Online Book Groups and Blogs

I think good integration between books and blogs doesn’t exist but needs to. Right now, TypePad users like myself keep a book roll, an on-going list of what I’m reading right now and what I just read. For the ones I just read, I’ll include a few comments. For books I really liked, I’ll post a review as a post on my blog. But to my knowledge, my book list doesn’t show up to people who just read my blog in an aggregator. So sometimes I ask the question, if most of my readers will never see my book roll, why keep one?

As an extension of this, I wonder if there’s a way to tightly integrate blogs, book lists on blogs, and online book groups. In my research, I found there were several “online book groups” that mutually agree on books every few weeks, everyone in the group reads it, and then they have an e-discussion. The New York Times has one in which the book editor at the paper proposes a handful of books and readers vote on which one. The discussion then takes place in an online forum. The interface for the actual discussion is clumsy. Then there is the Readers Club of Amerca which doesn’t seem very interactive and has nothing to do with blogs. The Book Group List is the companion web site for a popular Yahoo Group – Yahoo Groups seems to be the most popular form of book groups and online discussion of books. And then there are blogs like this that have a book each month to discuss.

The genesis of thoughts on this stemmed from seeing other bloggers I read listing the same books I am reading. Shouldn’t there be an easy way to have discussions on books? How can a book list on a blog be better integrated into the body of the blog? Shouldn’t there be an easy way for reviews of books on blogs to be automatically posted on Amazon’s reviews too? In my aggregator, shouldn’t I have the option of pulling in a feed of the main blog and any associated lists? I think there’s some progress that needs to be made in these respects.

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