Reading as a social experience

My son is a marketer focused on digital media and as such, occasionally comes across interesting tidbits he feels I should read. Yesterday, he sent me a link to a post on social reading from Read Write Web. Within that post was a reference to an article on the explosive growth of Goodreads.


  • the social reading post is all about where¬†users “can discover others who are reading similar books, and go right ahead and follow them”.
  • the post quotes one of the co-founders of as saying that their site is designed to enable the book to be experienced as a collection of component parts, and as a mechanism for readers to share key insights from books.
  • In the second post, the author states that Goodreads “currently has 8 million registered members who have written more than 13 million reviews and added more than 280 million books to their virtual shelves”.
  • While there are drawbacks, Goodreads “can function as a universe all its own, and a place to quietly cultivate community”.

Aha. Ties right in with what the historical fiction survey told us about how readers find recommendations for new books and the incredible number of historical fiction review sites available. I haven’t experienced, however, it sounds more suited to non-fiction than fiction while Goodreads handles both.

These two posts support the notion that people love to talk and write about books. According to my survey, women, in particular, love to talk about fiction.

Writers who think of reading as a solitary pursuit – on their part and on the part of their readers – need to think again.