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5.12.2008

Book Glutton

So how's this for a twist on social networking? Book Glutton looks to be an interactive site devoted to book production, publicity and publishing.

Here's the nitty gritty:

We set out to create a better way to read on-line; our goal was to make something different, engaging, intelligent and digital. The concept was born, as many good ideas are, on a crumpled cocktail napkin late one evening in 2006, and we’ve been working to build it ever since. Our intent: build an experience that is simultaneously a book group, a computer, and a book.

We believe firmly that people want to read, annotate and discuss, right there, immersed in the text. That’s the best time to talk about a book. We also respect the solitary side to reading: people should have the chance to tune out the community. We wanted it to be attractive, too; to be an experience. It was designed for the laptops people carry to their coffee shops, and meant for the network, not the desktop. Finally, it had to be something we’d want to use. Naturally we’ve got a list of improvements. Like any creative endeavor, we’re always seeing new ways to tweak it. And we’re open to suggestions! You can suggest features or give us general feedback.

It's an interesting concept, particularly that part about user feedback and criticism. A short review of the site shows a huge selection of the classics (Poe, Austen, Dickens), as well as work by writers such as Cory Doctorow.

If you register, you'll be able to select a book for review from their catalogue, or download a piece into their reader and discuss it with a group of your choosing. It's a free service, and I think it might be a pretty valuable one for folks working on peer critique. The reader looks solid.

What do you think? Will you sign up? How would you use this service?

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