Read Any Good Books Lately? Goodreads Unites Print Books with Technology

In this modern era, technology continues advancing every day across all fields. People hunger for engaging and interactive experiences. They are no longer content to sit and watch a screen; they want every detail of what’s on that screen to become as real as possible for them.

High-definition television and surround sound increase the sensory experience of one’s favorite television shows. Movies in 3-D make viewers feel part of the scenes they’re watching in theaters. Computer games and other activities now carry sophisticated features, such as three-dimensional, highly verbal characters and realistic music or sound effects. However, some classic pastimes are tougher to translate into a technological world. For instance, how can an author or reader make a paperback book more interactive?

Nooks, Kindles, and other e-readers only partially answer this question. The e-reader is a valuable tool for Web 2.0 in that it allows readers access to thousands of books in one machine. However, e-readers don’t solve the problem of how to make books interactive on the Web. Fortunately, Goodreads fits the bill.

Goodreads is affiliated with several big-name booksellers including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books-a-Million. Readers can search for favorite genres and create their own “shelves” based on what they have read and what they want to read. Lists of new and upcoming releases in specific genres are always available and frequently updated. The site also provides interactive recommendations based on readers’ previous choices and reviews.

Goodreads’ most compelling and interactive feature, however, is its ability to connect readers and authors across states, countries, and continents. Several authors of many genres have Goodreads blogs, and many others regularly set up live chats with readers through the site. Readers can ask their favorite authors questions, discuss their favorite features of books, and anticipate new releases. Readers can also participate in interactive discussion groups or try activities related to their favorite books. For instance, some book pages contain author-made quizzes or puzzles. Other pages use links to the authors’ personal websites, which contain other interactive activities.

Web 2.0 technology provides many enhancements in our daily life. Now, in combination with Goodreads, that technology takes even our favorite books to the next level.

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