I'm going off the beaten path of my usual blog topics for tonight's post. Why, you ask? Because I'm what can only be described as preposterously excited. And, as it so happens, I'm preposterously excited about a website.
So, I have this unyielding passion for reading. When I was in pre-school, I remember how badly I wished I could read -- my Mom would read to me each day, but I wanted desperately to know how to do it myself. Once I was in Kindergarten, we started learning how to read -- and man, was I ever stoked. I couldn't wait to read on my own, and like the dweeb that I am, I raced through the reading assignments we were given.
Once I figured it out, the proverbial floodgates opened. I'd read for hours each day -- American Girl books, Nancy Drew novels, Boxcar Kids, Babysitter's Club...anything I could get my hands on, I read. I became a total pain in the butt for my parents, too: I recall pushing back many a bedtime so I could keep reading, and then secretly reading under the covers with the help of a flashlight. (And Mom, you were probably right about that giving me astigmatism. My bad!) I also remember times when I was feeling particularly manipulative - so when prompted by my parents to do something other than read (and I had to have been reading for hours upon hours for them to say this), I'd raise an eyebrow and coolly say "That's fine; I'll just go watch TV instead."
That usually got them to back off and let me keep reading.
Since I finished grad school, one of my greatest pleasures has been the fact that I can, once again, read for fun. I don't have to pick up academic literature, and I can devour as much historical fiction (Phillippa Gregory and Michelle Moran: can we hang out? Call me!), non-fiction (Rebecca Skloot, Elizabeth Gilbert, Nick Kristof, and Daniel Pink: I lurve you guys), and comedy (David Sedaris, no one has the power to make me simultaneously guffaw and weep like you do) as I want. I've been known to get all giddy at the mere prospect of going to the library and checking out new books to read.
So, with all that back story, I practically jumped out of my "My, this is remarkably ergonomic; are we sure this is government property?" desk chair when a colleague told me about GoodReads.com. It's like Pandora (also awesome), but with books: you rate what you've read so far, and it gives you recommendations based on what you liked (Julie & Julia, you'll always hold a special place in my heart) and didn't like (The Virgin Blue, I'll never forgive you for traumatizing me the way you did).
The good part: this makes me want to do a happy dance. I can finally keep track of all the things I want to read, without emailing myself random missives like "NPR gave (insert book title here) a good review" that then get lost in the ether of my inbox!
The bad part: between this and Pinterest, I might never again see the light of day. Those two sites might just combine forces to ensure that I never leave my laptop. Addiction City, here I come. Leave the light on for me, would ya?