Surf before you read

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Enjoyed the tome? Tell the world about it
Enjoyed the tome? Tell the world about it

Social media sites urge you to share a good read online

Everyone loves a good book and loves to share the experience. Time is a precious commodity and hence, meeting up with friends and discussing authors over steaming cups of chai is a luxury. Social media sites such as Shelfari and Good Reads are claiming to fill this vacuum. A number of book fairs and book launches are being held throughout the country marking the National Book Week, which is on till November 20. Meanwhile, net-savvy readers log on to post their reviews of their recent reads.

These social media sites may not be as popular as social networking sites such as Orkut and Facebook, given that they cater only to books but we found a number of avid readers giving these online book clubs a try. Curator of Kalakriti, Prshant Lahoti, finds it’s easier to connect with friends and share a few thoughts on well-thumbed tomes through social media sites. “My reading habits haven’t changed drastically. Nevertheless it is an advantage to get to know what my friends are reading and read up reviews. Ultimately, I’d pick up a book when I find time or while travelling,” he says.

Andrologist Dr. Sudhakar Krishnamurti, who has put up his book Sexx is not a four letter word on Good Reads, says, “I cannot say there’s been an increase in the sale of my book after putting it up online. But it has managed to make the book more visible since readers tend to link the book to other sites.” As for his own reading habits, he is not yet ready to put his money on books recommended online by fellow readers. “I’d still go by a book review published in a newspaper, which has more credibility,” he says, adding, “As of now these sites are examples of also-ran syndromes; there’s an online version for anything that’s offline today.”

Clearly, social media sites are yet to develop a loyal user group. Amita Naidu, a PR manager of a multimedia company says, “My friends have recommended books by Paulo Coelho but I am not into his works. I read only those books that I’ve developed a liking for.” Added to all this, there’s the lack of adequate privacy settings and the possibility of getting public posts from strangers. “There is always the chance of getting messages from unknown people on these sites as with any networking site. You need to ensure your profile name and e-mail id cannot be tracked easily,” says Prshant.





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