Sunday, 26 August 2012
Best Book Review Sites
E-readers offer many conveniences when shopping for books online. One of the things that they cannot replicate, however, is that of book-browsing. You all know that feeling: entering a shop lined with novels, wandering between its aisles and touching the shiny new covers. You stop on occasion, pulling a chosen one down from the shelf, flicking through its pages and reading the blurb. After a pleasant perusal, you leave the shop clutching a promising new novel under your arm, or perhaps with a list of your next ten reads.
So in a digital world where book-browsing is less feasible, how do we know which book is our next page-turner? The answer, of course, is to read online reviews (as Joel blogged about last week!). Here are the top 5 book review sites that The Bookshelf puts its faith in, so that the next time you’re lost in book-browsing cyberspace, you know where to turn before hitting that buy button.
Sign up for free to Good Reads, input your favourite titles and wait for its recommendations. It’s the closest to physical book-browsing that the Internet currently offers – post reviews and read those of others, start a forum or book club, and post your own writing to get noticed.
Library Thing is a social networking site for readers that stores a shelf of every book you have ever read. It differs from other review websites in that you can categorise your books from ones you loved to ones that you soon hope to read, giving tags, ratings and reviews to all of the books in your catalogue.
Bought by Sainsburys to sell books online, Anobii categorises books not by similar reads, but by topics that might fit your mood. Do you fancy sci-fi or romance, or a book that makes you think? A prize-winning novel, or a book about books? Here is the answer to all of your unanswered reading needs!
A personal favourite, iDream is an archive of all professional book critic reviews, calculating a book’s overall percentage rating. Friendly and easy to navigate, its smiley or frowning faces can tell you at a glance what else you may want to read, as well as logging what online giveaways are available that day.
At Love Reading you can download 10 opening extracts from the past week, so you can start reading before you buy. A personalised website run by a passionate team of book-lovers, it offers discounts on your preferred novels, and sends a newsletter updating you on new releases that you might enjoy.
Is there anywhere we've missed? Let us know where you go for reviews, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter for more updates!