I spent some time discovering LibraryThing. It was a pleasant surprised to notice how serious the site appears to be. It seems to attract older people who don’t mind some social activity but prefer to do so “without meeting people”.
It basically is a good site to make a list of the books you own and get information about the writer, pictures of book covers, list of other books written by the writer, recommended books that you might like etc. The site links to many large bookshops (including Amazon of course) and many libraries, giving quick access to the details of just about any book in the world. The first 200 books you enter to your collection on the site are for free, after that an annual or a lifetime fee (25 USD) is required.
I started out by adding a few books that I just read, and who knows maybe one day I might pass that 200 books mark. It is fulfilling to think of all the data you can get from your reading habits, probably because it makes you feel that it really represents who you are. When we were teenagers many of us played our music loud to show the world what kind of cool guy/girl we were. That doesn’t really work anymore when you discover that wearing that extra earring doesn’t really make you look smarter, and that to many people it might actually be a sign that “things are not quiet developed up there”. So we middle-aged people try it with books. “I read Socrates” so that makes me smart; “I have more than a thousand books in my library,so don’t you tell me where to buy bread!”
It will take a while for us older people to discover that it is just as silly as writing “Red Hot Chilli Peppers” on your school bag. But until then i’ll fill out the books I read, tag and order them and compare my library with others to see how I am doing. “I’ve got The Poverty of Philosophy by Karl Marx, anyone else who is just as intellectual as me?”.