Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I want a social networking site for books, please.
Internet Gods, are you listening?
I want to create a profile with my favorite authors, titles, and excerpts. I want to gush about my favorite editions. I want strangers who love Amy Hempel to write on my wall and tell me about one of Hempel's former students who has just published a collection of short stories. I want to know when an author I'm reading is participating in a panel in the city. I want to read reviews and comments from other users and other publications. I want to be able to read excerpts from literary magazines or brand-new novels. I want to read the first two pages so I get excited to rush to the bookstore after a long day at work and a long commute on the crowded subway. I want to be so excited to open that new book that I can't even take the time to take my gloves off. I want to peek at the book in the bag as I walk out of the store - no, I don't even want a bag, I want to carry it so I can open it as I walk.
I will happily list my location and photographs of my bookshelves if this is granted to me. I will happily receive advertisements from publishing houses. I will happily buy a drink at a bar where my new favorite author is reading, and I will pay full price for the hardcover. If it's good, I'll buy multiple copies as gifts.
Facebook will not suffice. I want something more specialized. I want to judge other people by their favorite writers. If authors want to participate, I would be happy to send little messages with flattering notes or constructive criticism, whichever they need more.
I want to make more connections with people on the internet that read. Blogs do not put this content together in a perfect form. Perhaps the social networking world could do better.