So just the other day we were telling, ahem, a certain someone about how the first thing we did when we moved to Los Angeles was get a library card from our neighborhood library. And then today we get an invitation to join Goodreads.
From the website:
Goodreads is a free website that allows you to see what your friends are reading. You can add and review books that you are currently reading, going to read, or already read. You can also read reviews by people who aren't in your friend network.
A social network for book nerds. Cool, right? We've been busy filling and rating our virtual bookshelf all evening. The drill is, you find a book, then you rate it, and give it a tag. The tags are like "have read," "to read," etc. Right now the tags are limited and we can think of a few that are needed.
1. Book That I Have On My Shelf That Will Never Be Finished. I would give this tag to "Guns, Germs and Steel." At the beginning of every month for the past decade we have told ourselves that this would be the month that we would finally pick up GGS and finish it. Then we get to another chapter that starts with another indigenous tribe coming up with another modification to the sunflower seed that permanently sets civilization on another path from which we will never recover and we realize that we are simply not smart enough to ever finish this book. We did enjoy learning that Zebras have never been tamed, though.
2. Book That I Have On My Bookshelf To Impress People Who Look At My Bookshelf. While "Infinite Jest" isn't actually on our bookshelf -- primarily for the fact that it is too heavy for us to actually lift and place on our bookshelf -- it would certainly be more likely to get this tag from us than either "Have Read" or "To Read." We can actually envision the evening, fueled by one too many Diet Dr. Pepper's -- because it tastes more like regular Dr. Pepper -- when we tag this as "Have Read." We would only give it a marginal rating b/c too high of a rating would probably cause somebody to ask us details about the book. But we used "Brief Interviews With Hideous Men" as a test drive for "Infinite Jest" and after the second story -- which is three sentences that go on for a staggering four pages -- we realized that Wallace, whose genius is beyond reproach, exists on a plane that we can never cohabitate.
3. Book That I Have On My Bookshelf That I "Loaned" From a Friend. We have (at least) two right now. The Hip Librarian loaned us two before we skipped town including one by Miranda July, which we were very excited about but upon reading found more or less a big disappointment (query: will we be brave enough to actually admit this on Goodreads?). Technically, these books have moved from the bookshelf to the desk to a bubble mailer on the desk. We move slowly and methodically and with an abundance of caution. No, but really: we are lazy beyond any reasonable measure and for this we apologize profusely.
Those are the three big categories that come to mind now. But we're sure you can come up with more. Let us here 'em.
End note: One thing that we feel is worth mentioning (just so you don't send us email telling us this and somehow blaming us for it). The site has a blog and many posts are written by the founder Otis. And Otis kinda comes off like a blowhard in nearly every blog post. It's a bit remarkable, really. But I guess he is competing with Tom and Mark Zuckerwhateverthefuck. This is Web 2.0, my homeslices. Get used to the view.