An Overview of Virtual Library Shelves

Organizing our books.  Let's face it, every bibliophile loves arranging, rearranging and categorizing our books.  And now you can do it online.  There is a virtual smorgasborg of virtual bookshelves, many of them free and all of them just waiting for you to sign up.

Some of our favorites?

Shelfari is a free online virtual bookshelf and community.  Visually, it is the most appealing of the virtual bookshelves out there.  You can add unlimited books to your shelves, review them and keep notes on each book.  There are plenty of reading groups you can join to meet other like-minded bibliophiles, although it may be difficult sifting through some of the dormant groups to find one that is active.  Our favorite feature keeps track of your books that are part of a series and tells you which books of that series you are missing.

LibraryThing is perhaps the most popular of the online virtual bookshelves.  With over a million members, it touts itself as the world's largest bookclub.  It's available in quite a few languages, making it a truly international community.  The first 200 books you add to your shelves are free, but after that it's going to cost you $10 each year or $25 for a lifetime membership.  LibraryThing is renowned for it's user forums and it's Early Reviewer program which allows members to be randomly selected to receive Advance Reading Editions of the newest novels about to hit the bookstores.

Goodreads is another popular online book community that allows you to catelog your books.  Like Shelfari and LibaryThing, you can keep track of your books, rate and review them and keep notes on your reading.  Goodreads, however, probably has the best reading community.  The reading groups are well-managed and organized, making group reads fun and entertaining.  You may catelog as many books as you like, free of charge.

Whichever virtual bookshelf you choose, be sure to look up A Reader's Respite and send us a friend request!