An interesting post on Facebook‘s official blog this morning touted “A New Chapter in Reading with Friends“. Being librarians and avid readers, our interest was immediately piqued. The news that followed, was interesting to say the least. The Facebook has expanded its instant personalization offerings in a new partnership with Scribd. And so, the world’s largest social network meets the world’s largest social publisher. For readers and publishers, this could be a marriage made in heaven.
Before we talk about Scribd, which the iBraryGuy team loves, let’s talk about what is happening with Facebook. Starting today, if you visit Scribd while logged into Facebook, you will get personalized reading recommendations based on what your friends are sharing and your own Facebook likes. Should you come across something that grabs you, you will be able to click the Like button and share it with your friends. This interaction between Facebook and Scribd is designed to personalize your reading experience. Pretty cool!
But some of you may not be familiar with Scribd. You really should be. Scribd is hot! As we mentioned above, it is the world’s largest social publishing and reading site. Their vision is “to liberate the written word, to connect people and organizations with the information and ideas that matter most to them.” Using Scribd, you can turn virtually any file (PDF, Word, PPT) into a web document and share it through such connected sites such as Facebook , Twitter and even Google. From books to presentations, Scribd users are sharing almost 60,000 items daily! There’s a lot to read and, thanks to this partnership with Facebook, it just got easier to find!
Facebook’s instant personalization initiative has been embraced by some and villified by others. Whether it is just an example of how the Web can bring you more of what truly interests you or a more insidious strike against our individual and collective privacy remains to be seen. What we can say is that as a program, Facebook is pressing ahead with it. This particular area of instant personalization is one that interests us as librarians and Scribd users. Frankly, we are excited by the possibilities! The motto behind the initiative is that “the web is better with friends”. We are hoping it is better with friends who like to read and write as mucha s we do!
Whomever it was that said the best things in life are free certainly had today’s featured site in mind. Read Print, a simple, yet elegant site for reading enthusiasts, puts the best price ever on thousands of online books, poems, and stories. Yes, the VERY BEST price. Materials on Read Print are 100%, absolutely, positively, and undeniably FREE!
Intrigued? The iBraryGuy team was, so we checked it out. Suffice it to say that we are impressed. Read Print alreadys boasts an amazing library of over 8,000 books by more than 3,500 authors. Fiction and non-fiction, plays and poetry, short stories and even essays, this online library has it all. Neatly accessible through both clicks and search, Read Print’s library is well organized and simply laid out. Their lists of top books and authors are very helpful, as are the links to search by title and author. Read Print even has an online search for quotations from the authors and works in its library. What else can we say, except “sweeeeeet!”
The one caveat to using Read Print is that you have to read the books online, through your browser. You cannot download them to an e-reader, for example. However, the enhanced online “reading mode” makes this far less cumbersome than one might expect. For those using netbooks, iPads, or other portable devices, this is particularly handy. We read some of Poe’s works on Read Print with little trouble at all.
To get anything for free these days (Have you seen the global economy?) is a rare treat. To get something high quality for free is even more difficult. It is a joy to see a site bucking that trend when it comes to literature. Read Print’s offerings are well-presented, easy to read, and free of errors. It’s almost asking too much. It is why Read Print earns our praise and is our site of the day!
With tight schedules, commutes, and family and social obligations, it is little wonder that time is such a premium these days. It’s a wonder that they don’t teach time management in kindergarten! For many of us, having some spare time to read is more of a luxury than the norm! Given that so many of us are librarians, that is sad and almost ironic. Enter DailyLit and a unique solution to the time crunch!
Thanks to the people at DailyLit, it may be tough to ever again claim that you have no time to read. Their site’s concept is simple, novel, and may even be revolutionary. With DailyLit, you can have a book delivered to you in bite-sized (or shall I say “byte-sized) installments via either e-mail or RSS. You even have control over the number of installments into which the book is broken down and when the snippets are sent to you. It is easy AND convenient!
Currently, DailyLit makes hundreds of public domain books available for free. If you want one of the more current bestsellers, they are available at a fee. Sure beats reading just the headlines on your smartphone as you ride the bus or train!