20 Places Where Bookworms Go to Read and Socialize Online

Oct 06, 2008

Looking to connect with other readers? There are lots of bookworm-friendly sites dedicated to providing free books and reader forums. This list shows you 20 of the best places to read and socialize online.


1. The Literature Network

The Literature Network is a favorite for many bookworms. The site offers thousands of free books, poems and short stories that you can read online. Other nice features include forums, author biographies, quizzes and contests.

2. Noting:Books

Noting:Books allows readers to track start dates, finish dates, and any thoughts they may have as they read a book. They can also choose to browse or follow the notebooks of other readers.

3. Today's Books

The Today Show Book Page features news, book excerpts, author interviews, quizzes and much more. Readers who visit this site can also make book recommendations and discuss what they have been reading. Everyone--from regular readers to people with a master's in English--is encouraged to post on this site.

4. Book Reporter

The Book Reporter is designed for people who like to read and write. Special features include book reviews, book recommendations, author interviews, book articles, contests, polls, reading guides, blogs and author bibliographies. The site also gives users the opportunity to submit books, write book reviews and participate in book dicussions.

5. Project Gutenberg

More than 10,000 book lovers have volunteered to create an online catalog of more than 25,000 free books. You can read the books they have collected and socialize with other readers by volunteering to help out with the project.

6. Barnes and Noble Book Clubs

Barnes and Noble provides a wonderful discussion forum for book lovers. The forum includes sections for general discussion and different types of clubs, such as the Crime Club, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Club, the History Book Club, the Mystery Club, the Shakespeare Club and the Harry Potter Club.

7. LitLovers

LitLovers is an online community dedicated to books and book clubs. The site features book reviews, reading guides, book club ideas, blogs, discussion forums, and much more. Visitors can also enhance their reading appreciation skills with free literature courses.

8. LibriVox

Booklovers at LibriVox record audio versions of books that are in the public domain. You can listen to the books they have recorded, volunteer to help with the project or discuss books in the LibriVox forum. The site also offers quality links to all sorts of book-related content.

9. Online Book Club

This online community for book lovers offers book reviews, book recommendations and interactive polls. Registered users can also discuss books in a forum set up specifically for this purpose. More than 20,000 people have registered so far.

10. Amazon

Most people think of Amazon as a bookseller, but the site also provides opportunities for readers to interact with one another. Booklovers can write reviews, create their own recommended reading lists and discuss literature in Amazon's forum.

11. Bibliomania

Bibliomania is an excellent place to read free books, poems, short stories and plays online. Users can post comments on the bottoms of each page or discuss readings and authors on the site's message boards. There are thousands of free books on Bibliomania already, and new books are added each month.

12. Reading Group Choices

Reading Group Choices is dedicated to recommending discussible books and book club discussion topics. The site also provides editorials, reviews, recommendations, discussion forums and a number of other resources for booklovers and book clubs.

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13. The Online Books Page

The University of Pennsylvania's Online Books Page is one of the best places to find free books online. The site hosts more than 30,000 classics in various formats. Readers can search by author, title and subject to find books they want to check out.

14. Reading Group Guides

Reading Group Guides is an online community for reading groups. Visitors can get reading guides, book club advice and a free newsletter. Reading Group Guides also provides blogs, a message board, regular contests and special sections for authors, publishers and librarians.

15. Oprah's Book Club

The online presence of Oprah's Book Club is a popular hangout for for readers, writers and Oprah-lovers. The site welcomes thoughts and comments on the latest book club selection. Visitors can also access videos, reading guides and author interviews.

16. Classic Bookshelf

This site doesn't look very fancy at first glance, but it does offer unique features that can't be found anywhere else. Visitors can browse Classic Bookshelf to find free books they want to read. After making a selection, they can customize various aspects of the books, such as the color of the text, the size of the print and the font.

17. BookBrowse

BookBrowse is a great place to find book reviews, recommendations, reading guides, discussions and author interviews. The site also offers substantial excerpts so that you can read samples from books that catch your eye. Anybody can check out BookBrowse for free, but the best stuff is reserved for people who pay the $3 per month membership fee.

18. Written Voices

Written Voices is a unique site that brings professional writers and readers together. The site delivers exclusive author interviews via podcast and allows readers to participate in live chats with writers.

19. BookTalk

If you are intimidated by large forums, BookTalk may be more your speed. This online discussion forum (for fiction and non-fiction readers) has somewhere around 1,000 registered users. Special BookTalk features include author chats, contests, book giveaways and nearly 200 interactive games for registered users.

20. Wired for Books

Wired for Books is a production of the WOUB Center for Public Media (Ohio University.) The readers who visit the Wired for Books site can listen to free audio readings of poems, short stories, plays, essays, author interviews and literary discussions.

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