best websites for book lovers
From book reviews to online bookstores to reading communities to book recommendations, there are a ton of book-related websites out there. Some are so-so, some are good, and some are awesome—I’m sharing the 24 best websites for book lovers I’ve found to date for your literary enjoyment!
best book review sites
When you’re ready to start your next book, here are four helpful websites you can go for some fresh ideas:
Goodreads has a listing for pretty much every book out there and a massive database of book reviews and reading lists from fellow readers. It’s no wonder Amazon acquired it in 2013. Regardless of your feelings about Amazon, Goodreads is a wonderful community where you can connect with fellow book lovers, follow authors, join an online book club, find unique quotes from the pages of books, and win free books.
Did you just finish a book and want another one just like it? Then, you will want to head over to What Should I Read Next and enter the title of the book you just read and get a tailored list of suggestions for similar titles. They also have quotes and a cool literary blog.
Before I travel to a destination, I try to read at least one book set there, or about it, so I can better understand its culture and connect deeper with it. Taleaway and A World Adventure by Book have curated lists of books set all around the world. Want to travel vicariously for a full year? Check out Taleaway’s World Reading Challenges!
best book tracking sites
Tracking the books I read, and the hundreds I want to read, is at the top of my “Best Decisions Ever” list. When someone asks for a book recommendation, or gives me one I don’t want to forget, I no longer have to dig deep in my unreliable memory—I just head to my personal book list.
One word of warning—you’re entering into a long-term relationship that isn’t easy to extricate yourself from, so choose wisely! Here are my two of the best book tracking sites I’ve found:
If you’re okay with supporting Amazon, Goodreads is a great option for tracking your books. They enable you to create your own custom “bookshelves” (AKA categories) and have the added perks of automatically recording your reading stats, sending you an annual “Your Year in Books” overview, and tracking a personalized annual reading challenge.
Libib is a cloud-based library management platform that has a free plan for organizing your home library and a paid plan for small organizational libraries. You can catalog your books, as well as movies, music, and video games, attach notes to each book, create tags, and much more.
best website to buy books
I have a love-hate relationship with Amazon. Rarely can their convenience and price be beat, but I try to avoid them because they threaten indie bookstores. In at least one instance of shameful business practices, they truly hurt them. I was thrilled when an ethical online bookstore selling NEW books was born.
Bookshop’s mission is to financially support local independent bookstores. In addition to enabling readers the convenience of buying new books online and supporting indie bookstores, they share numerous curated reading lists and have a wonderful affiliate program to help the “little guy” (like me!).
You can buy your book from a specific and/or local bookstore OR simply purchase from the website and the profits from your order will be evenly distributed among ALL independent bookstores even those that don’t use Bookshop. They have a truly awesome business model!
SIDE NOTE: I have a great list about Books on Racism & Black History on Bookshop so stop by our Vista Cañas Bookshop “shop”!
best used book sites
I almost always opt for a well-priced used book over a brand new book. Here are my two favorite go to used book sites:
I learned about Better World Books when a fellow reader shared the hysterical email they received letting them know their book was on the way. Not only are they funny, but they care for more than just the bottom line. A portion of every purchase is donated to philanthropic endeavors, such as donating books to those in need, literacy and education grants, disaster assistance, and more.
Powell’s City of Books has a huge physical store in Portland, Oregon, which it claims is the largest independent new and used bookstore in the world. The fact that it has more than 1-1/2 ACRES of retail floor space, nine rooms, 3,500+ different sections, 4+ million new, used, rare and out-of-print books makes this claim believable. CNN calls it one of the “coolest” bookstores on the planet and the website lets us all shop there!
best ebook websites
Although I personally prefer to read physical books, I can definitely appreciate the ebook format (especially when it’s dark and I don’t need a booklight!). These two websites are where I find some fabulous deals:
Before I get out of bed every morning, I’ve already gone book shopping. Once you create an account and choose your favorite genres, BookBub will send you a daily email with a curated list of ebook deals. Typical prices range from FREE to $2.99 each!
Digital Book IO has both ebooks and audiobooks—many of which are free. The website is very well organized, has an interesting blog, and has books in a variety of different languages.
best free audiobooks websites
Here are three awesome websites that have a sizable collection of free audiobooks for those times you prefer to listen rather than read:
LibriVox is home to a large selection of public domain audiobooks read by volunteers from around the world. If you’ve ever had a dream of being a reader, this is where you can start! There’s even a cool volunteer forum with other opportunities listed.
OverDrive is an online platform that enables you to borrow and read free ebooks, audiobooks, and magazines from your library using your phone or tablet. All you need is a library card and the Libby app. This site was awarded Editor’s Choice by Apple, Google Play, PC Magazine and more!
Hoopla is the digital arm of a leading provider of entertainment media products/services to public libraries across North America. They’ve pioneered a unique model that allows patrons to borrow content immediately and, of course, for free. In addition to audiobooks, they also have ebooks, movies, music, comics and television shows.
best virtual / online book clubs
Reading does not have to be a solitary activity! These days, there are many online book clubs to choose from, including:
The first meeting of the Silent Book Club had two attendees—Genevieve and Laura—who read quietly together at their neighborhood bar in San Francisco. There was no assigned book, no pressure to have something smart to say, and no social pressure to chat for hours. Today, there are more than 63,000 members in their Facebook group and more than 240 chapters all around the world. Spurring the growth has been features by Oprah, NPR, the Times UK, and more.
Join the international Facebook group and check to see if there’s a local chapter in your area for some in-person meetings as well!
Hello Sunshine is actress Reese Witherspoon’s online book club that focuses on where women are now and helping them chart a new path forward. Every month, Reese picks one book she loves—with a woman at the center of the story—and shares it both in person and online across various social media channels (@ReesesBookClub).
Modern Mrs. Darcy is a paid virtual book club that combines community, classes, and conversation between authors and readers. If you choose to pay monthly, it’s $15/month; this is discounted if you pay for an entire quarter or year.
best reading group guides & book club resources
If you moderate an online or in person book group that discusses an assigned book at each meeting, here are a few helpful resources for you:
Reading Group Guides has an extensive, current, and searchable database of reading group guides (4,551 the last time I checked) and a resource section for book club leaders.
If you’re starting or running a book club, you’ll love Lit Lovers! You’ll find info on how to start a book club, popular book club picks, reading guides (3,700+ books at the time of this post), and even book club games and icebreakers. If you’d rather join a book club that’s already going, check the LitLovers listings to see if there’s one in your area.
The Reading Club is a British website with all that you’ll need to get your book club going strong. Not sure exactly what kind of book club you want to start? Check out their list of a variety of book club types. You really do want basic book group rules in place to keep things running smoothly. And, they have some invaluable tips for running a book club that will save you time and money.
gifts for book lovers
When you’re looking for a book-ish gift for the avid reader in your life, check out these two websites:
Book Riot has a mix of unique and cool gifts for readers, some to make reading more comfortable, some to carry their books, and others to show off their love of reading.
Uncommon Goods has out-of-the-ordinary books and gifts for readers, like City Skyline bookends and Literary Candles.
free book services
And, last but not least, here are two websites that help us or others read for free:
Library Extension is a free browser extension that enables you to check to see whether a book you’re viewing online—on Amazon, Goodreads, Audible, etc.—is available at your local library and, if so, what format it’s available in.
Operation Paperback is a nonprofit organization that directly connects you with U.S. troops, veterans and military families (either at home or abroad) so you can send them your old books. Once you register, you can request the address(es) of the recipient(s) and you will be instructed how to package and ship the books directly to a grateful reader.
did i miss any cool book websites???
If you have a suggestion for an addition to this list of awesome websites for book lovers, please leave it in a comment below so I can check it out!
While you’re on this website, you can learn more about my vision for the Vista Cañas Nature & Book Retreat located in Playa Venao, Panamá. In addition to a large library of delectable books, I’ll also have several strategically placed hammocks with a killer view. I hope to read with you someday!