I was reading science fiction author Chris Roberson's blog (Roberson's Interminable Ramble) the other day and he provided a link to Lou Anders' website. I am currently reading a collection of pop culture essays edited by Anders, so I clicked on over to the Anders' neighborhood. While browsing the site, I noticed an interesting inset on the sidebar of Anders' site which displayed some random books from Lou Anders' library. I knew I had to have a similar offering on my site as soon as possible.
I have been listing things that I am reading/watching/playing in my left sidebar for some time, but I don't update it as often as I should and it is usually sadly out of date. Case in point, up until I change the entry later today, this site says I am "reading" Darkly Dreaming Dexter. This is false. I finished reading the book some time ago, but haven't updated the site to include one of the books I am currently reading. Everyone who stops by this blog to see what I have to say deserves better than this, so I have decided to add a listing of random books from my library on the left sidebar. This will be in addition to the too rarely updated windows with peeks into what I am reading/playing/watching.
The feature is made possible by the Library Thing service. Library Thing is a combination of a database and a social networking site. It's like MySpace for bibliophiles. Instead of having a page that features one song you like and a video clip, you can amaze the world with your collection of literary wonders. Well...you can at least meet people online who share similar tastes in books, which leads me to some of the best things about the site. I earlier mentioned how much I like the Pandora online radio service because it makes musical recommendations based on your musical tastes. Library Thing has two similar functions, a book recommender and a book un-recommender. Unlike Pandora, these recommendations aren't based on an algorithm and the tags/decriptors of an elite reviewing staff, rather the recommendations are based on the selections and tags created by users of the site. Also unlike Pandora where you can listen to music online, you have to buy the book if you want to read it. This is only a small drawback which can easily be overcome by the social networking aspect of Library Thing. Is there a user with a high degree of similarity to you? You can email/post a message to that user asking why they like/dislike a particular book you are interested in reading.
It's a cool site with cool functions. Now if I can only get the discipline to enter more books...
Even if I can't, the "random books from" function already has a decent number of books from which to choose.