As someone who has been involved in a variety of social networks over the last decade, I know that my participation in each tends to ebb and flow, influenced by any number of factors both internal and external. One service I’ve been making better use of recently is Goodreads, which – if you couldn’t tell from the name – is a social network for book lovers.
When I first started using Goodreads (and Shelfari before it), I thought it would just be a neat way to catalog all the books I’ve read, because I just have a tendency to want to
suck the fun out of everything catalog, collect, and categorize things. Goodreads allows users to sort books into “shelves”, and the initial three that every user gets are “Read”, “Currently Reading”, and “Want to Read”.
Up until now, I used this service primarily to catalog books I’ve read and maintain a list of books I’d like to read (something for which I previously used Evernote) for my own purposes, passively accepting friend requests but never really making use of the network. Now, however, I’m starting to take more of an interest in the networking aspect – I see what my friends are reading (many of them don’t tend to share this information out to Facebook or Twitter) and getting good recommendations and suggestions for what to read next.
Goodreads also allows you to add shelves to your initial three. I created one the other day called “Edu-Must-Reads“, which is where I tag books that are – in my opinion – “desert island discs” of the educational publishing world. Not all of them are necessarily about education, but anything on that shelf is something I consider an essential read for folks in education, for any number of reasons. These works have all had a significant influence on the lens through which I view teaching, learning, and leadership. Not only is this a resource for my Goodreads friends, but I figure it’s a quick link I can share with anybody when the discussion of favorite books about education comes up (because those are the kind of nerd parties I go to).
Feel free to peruse my shelf – it’s a bit small at the moment (13 at time of writing) but as I read more, I have no doubt it will grow. Also, if you’re on Goodreads, let’s connect so we can grow our respective collections together.