When I first started using the Internet, I was in elementary school. My family had our own PC which made us the coolest people ever in my young mind. I was as familiar with the tone of the dial-up connecting as I was the sound of my own name. I had several floppy discs and was blown away by the idea of a search engine. If you hadn’t noticed yet, the Internet has come a long way. That’s good news, especially for book people.
Today I’m sharing five of my favorite literary websites. I like each of these sites for different reasons and rely on them often. Plus, no floppy disks are necessary, so that’s nice.
I’ve been a fan of this site for a long time. Twice a year they do a considerable book preview, and these posts always result in me adding way too many books to my ever-growing TBR. My favorite thing about the Millions, though, is their essays. Sometimes they’re about specific books or writers, but some are more general. No matter the topic, I’ve found the pieces on this site to be well-written and thoughtful. (My favorite contributor is Nick Ripatrazone who mostly writes about poetry.)
Like the Millions, Lit Hub offers excellent essays, interviews, and criticism, but I think Lit Hub offers more diversity, both in the genres they cover and the inclusion of writers of color. Besides the consistent quality of the writing, another thing I love about this site is an offshoot they launched called Book Marks. It’s a bit like Rotten Tomatoes in that it shares the newest books, rounds up their reviews, and lists how many were positive and negative.
The thing I like best about this site is that they cover a wide array of books and writers. If you can think of an incredibly specific genre or title, I’m willing to bet Book Riot has talked about it. The quality of the writing on this site is more hit and miss than the Millions and Lit Hub, but there’s a lot of good stuff to be found if you’re willing to wade through the variety of their posts to find something that interests you. They post a lot of content every day, so there’s certainly a good chance there will be something that you want to read.
I talked about NoveList in my post about how I use my public library, but I love it so much that I’m mentioning it again. This site is different than the others because it’s a subscription service. To see if you have access, check with your local public or academic library. If you do have access, I don’t know of a better source for finding book recommendations than NoveList. You can find book recs all over the Internet, of course, but what’s great about NoveList is how precisely you can search for books. You can find titles by searching for things like a strong sense of place, a specific time period, writing style, and more. NoveList is also an excellent resource for those of us who work in libraries. When I needed to brush up on my readers’ advisory skills, I turned to NoveList for their excellent articles about various book genres and how to get the right books to the right patrons. I use this site all the time and know my job would be much harder if it didn’t exist.
Goodreads combines two of my favorite things: books and lists. I’ve been using the site to track my reading since 2010. (You can find me here.) I enjoy setting reading goals each year, and their challenge tracker is fantastic. There’s something incredibly satisfying about finishing a book and adding it to my Goodreads list. I also love keeping track of what my friends are reading. I use the site to find quotes, and I enjoy entering their giveaways. I won a copy of The Girls by Emma Cline once, so I’m convinced I’m going to win again any day now.
Are you a fan of any of these sites? What are your must-visit bookish sites?