We’ve all been stuck inside and going stir crazy or running out of things to do. There’s only so much Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime we can watch. Many of us are putting 1000+ piece puzzles together, reviving craft projects, and instituting family game night.
If you are like me, reading is always a go-to for any downtime I have. After being inside for so long we might have run out of reading material. Maybe we’ve read all the books on our shelves (not a real fear for me, but a friend said she was going to start reading her books over again!), libraries and bookstores are closed, and books are not an essential delivery from Amazon.
How can we keep ourselves entertained and find new books or authors? Here are some of the best sites I’ve found for book lovers to go without leaving home.
Shelf Awareness – helps readers discover the top 25 books of the week chosen by industry experts. There is news about books and authors, interviews and more.
Book Riot – is the largest independent editorial book site in North America. They have book recommendations, reviews, newsletters, podcasts, giveaways, and more.
Book Trib – created as a news source for people who love books, want to find out what’s happening in the book world and love learning about great authors of whom they may not have heard. They host interviews, reviews, discussions, giveaways, and special offers for book clubs.
Book Reporter – dedicated to book lovers providing a forum to discover and share commentary about books and authors they enjoy. The site is chock-a-block with so much information, reviews, giveaways/contests, features, videos, polls, and newsletters.
Publisher’s Weekly – known in the book world as “the bible of the book business”, weekly news magazine, which is targeted to those in the book trade, but it’s a great place for book insight and a look ahead at the world of publishing.
Book Browse – online book review magazine, an independent source that guides you to the best of new and current books, includes reviews, book excerpts, reading lists, a find a book tool, and information for book clubs.
Goodreads – the largest site for readers and book recommendations. It allows individuals to freely search its database of books, annotations, and reviews. They offer groups, discussions, lists and more.
What Should I Read Next? – hosted by Anne Bogel, literary matchmaking, answers the question that plagues readers.
Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books – hosted by Zibby Owens, conversations with busy authors, like moms are!
Currently Reading – hosted by Meredith Monday Schwartz and Kaytee Cobb, 2 bookish friends discuss what’s on their nightstands.
Lit Up – hosted by Angela Ledgerwood, go beyond the book and ask writers the difficult questions
Options for Audiobooks
Audible – the largest producer and provider of spoken-word entertainment and subsidiary of Amazon. They sell audiobooks and offer TV and radio programs, and audio versions of magazines and newspapers. They offer a monthly subscription that gets the subscriber two audio credits for $14.95, or you can buy individual audiobooks. There is some content available for free.
Google Audio Books – the book arm of Google Play, will allow you to listen to books on your Google Home Smart speakers or with the Google Play Books app. You only pay for the audiobooks you purchase. You are not billed as a subscription.
Libri Vox – offers free public domain audiobooks. They are non-commercial, non-profit and ad-free. Volunteers record chapters of books available free in the public domain. The choices are generally older books and may include language that is antiquated. A quick perusal of the crime/mystery genre showed short stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, but NOT any of his Sherlock Holmes stories.
Kobo – sells e-books, audiobooks, e-readers, and tablet computers. They are a subsidiary of the Japanese conglomerate Rakuten. Their e-readers compete with Amazon’s Kindles and Barnes and Noble Nook. Kobo has a partnership to sell its devices through independent bookstores.
Downpour – audiobook service that offers monthly subscriptions, single audiobook purchases and audiobook rentals. They are the only audiobook service that offers rentals. Monthly membership is $12.99 and gets you one credit.
Scribd – offer one million titles and host 60 million documents, such as academic papers. They have a document reader which turns self-published PDFs, Word documents, and PowerPoints into documents that can be uploaded and sold online. They sell e-books, audiobooks and have a comics subscription service.
Chirp – no membership required, discounted audiobooks, but they are often limited-time deals. They do offer curated recommendations based on your taste.
Audio Thicket – audio sister company of New In Books. They send a curated list of audiobook deals weekly by email. No membership required.
Overdrive – free service that allows you to borrow ebooks, audiobooks and videos from thousands of public libraries worldwide.
Hoopla – library media streaming platform for public library patrons to access audiobooks, comics, e-books, movies, and music.
Discount Book Sites
Early Bird Books – directs you to free and discounted ebook deals that match your interest when you sign up for their e-newsletter.
Book Bub – fast becoming the largest site dedicated to helping readers discover the best deals on ebooks. You can follow your favorite authors, and leave book reviews. Sign up for their e-newsletter personalized to you.
Indie Bookstore Retailer Sites
Bookshop.org – online bookstore that offers a convenient way for you to get your books and support bookstores at the same time. They believe indie bookstores are essential to a healthy culture. You can use their bookstore locator to have the purchase go to your store of choice.
Libro.fm – allows you to purchase audiobooks from your local independent bookstore. They offer monthly memberships, a la carte purchases, and extra benefits when you switch from another audio supplier.
Genre-Specific Book Sites
The Big Thrill – the magazine of international thriller writers.
Crimespree Magazine – covers all aspects of crime fiction, books, movies, short fiction, comics and more.
Crime by the Book – one girl’s ongoing exploration of crime fiction from around the world.
Passages to the Past – site for historical fiction fans. It includes book reviews, reading challenges, author interviews, and recommendations.
Historical Novel Society – conceived in the UK in 1997 as something of a campaigning society when the genre was in the doldrums. Then reviews were added shortly after. Now they also include articles, host events and awards.
The Romance Dish – a blog about books, romance, and the ups and downs of everyday life. Tons of information and news about the romance genre, authors, giveaways, including reviews.
All About Romance – reviews, author interviews, review database, lists of top reads, and steals and deals.
Chick-Lit Central – site covers chick-lit, women’s fiction, SOME historical fiction revolving around female characters, and memoirs and books empowering women. They have author interviews, book reviews and giveaways.
Book-Related Social Media
Bloom With Tall Poppy Writers – founded by author Ann Garvin, a group of women authors who support each other and great causes through philanthropy. Their Facebook group and Instagram feature authors, book chat, reviews, book chat, and giveaways.
A Mighty Blaze – started by authors Jenna Blum and Caroline Leavitt to assist authors with newly released books reach readers during the quarantine when in-store book launches were canceled. On Facebook and Instagram.
Great Thoughts, Great Readers – started by Andrea Peskin Katz to connect authors and readers. You can share reviews, catch interviews, attend virtual book club, and win giveaways on their Facebook group and Instagram.
Reader’s Coffeehouse – focusing on books by the founding authors, their motto “they like to talk about all things book, as long as it’s positive”. Feature interviews, chat, virtual book club, challenges, and giveaways.
This is by no means all there is out there. I guarantee you can find book-related sites, social media pages, groups and blogs for any genre or interest. This list barely scratches the surface, but it will get you started. Don’t forget to follow your favorite publishers and authors on social media and sign up for their newsletters. Looking for more ways to stay connected to your fellow bookworms? Check out 5 Ways for Readers to Stay Connected.