Wednesday, 21 May 2008



This week, BookRabbit came out of beta testing and launched to the masses but I am not quite sure I get it - although it is a very nice looking website.

As far as I can gather, you take a photo of your bookshelf, upload it and then tag the books using their database. You can then find out who shares similar books with you and have a look at their shelves to get inspiration/get chatting/something else I am sure... They also sell books and claim that they are "cheaper than Amazon" on their top 100,000 titles - that's some boast. The site features author interviews and user-generated book list suggestions which look interesting but no different to other sites I've seen. I'm not too sure how I'd actually get photos of all my bookshelves on the site though, as I seem to have significantly more books than anyone else I have seen there. The Guardian has an interview with MD Kieron Smith here and that explains what they aim to do with more clarity than I have achieved.

Oh - I see someone appears to have a picture of the contents of one of my booksheves... Maybe I start to get the attraction of this site. I can peer into people's lives via their book collections and make sweeping assumptions about them. "This one is showing off and has clearly removed all the lowbrow content", "this person has included pictures of their very ugly children on their shelf", "that person should have dusted before taking their photo" and "this person has every book by Terry Pratchett but does not appear to have ever bought/read another author. They should." Perhaps the last statement is the point of the site - a chance to meet other people who share a passion for a favourite author and swap reading tips.

Hrmmm - It says here that the site is aimed at the "heavy" book buyer. Apparently that's someone who buys more than four books a year. I must be a seriously obese book buyer then...

I think I'll join. It can't hurt and I'll make sure to arrange a careful selection of books for my photo that demonstrate just how intellectual I am. :D


pierre l said...

If four books a year is heavy, I am also very obese. On the other hand, I remember my wife saying about a friend's flat: "the only book in the house is the phone book". Perhaps there are a lot of people who buy zero books a year. Incidentally, I came here from Scott Pack's.

Peta said...

Morning, Pierre! Thank you for stopping by. I've been quoting the four book fact to everyone I've spoken to since. I find it a bit unsettling to go into houses with no books at all (I always feel as if something is missing) and I love your wife's quote!

StuckInABook said...

Having exclaimed that, I probably only buy 12 or so new books a year for myself. It's just that I buy about 150 (or nearer double that...) secondhand.

I remember a form we filled out at first school, about how many books we estimate we had in the house:
-Not many (fewer than 50)
- 50-200
-Lots (more than 200)


Peta said...

I remember when I was around 12 or 13 and Mrs Collier asked us to keep a list of all the books we read during the course of one school year...

I can't recall exactly how many I listed (although I know it was definitely in the hundreds and that it was a veru eclectic selection!) but I do know that she quizzed me very closely to see if I had actually read any of them. Of course, I had!

I catalogued just one bookshelf for BookRabbit and that was @225 books on its own. I can't wait until my campaign to "get the books in the attic back downstairs" and I work out how many books I actually
own... Ahem indeed!