Must-Have App for Book Lovers

Book lovers rejoice! Keep track of your reads with this highly-recommended app.

One of the things that really sucks about getting older is the tricks your memory plays on you.

One of my current challenges seems to be remembering if I have read a book or not. Mock me if you will, but it will happen to you one day, I can promise you that!

I may have discovered the solution however — an app called Goodreads. It is actually far more than an app, but a cloud-based resource for readers that not only helps you to keep track of all your books, but also lets you become part a community where you can share recommendations, reviews and conversations with fellow readers.

While Goodreads does many things, it is the ability to catalogue all the books you have read that makes it so very valuable. It’s free to join and use. You simply need to set up an account and begin inputting your library by author, title or ISBN number.

And there is a companion app for your smartphone that  will scan the barcode on your books (using the camera on your phone). A very cool and satisfying experience! All you do is point the camera at a barcode on a book, and instantly all the data fields in Goodreads are populated. You build up your list and every time you enter a title, it fills in cover art, jacket notes, synopsis and character roster. Browsing through your library is a joy as you remember good reads and compare your thoughts with others who have read the same books.

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The fact that the app is cloud-based means you can access your library anywhere. If you are in a bookstore and can’t remember if you have read a particular book — or wonder what others on Goodreads think of it — you just look up the data on your smartphone. It’s terrific to be able to whip out your phone, and look up a book or author instantly when you are having one of those “have you read this” conversations with friends.

There is a huge community of users now on Goodreads — and there is certainly something to be said about the value of recommendations from people who like the same kinds of books or authors as you do.

If you are a reader, Goodreads may be one of those apps that becomes a part of your life — in a big way.

Steve Dotto is Canada’s most respected geek. For over 15 years, as host and executive producer of Dotto Tech, a nationally syndicated TV show, Steve has entertained and educated millions of Canadians on all aspects of technology. Steve has a passion for understanding the social impact of technology. His DVD Cybersafe with Steve Dotto , teaches parents and caregivers about the opportunities, dangers and challenges of social networking.