The Six Quirkiest Sites for Lovers of the Printed Page

In this technological age, where attention spans are short and work days are long, it’s nearly impossible to find the time and energy to enjoy a good book. It’s not that nobody reads anymore, but once we’ve scrolled through the daily posts on our favorite blogs and the occasional newspaper article (online of course), the idea of opening up a weighty tome, tuning out the noise in our heads, and actually focusing is about as foreign as government-sponsored health care. But instead of helping the internet kill print media, why not use the digital world to rediscover the musty pleasures of good, old fashioned books?

Through a handful of quirky and fun websites for (real) readers, you might just find the motivation to finish the last hundred pages of that potboiler you’ve been lugging around in your satchel since Boxing Day.

1. Book Lovers Never Go To Bed Alone is an archive of photographs of thousands of beautiful books in bookstores, in homes, in bathtubs, and pretty much anywhere you can place a book. Some of these photographs are uncomfortable to look at because of the sheer number of unorganized books tottering precariously on rickety shelves. Obsessive compulsive organizational freaks should probably avoid this site as well. Regardless, it shows just how beautiful books can be, even in their wildest states.

2. Bookshelf Porn is like Book Lovers, but rather than focusing on the books themselves, it’s more of a celebration of the many types of shelves on which you can put your books. Lesson learned: it’s unfair how beautiful some people’s home libraries can be.

3. Project Gutenberg runs an inventory of over 36,000 free e-books that aren’t attached to copyright laws. Think old classics and ancient texts. Books are downloadable to your Kindle, iPad, iPhone, or whatever other device you may be using instead of carrying an actual book.

4. Good Reads is a social network for book lovers. Use it to keep track of books you’re reading, get recommendations from other readers, and create communities and conversations based on your favorite reads. Like any other social networking sites, you can add other people as friends, update your progress in current reads, and add books to your to-do list. Good Reads is intellectual activity gone digital.

5. What Should I Read Next? is a great source of inspiration for your next book based on your past favorites. Simply type in a favorite book, and the site will generate a list of similar books that you may also like. So easy! And, much like Pandora, more than a little bit addictive.

6. Hot Guys Reading Books is pretty self explanatory. If you ever need motivation to read, take a browse. Some of these guys aren’t all that and a bag of chips, but intelligence is attractive, so boy readers automatically get two extra hotness credits. Unfortunately, there is no Hot Girls Reading Books blog, but these dudes will work for now.

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