How can anything this organized be so much fun? Check out www.librarything.com and try not to get addicted. It took me only a minute or two. Thanks, Laurent.
There are actually practical applications and uses for this site: I'm almost as afraid of fire as the Scarecrow, but for different reasons - primarily worried about the dogs, but how on earth would I ever replace my library of books and CDs, and more books, and even more books....
But who wants to focus on the practical? Not moi. It's far more fun to see who else on the site has the same books, check out the people who have lots of books in common and then look to see what else they're reading, and the clouds ..... Did I mention the clouds?
The author and tag clouds essentially represent each individual person's library, graphically, in cloud formation, so that the author whose work appears most often literally POPs off the screen at you.
But the coolest part is that this site is just like going to a person's house -- someone you don't know well, or maybe someone you do know well -- and going through all of their bookshelves to form an impression of that person. He reads THAT? How could he?
It's an application of that personal litmus test that we don't tell anyone else about because we don't want to appear judgmental, when of course we are.
Now if I could check out people's iPod playlists online.....