Thursday, July 19, 2012

Bookbrowse.com – an Online Community for Bibliophiles





I love books. I read hardcover, softcover and electronic books. I’ve downloaded E-books on my Kindle, IPad2, Mac and Kindle 2. The print is too small on my Droid or I would use my phone as a reader as well. Before Amazon.com took over the world, one of my great pleasures was browsing brick and mortar bookstores for the next great read. Independent bookstores offered the best experience because these stores were operated by booklovers and staff members would often recommend titles that I would have never considered if left to my own devices.

While reading for enlightenment can be pleasurable, I read for an escape into another world, for the pure pleasure I derive from a good story. It doesn’t have to qualify as “literature”, although I’ve found many of the classics to be great mind candy. My favorite book of all time is “A Tale of Two Cities”. These days my preferences run to sweeping historical epics, biographies of dynamic women in medieval and Renaissance times, mystery and thrillers and lyrical novels about everyday experiences of friendship, family, triumph over tragedy, love, loss and redemption. That pretty much encompasses any good novel. I do tend to avoid best sellers as most are over rated and over hyped.

Since the demise of the brick and mortar bookstore, I now look for recommendations online. The best resource for discovering new books, I’ve found, is Bookbrowse.com. It is a free website with information about new publications with reviews of books posted by critics and members.  I lurked about the site utilizing the free information for a couple of years before joining for the additional members only tools that I wanted to explore. But, the free information is great!

Joining Bookbrowse.com does afford some additional perks, such as the ability to search for books according to genre or time period, the opportunity to review galleys of not yet published books under “First Impressions” and post a review on the site, and the online book club. I’ve had the privilege to read and review several galleys, which provided an opportunity to read books I would more than likely have never otherwise read. And, I   really like the reviews by everyday readers who do not hesitate to write an honest opinion.

So, my reading list grows ever longer. But I have learned that I don’t have to finish reading the book if I don’t like it! Life is too short and there are too many other books on the list that I will like. And every few weeks, Bookbrowse.com will have another update with a new list of books to add to my list.

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