“ Online book cataloguing and social networking site „
SUMMARY OF SHELFARI.COM - Shelfari is a website to use as your personal bookshelf, to record the books you have read, want to read and are currently reading. It is also an on-line bookclub with discussions, forums, book reviews and good advice.
JOINING SHELFARI - Becomming a member is exquisitely easy. You simply give your name, which will only appear to your chosen friends, and your email address which will remain private and is for alerts you subscribe to only. There is no confirmation e-mail to reply to, it i only took me two easy steps! This is the easiest on-line membership I ahve ever accessed.
ADDING FRIENDS - There are two ways to add friends. The first way gets offered to you as soon as you join. You get the option to choose your web-provider from a list given which then takes you to your e-mail. Once you sign into your e-mail account you can search your address book and cross-reference it with Shelfari's members to see if your friend has joined. However the initial choice of providers is very poor, and unless you have multiple e-mail addresses you may not be able to do this. Yahoo, Aol and six other popular choices were there but TalkTalk, Hotmail and even BT Mail was not on the list.
The other option is to mannually search for members once on the site using their name or e-mail address. I find the easiest option though is to invite any friends you wish to join and if they are already a member they automatically get added to your friends list. This saves a lot of time searching as quite often there are multiple names the same and working out which one your friend is can be tricky!
I have actually made a huge number of new friends on this site as once you start adding books to your shelf you can access groups which talk about that group or type of book.
YOUR BOOK SHELF - Your book shelf has three uses. You can catalouge books you have read, that you are reading and that you want to read. Each time you add a book you go through a series of options allowing you to add a rating, some reading notes, where and when you bought or borrowed the book and if the former, how much you paid. You can keep this information private or alllow other members to access it thus helping them to decide whether to read it or not.
ADDING BOOKS - Adding books is easy. You can simply do a search for them, similar to that you would do on Google or Ask Jeeves, by adding either the author or the title of the book. If you are choosing your next book you can browse through the most popular ones, or the most recent ones, or even browse by author. Basically you choose the way you want to look and what criteria is important to you. Every book is shown with a picture and when you touch it a short description and key terms are given, for example, A Child Called It by Dave Pelzer would describe the book with key words such as Autobiography, Survival, Abuse and Non-Fiction.
THE SHELFARI COMMUNITY - The community is similar to the DooYoo community in that you help each other make good decisions for you, on what book to read next. You can discuss books you like with like-minded people or you can discuss books with people unlike yourself for a different perspective. The blogs, forums and groups are very easy to access, and simple to understand and use. They can all be found in the community tab. The more I look the more I seem to find that I did not know existed before!
IN CONCLUSION - What I love about Shelfari is that you make it personal to you, and if you want to use it purely as a bookshelf you can, you do not have to take part in forums, competitions or even add friends. It's up to you. There are also regular competition where books are the prizes. Sometimes they are from new up-and-comming authors or sometimes they are classics or from well-known authors.
If you enjoy reading or have an interest in books I recommend you take a look at this site. I have a bad habbit of buying books on the internet more than once as the edition looks slightly different or I have simply forgotten I have read it. Shelfari helps me keep track of my purchases and puts a bit of organisation in my already caotic life!