on my hands, I’ve discovered lots of wonderful things on the Internet – including the GoodReads website. So how do you use it? (This is what I did…)

To begin:

1. After a simple signup, I selected some the genres of books I like reading.

2. Then, I added some of the books I have read, both recently and in the past – a reminder of what I have enjoyed reading.

3. I also added some of the books I am currently reading to another list.

4. From this, I have been given recommendations for other books similar to these – which I might like or already have (and I tagged them appropriately).
Then I compiled an ever-increasing ‘to-read’ list, which is good to remind me of the the piles (both physical and virtual) of books I am yet to read.

5. Finally, I sent invites to friends to let them know about GoodReads because it also has a social element to it, in that you can invite other readers you know to create their lists, and share their love of reading too. Just send email invites to friends and colleagues, or simply choose them from your FaceBook or Twitter contacts, and get them started. Of course, it helps if you have something to show them on your lists, so that they get the idea of how thngs work from your example.

This will sit quite well next to LibraryThing, which we already use for new additions to our school library – with the added benefit of a personalised network of people with whom you can share great books.

You can see in the side bar, a list of books I intend to read, or view my GoodReads here.

Why not try compiling your own lists, invite your friends along also – you may be surprised at how much you have read – and how much more is out there!

Book Trailers

booktrailersMany books are launched these days with more than just a poster in a bookshop. In this multimedia age, many authors (and/or their publishers) are using publishers’ websites, FaceBook, Twitter and YouTube to capture the attention of their potential readers; especially those attuned to some sort of screen during the day. So this is a new way of selecting books which you may be interested in reading.

Thus it is often possible to find a short book trailer being used to launch or further promote a book. Some examples I recently came across included not only newer books like Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater, the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and City of Ember by Jeanne du Prau; but also included classics such as Number the Star by Lois Lowry.

I had shown these to a class – to give them ideas for presenting a review of the books they had been reading for Literature Circles. The impact was quite powerful as we discussed some of the elements trailers involved. In short bursts, they learned of several books they had not all read. As one girl commented when leaving the class, the trailers could influence their choice, as much as a powerful book cover – “If I had seen that one (Number the Stars) before choosing my novel, I would have chosen it!”

Of course, this was only a ‘snippetty’ use of book trailers, and a lot more discussion and instruction would need to follow before students could begin to create their own. It’s certainly given food for thought, though at this stage we might spend a bit of time looking and reviewing examples first.

Most certainly, I will need to look into posts like that at Crystal Booth’s blog – to get started.