Tuesday, March 20, 2012


(Before I get to the blogpost - question for all you writers - is anyone planning on doing Savvy Author bootcamp in April? I'm considering it and was just wondering if anyone else is. If you don't know what I'm talking about and you want to - go here.)
UPDATE: I just signed up for bootcamp. Signed up. Paid up. Committed. April wip here I come!

I'm currently working on a couple of blogposts but neither is ready so - I'm going to talk about SHELFARI.

I've been a shelfari member since Feb. 28, 2008. Play along as I struggle to explain shelfari to you. It's a community of readers where anyone can have a virtual bookshelf.

My shelf currently has 982 books and I'm definitely not the person with the most.

I use shelfari to keep track of what
-I've read
-I'm reading
-I plan to read

I've found it useful in several ways. If I'm thinking of a book I read and I've forgotten the author I can look through my lists. It's a good place to keep a tbr pile. And it's a safe place to put what I actually think of a book, be that positive or negative. I don't like to do negative here. I actually don't write reviews there, though you can, but I definitely make use of the star system.

And when I'm looking for new ideas for reading - I can look through other people's shelves.

If you search for me on shelfari, I'm MS Judy L and my current avatar is the cover of Believe It Or Not by Tawna Fenske. In my little public profile thing I have a few sentences about how good the book is. I like having a venue for this.

Shelfari also has groups you can belong to. I'm in a few of them.

I belong to some groups that are fans of particular authors:
Jayne Anne Krentz And Her Alter Egos
Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Je Suis Priest (I joined this one instead of other Gabaldon ones because I have issues with the Outlander series but I love the Lord John Grey books unconditionally.)

Alas, there is no Crusie group. I've thought of starting one but who's got the time?

I belong to one group that allows me to express my beliefs about a certain subject in a place designed not to offend others:
Just For Atheists

And there is a group I started with a friend of mine:
Lighten Up Club

LUC started out to be about weight loss. Specifically it was a group of women who were studying the book - The Writing Diet: Write Yourself Right-Size by Julia Cameron . (Julia Cameron is famous for the book, The Artist's Way - sidebar to this sidebar - she has also written some books for writers) - but the group has had several evolutions. It is now about lightening up in all areas of your life.

None of these groups is active daily. Currently they range from one whose last activity was 6 days ago and one whose last activity was 3 months ago.

I've garnered 3 good friends from shelfari:
Jane, whom I started LUC with. She lives in Florida. We talk on the phone, e-mail, facebook and shelfari.
Natasha who co-administers Just For Atheists with me. She lives in New Zealand. We im on facebook, e-mail, shelfari and read each others blogs.
Ursula who shares my love of books and blogging. She made me co-admin of the Jayne Anne Krentz group because we both love her.

Shelfari has given me a lot. I don't always go there as much as I'd like but I do tend to obsess about keeping up my shelf and making my profile current to my interests of the moment.

Amazon.com is shelfari's babymama or babydaddy so if you have political reasons for not liking amazon, it won't work for you. Your personal login is the email address and password you use for amazon.

I sympathize with you if you have reasons for not liking amazon - but please don't share them with me because, frankly, for this woman who lives more than an hour from the nearest bookstore, amazon keeps me sane. And I don't need one more thing to feel guilty about. Kay?

To sum up, shelfari gives me; my own personal, virtual bookshelf, a little venue for my interest of the moment, groups with a common interest and friends who share my love of books.

Where else are you going to find all that for free?


  1. A few years back I tried out Shelfari and a few more of these book sites, and settled weRead. But then a year later I discovered Goodreads and it's my fave-rest-est! I totally share your lurv and obsession for this kind of thing. I haven't put up all my TBRs since I own hundreds, and I keep my "maybe randomly interesting perhaps" list on amazon, cause I only want my Goodreads to have books I own. Oooh I looove to catalog books, loo loo loo. I can never get enough people to sign up and use the damn thing with me!

    Okay I've gone into Shelfari with my old login and am following you now.

    I'll calm down now. How come you don't have a Shelfari window on here? :-)

  2. I'm not very technical and for some reason shelfari is easier for me than goodreads. I definitely need to ask my daughter to show me how to put a shelfari window here. I found you but I wasn't able to follow you. I swear I need a dummy guide to every little cyber thing. Both my daughters are wizzes though and they help me a lot.
    Oh the things we have in common. You definitely are one of my kind, dearie.

  3. Could one of you compare GoodReads and Shelfari more? I'm on GoodReads, but I've never taken the time to really figure it out so I don't use it as much as I could. It seems like something I should love, but I just never do it. J3--I also adore Amazon. For the first 15 years we lived here, it was 2+ hours to a good bookstore (the one here was so tiny that it only worked for occasional browsing). Then we had a Borders, but now it is closed. Amazon has been my lifeline. I'm sure I must be one of their most loyal customers. I know they don't always treat authors very well, and for that I'm sorry, but I'd die without it. (possibly literally.)

    1. LM might be able to do a comparison. I don't know much about goodreads. I do know all those things I listed for shelfari are very easy to do.

    2. It's been so long since I did Shelfari... hmmm...

      For Goodreads the simplest thing is just to search for the book you're reading; click on "add to my books" which should bring a list of simple options "reading" "read". Then read the book. Then come back to your page (click on the My Books tab at the top) and click on "edit." From there you can change your status to "read" - give stars - write a review if you want. Then save it (there's options to add to twitter/facebook/your goodreads update feed) and that's it.

      You can go really crazy and make all kinds of your own categories and stuff. But that's the basic.

      Maybe I'll go back and look at shelfari and post a little "how to" post on my blog or something.

  4. I'm not on Shelfari, but I've just started on GoodReads and it seems similar. (I do B&N and IndieBound instead of Amazon.)

    I won't be doing the Savvy Author thing, but that's mainly because I'm going to a conference and I have a ton of work to do before I get there. (Which is why I've been an absentee blogger as of late.) Deadlines. Can't live with 'em, can't get published without 'em.

  5. I've heard mention of GoodReads round about the Betty blogs, but had no clue what it was for. (Who is a Luddite, may I see a show of hands please?) And now you tell me there are more of these creatures. ME! The Queen of Cataloging and High Priestess of Reading Shit In Order knows NOTHING of this amazing system! Must be remedied post haste.

    Also? You have no idea how happy I am that you are enjoying Sir John and his life in stories.

  6. Dude. I just noticed you quoted me in the sidebar. That's bizarre.

  7. WoW. Boot Camp, it sounds like a very fun idea. I'll have to ponder this.

    I know set up something at Shelfari at the insistance of a friend, but had totally forgotten about it. Might have to go back and look at that too. ;)

    An award awaits you on my blog...no requirements, just take it and pass it on.