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Getting lost in a good book

The wonderful thing about a good book is that you can get lost inside the world it has created, imagining your own new scenes once the book has ended. Having your own conversations with the wonderful characters.

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of this. In the difficult times I had earlier in the year I filled my time when I couldn’t write with books, films and tv series. There’s some brilliant books I’ve read this year and some amazing tv. I’ve blogged my reviews of the films I’ve gone to see as I’ve seen them but with the book reviews I said I’d do that hasn’t left any friday spaces for the other books and anything else I’ve enjoyed so I made a favourites shelf on my goodreads profile here.

Who knows, maybe all this input will inspire some cool new idea soon!

Finding Good Books to Read: How-To

This was a topic requested in my comments a while back. I said I’d do it so here it is.

Good books can come from all sorts of places so I thought I’d share some of the ways I find the next books for my to-read list.

The first way has to be recommendations. Books other people have read and raved about, old classics I was told about long ago and am only now getting around to reading and finally Amazon’s recommendations themselves.

When I first got back into reading lots only one source of these worked, the classics but I found as I read more and talked to others about what I was reading they started talking to me about similar books they’d read.

Another way I get good books to read is definitely Goodreads. It’s one of the best sites out there for a reader and it also keeps track of my massive to-read list as well as the books I’ve said I’d review for one reason or another. For that reason alone I’d recommend it but it’s also a great place to meet people with similar tastes, by joining genre groups or all sorts of other groups or following someone’s reviews who you’ve come to trust.

On top of all that Goodreads recommends books based on what you’re already told the site you’ve read and rated. It also helps you find books by the same author as you’ve already read and even get into contact with those authors too. Then there’s the giveaways. I’ve entered several and one won a paperback of a book I liked the look of recently. Plus all the review opportunities in the various groups. There’s always a thread somewhere with authors offering free ebooks in exchange for your honest review. It’s a great way to try new genres and new authors.

If Goodreads fails me (which is rare) there’s also a lot of facebook groups that try and connect authors and readers together to help them find each other and help them find books as well as many pages which share ebook links daily of their recommendations.

Finally, you can set up a review blog and let the books come to you. There aren’t enough good book bloggers out there to keep up with the demand caused by the currnet influx of authors so I pretty much guarantee anyone who starts one up and lets people know about it that plenty of books will come your way, to the point you’ll have to turn lots away.

I hope that helps with finding good books. I use a combination of all of the above and I don’t think I’ll ever get my to-read list to come below 100 books ever again.

Social Network Sites

I’ve been very distracted the last few weeks with creating and maintaining all the social network sites there are on the web.

Now I knew about twitter and facebook. I’ve been on both of those for years now but I do have a new facebook fanpage here

I’ve also set up author pages on amazon.com and amazon.co.uk

These are both great for many reasons. The most useful feature is the forums they both have. Forums are a great way to communicate with any fans and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in there. They also both show the Nielson rating for the books I have their as well as my Amazon ratings.

My favourite new websites though are Goodreads and Shelfari and I seriously encourage anyone that reads to go sign up at both of those.

Goodreads has all sorts of useful things including a very easy to use book review system, an ebookstore, quizes, author event trackers, Q &A sessions with authors and my personal favourite, book giveaways.

Shelfari seems to be the more social one of the two and includes a section for each book with all sorts of trivia and other fun things like that. Slightly more for the reader and a little less for the author but still fun nonetheless. It’s also a subsidiary of Amazon.com so it imports amazon’s book ratings to let you know what people thought of the books.

Through Shelfari I’ve manged to meet another indie film company similar to Flight and we are swapping advice and helping each other out etc so It’s done some good already.

I’m also looking into myspace but as I’m not so great with html that one is taking a bit longer.

If anyone knows of any other good social sites they like let me know. I absolutely love using them and getting to know new people.