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Fragments and Shrapnel – Shy and bookish

I may have mentioned I’m off to Book Expo America this week, so Fragments and Shrapnel is going up early. In celebration of the book, I thought I would post some interesting and useful book sites to help feed your addiction (and mine) and add to your ever growing RSS feeds list.

First up is IndieBound.Org.  This website celebrates all things “Indy” in books and publishing. There are lists of independent bookstores, hot new indy books in print, lists for reading groups, and more. If you don’t like shopping at the big box stores, this is the website to check out. I rarely shop at chain bookstores (except Powell’s) and always try local bookstores first when I need a book. The Indy Community pages helps people across the U.S. find and add indy bookstores and support their local communities. The goal is to strengthen the health of main street retails.  I’m on board!

So, you found a nice local indy bookstore to give all your money. How do you find out what to buy and what’s good? Check out BookSlut.com to find out what’s good and what’s hot in the book world. This site has a WEALTH of information and you could spend days in the aisles of this website browsing reviews, reading articles and interviews and more.  If it’s in print, BookSlut reviews it. There’s a column for comic book geeks, cookbooks, poetry, cooking books and more. I used to read BookSlut every month but had to stop because I was spending too much money on books.

Now that you have the stack of books next to your bed and overflowing bookshelves, how do you keep track of everything? That’s where GoodReads.Com comes in.  This online library lets you catalog and track all the books you’ve read, post reviews and suggestions and see what your friends are reading.  With such a big website you’d think there would be a lot of trolls, and there are a few, but I’ve found most of the reviews to be honest and well-written.  You can also form an online book club here and subscribe to various book discussion lists.  I subscribed to a sustainable eating group and found the conversation to be helpful and interesting.

Anna Karenina is a good book, but probably not something you’re going to read over and over again.  You could keep it on your bookshelf until it gets dusty or sell it back to a bookstore.  OR you could share the book with people around the world. Check out BookCrossing.com and found out cheap and easy ways to share your books with people in your city and in other places. Download labels from the bookcrossing website and place them in your book. Register your copy of Anna Karenina with the website and leave it in a local coffee shop or train station and see who picks it up.  This is an earth friendly way to clear your shelves and share your books while watching your books go on adventures. Friends who subscribe to BookCrossing swear by it so I might just have to test it out and see where my old books end up.

Last, but certainly not least, is Powells.com.  I’m partial to Powells because it’s, well, Powell’s – that and I live about 25 minutes from the Downtown Portland store. The website is just as addicting as the store but isn’t as overwhelming when you walk in.  You can sell them your used books online and browse the used and new books all at the same time.  Plus, they are really cool.

Well, that’s it for me this week.  I hope to have a review of the E-Reader up sometime next week and promise to report back all of my adventures in New York City!

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About Anna Alexander

I am a freelance writer and producer living in the Pacific Northwest. My husband and I live with our cat Grendel who lets us pay his mortgage.

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