Goodreads, a social network for bookworms, has announced its best books of 2013 — all voted for by readers. There are 20 genres with a winner each, and between the top books and the nominees, I've got enough books on my to-read shelf to last me a lifetime. Since most of the year's standout page-turners include love stories or at least thoughts on love, I've pulled the most poignant quotes on romance and relationships from the winners. Below, find quotable (and pin-able) lines on love that'll have you filling up your Kindle.
The next-generation Kindle Paperwhite is now available for preorder on Amazon, and you're probably wondering if you should stick with last year's version (my personal favorite ereader) or upgrade to the new sixth-generation Paperwhite. Amazon's latest backlit, black-and-white ereader ships Sept. 30 ($119 with special offers/WiFi and $139 without offers/WiFi, and $189 for a free 3G data version) — but is it worth it?
The hardware is mostly the same with some improvements to the display (higher resolution and contrast), internal specs (25 percent faster processor), and light (developed to reduce eyestrain). The software, on the other hand, received the bulk of the upgrades. Integration of recent Amazon acquisition Goodreads, vocabulary building, and a superuseful page skimmer are just a few of the new features in this next Paperwhite that bring the best parts of physical books into an electronic reader.
Amazon also announced a killer deal for Kindle users who've purchased physical hard copies of books in the past. Matchbook, which launches in October, offers readers the ebook version of an already-purchased physical title for a reduced price. In the gallery, see the details from the new program and screenshots of the Paperwhite's smarter software, then let us know if you think it's worth the upgrade.
Amazon announced today it was acquiring popular book-centric social network Goodreads. What does this mean for the 16 million users and 30,000 book clubs currently on Goodreads? In a letter posted to the site's blog, founder Otis Chandler says the active community that created book friends and fans around the world isn't going anywhere, though integrating the Goodreads platform with Amazon's Kindle is now a "top priority."
For ebook readers, that could mean the possibility of seamlessly posting book reviews through Kindle or adding just-purchased books from Amazon to bookshelves. Not all are excited by the prospects, though, as several Goodreads users commented on the blog post to express their disappointment with the corporate ownership.
Member Mustafa said, "I get it, you need money. But I hope Amazon does not hinder the ability to buy books from other sites and prevent competition." On the literature website BookRiot's Facebook page, many Goodreads users had a negative reaction to the news. "Yes, it does affect how I feel about Goodreads. How can it continue to be objective regarding book reviews?" said Marjorie Wertz. However, several posters did greet the news with excitement at the chance to have the Goodreads experience on Kindle.
Whether or not you care who owns Goodreads or how it'll change with this acquisition, there are several other book social networks we've come to love as well. Discover them below, and share with us which is your favorite (and, ahem, some sci-fi book recommendations are always welcome!).
- Anobii — Latin for "bookworm," Anobii allows you to embed your virtual bookshelf from the site to a personal website, so you can share your current reads without even having to worry about social media plug-ins.
- Bookish — Need a book recommendation? Bookish is your source. As you would fine-tune a music station on Pandora by adding more musicians or specific songs, Bookish lets you input up to four books when making its next literary reference to you.
- Shelfari — Already owned by Amazon, Shelfari allows users to sign in with an Amazon ID to add notes to a book's page. We love the "Ridiculously Simplified Synopsis" and the option to hide spoilers.
Adam Doppelt, the entrepreneur behind UrbanSpoon, created the site after growing frustrated with Amazon's habit of recommending the most popular and best-selling science-fiction books rather than those praised by reviewers he trusts. BestBooksSF's algorithm combines Amazon sales rank along with literary award nominations to recommend books users will enjoy.
Book social networking site Goodreads also has a recommendation service, which uses your profile and reading selection to suggest additional books. Your reading list is about to get really long.
After purchasing a book recommendation company earlier this year, the technology and its algorithm are now blended with the familiar Goodreads interface. To begin the recommendation service rate at least 20 books; rating even more books will create a more well defined recommendation list.
The average Goodreader has 140 books on their shelves. This data lets the recommendation system learn how your tastes are similar to or different from other community members and makes suggestions accordingly. For example, if readers with similar sci-fi taste to yours don't like The Hunger Games trilogy, chances are the site won't recommend the series to you, looking instead at titles with keywords and themes that match your book preferences. Update those bookshelves and discover exciting, new stories for the rest of the year.
I love settling down by the fire with a good book, some hot tea, and holiday cheer, but sometimes it's nice to digest a book with a good old-fashioned book review.
I've become intrigued with literary communities lately so I was excited to learn about Good Reads, a site with a mission to improve the process of reading and learning throughout the world.
The site allows you to see what your friends are reading, keep track of what you've read, what you'd like to read, and get book recommendations from people you know.
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