I want to mention a few fab websites for finding books – new books, and old ones you (barely) remember.
If you like chatting about books, Goodreads and Shelfari are both great sites, although Goodreads has a bigger membership. Amazon has always owned Shelfari, and just recently acquired Goodreads, and it’s unclear yet whether the two sites will be merged or kept separate.
I like a lot of Shelfari’s features, so I hope Amazon merges the two; in particular, I like that authors can add a lot of info about their books. What I love most about Goodreads is the ability to search for new books to read; Listopia has book lists within every genre you can think of; you can post a question in a discussion; or use the Recommendations feature (which is really quite nifty). (Side note: Goodreads defaults to emailing you every time one of your discussion posts is replied to, so go in and set all your email defaults before you start posting, or you’ll suddenly have 200 emails in your inbox.)
Another great site for book information/discussion is LibraryThing. I’m obsessed with book covers, and I love that Library thing has a ‘covers’ page for each book, where you can see the different editions.
Another site that isn’t as well know but is fabulous for tracking down books is Abebooks Booksleuth. Is there a book you read years ago that you’d love to re-read, but you can’t remember the title or author? The Booksleuth forum is the place to find it! The sleuths have found books for me on the flimsiest of details. I particularly love the Children’s Books forum,because it proves just what a strong impression books make on children… I was delighted to find that there are thousands of people who, like me, want to find some children’s book that they can only remember a few details of – yet they’ve remembered them for 30 years! (I never would have found my first really scary childhood book, The Ghost on Saturday Night, without this forum).
And if you’re an author looking to chat with other authors, there are dozens of websites, but Absolute Write Water Cooler is probably “the biggie”; and for children’s/YA authors, it’s Verla Kay’s Blue Board. Tons of great info on both, from writing to editing to finding agents and publishers. And if you want to get input on your work, then CritiqueCircle is the place to be.