Monday, April 27, 2009

Operative Factors: Book Army


Have you seen Book Army yet? I know there are a zillion sites out there just like it, but MakeUseOf.com published about this beta. It's more about reviews and recommendations than about groups and friend feeds. I've been playing around with it for a couple of days and thought I'd share it with you.

It's not really an engine for keeping track of what you want to read, rather what you have read, rating it, and recommending it. I like the 'quick add' feature, as I found it easy to add multiple books at one time. Tip: Hit save, otherwise you'll lose all of the books you've added. I noticed that a few of the books that I've read are not available to add. I'm not sure if that's because they haven't been released yet or if it's because they just weren't very popular, but I did find that kind of annoying.

Aside from being another place to add and track your books, authors can friend their readers and updated their bibliographies. You can watch interviews and trailers; when I clicked on the Video tab, the first video was Christopher Paolini and the Vroengard Academy, the second was The Alchemyst book trailer, and the third was Libba Bray's A Great And Terrible Beauty Trailer. I'm guessing they were pulled in association with the books that I have in my profile. The People tab lets you find people to network with, but I don't think that this is the strength for this site. The Groups tab I find utterly useless because it doesn't make it clear how to use Groups. Forums has the potential to be fun, but I'm not sure it's well enough organized yet. Events could be cool, but I'd like to be able to search by location.

Here's what Book Army has to say about their site:

Bookarmy is a social networking website for every sort of reader. Whether you’re a bookaholic or someone who picks up a book only once a year while relaxing on holiday, bookarmy is the place to discuss and review books, build reading lists, get the best book recommendations, and where you and your friends, family or classmates can read books together.

What makes bookarmy different from other book sites is that here you can make direct contact with authors; see what star rating they have given books, browse their reading lists, ask them questions about their own writing, and recommend titles to them.


So, I say give this a try, but hang in there for a while until it's out of beta before you make up your minds completely.

What I Heart Monster Wants To Know:
  • Had you heard of Book Army yet?
  • Have you tried Book Army? Like/Dislike?
  • Do you think you will try Book Army?
  • Do you think there are too many book sites that have you track your reading list?
  • Which book site are you the most fond of?
  • What are the criteria for you to try something new?
  • Do you like the name of the site?

4 comments:

mee said...

Mmm I tried it before roughly when it first came out, but haven't come back since. I probably should try to hang around a bit more. But there are so many websites for "recording books" these days, it's hard to choose one and just stay there. I wish they all have feature to "migrate" your books to any website that you like (e.g. goodreads, librarything, etc). The idea of having to enter the books I've read one by one to any new website that I might be interested in is not appealing. So at this point of time I'd rather stay at the one I have (which is bookjetty.com if you wanna know).

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Mary said...

I hadn't heard of this site before reading your post. I visited and signed up. It's a bit clumsy - but I guess that's to be expected in beta, right? I track my books on Goodreads and LT. I'm most fond of Goodreads but I love the Early Reviewers on LT. My criteria for trying something new is that it has to be as easy as what I use now. Book Army has a way to go yet to be as easy as Goodreads and LT. I think the site name is interesting. Love the thought of an army of books :)

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I Heart Monster said...

I'm totally with you on the migration thing. If there was a way to make all of these sites use one list of books instead of me having to input them all of the time, I'd be more likely to use a new one. I'll have to check out bookjetty.com; I'm a Goodreads girl myself.

Recent blog post: Operative Factors: Book Army

I Heart Monster said...

Yeah, I really liked the name too which is what nudged me over the line to sign up. I think there's a lot of potential here with Book Army, but I'm definitely not ready to make a full-time switch!

Recent blog post: Operative Factors: Book Army