National book week, Shelfari vs Library Thing

In case anyone has forgotten or did not know, this week which started last November 19 until this Friday, the 23rd of November is the National Book Week. Book worms here and abroad must be rejoicing and hitting up their books or their favorite bookstore.

Why didn’t I mention the library? Well here in the Philippines, public libraries are something sort of a tourist attraction. Something that you’d find in very few towns or cities. Hell, even in my local town of Silang, the tiny public library with is obsolete books never returned to existence after its building was razed down by a fire back when I was still in my sophomore year of highschool. (Some 5 or 6 years ago?!)

We are a malling republic, not much of a reading one so that’s why there’s almost a mall in every other province or city while most libraries are stuck in the schools. Don’t get fooled that just because there are always a lot of people inside every National Bookstore or any other bookstore in a mall, most of them are in there for the school supplies, pocket books, lyrics (aka song hits) books, horoscope and those ghost stories. Am I just being mean or what? 😉

Then again I may be wrong with my observation as if one were to look into the internets, you’d find that most bloggers are also book lovers. Hence forth, the prominence of such book related sites like Library Thing and now the recently launched Shelfari. Though I haven’t blogged that much about my own book catalog or the books I’ve been reading, thanks to these two sites I am able to share my catalog to the world and talk to other book-loving Pinoys here and abroad.

The first site I signed up for was Library Thing back in last year, so far I have 90% of my catalog saved in my Library Thing account, the other 10% are books published here in the Philippines and is not recognized by the US Library of Congress or which is used as a reference by the site. My free account may be limited to 200 books but so far, I am happy and contented with it. I do confess that I’ve been rarely active in the group I joined in Library Thing but after spending some time in its pages, users’ book catalogs and discussion threads, it feels just like being in a library, but without the Librarian constantly telling us to keep silence.

To balance things off, I also started to spend more time in my Shelfari account. So far, it’s also been an enjoyable experience sharing bookshelves and talking about books to other Pinoy bookworms the world-over. The way I see it, the main difference between Shelfari and Library Thing is that the former is more focused on social-networking and aesthetics while the latter is for serious boookworms. But to be fair, Shelfari has just been around yet so it has more Web 2.0 elements built-in to it.

Reason is the reason has a more thorough review of the two online book cataloging sites. In his conclusion, Library Thing has the edge over Shelfari for the same reasons I mentioned above.

Still, both sites have theirn own unique gains and trade-offs and I wouldn’t mind using both sites. To finish off, I’d be sharing 5 of the topic discussions I’ve recently joined in the Flips Flipping Pages group in Shelfari, and my answers respectively.

Who influenced you into reading?

My grandfather! he’s the one who introduced me to the writings of marx, hegel, tolkien, constantino, F Jose Sionil among others.

I blame my highschool buddies for my pugad baboy addiction.

What are you reading now?

I’m currently reading “A Living Constitution: the troubled Arroyo presidency” by Fr. Joaquin Bernas, S.J.

It’s a whole new glimpse of the current administration and an insight well worth looking into, even if you’re not familiar or interested in legal issues of current events.

For Php395 it’s definitely worth it!

Are we forgetting or we’re really not that interested in Filipino writings?

Most of my books are by Filipino authors. Most of those books are about history, politics and popular fiction.

It’s just me, but I’m a bit irked that the most visited bookshelf in almost every national bookstore is the one that holds the pocket books. Just an observation of mine.

I am a Filipino, and I’m (not) proud of it!

Even though I am 1/8 Chinese, I am damn proud of being a Filipino. Astig! hehehe

Monobookist or Polybookist?

New terms I picked up today, monobookist means that you only read one book until you finish it while Polybookist means you read more than one book at the same time.

I’m a polybookist, (wow, just picked up a new term :D) especially if they are related. Later on, I started to read books of different topics or genres, usually a combo of a fiction + non-fiction + something uber geeky just to have a balanced book diet.

What about you guys and gals? Which site did you signed up for?

2 Replies to “National book week, Shelfari vs Library Thing”

  1. "tourist attraction" talaga? that actually sounds positive =)

    but i know what you mean. i wish a law could be passed requiring mall owners to build a library inside every mall they put up =)

  2. Right on! I've been thinking about it for the past few days now. The government could pass a law that allows it to partner with mall owners in order to have a public library besides making it mandatory.

    Hmm…perhaps we could start something to lobby for this to Congress. It's really worth a shot. :mrgreen:

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