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Goodreads.com, Lexington library put readers together

Lexington resident Morgan Reck selected books to read at the Eagle Creek branch of the Lexington Public Library in Lexington, Ky. on Thursday, May 3, 2012. Although she finds it difficult, she tries to limit the number of books she checks out at once. Reck is a member of the Lexington Public Library's group based off the Goodreads website platform. Photo by Angela Baldridge
Lexington resident Morgan Reck selected books to read at the Eagle Creek branch of the Lexington Public Library in Lexington, Ky. on Thursday, May 3, 2012. Although she finds it difficult, she tries to limit the number of books she checks out at once. Reck is a member of the Lexington Public Library's group based off the Goodreads website platform. Photo by Angela Baldridge Herald-Leader

Nobody loves a good read — or a good reader — more than a library.

The Lexington Public Library has started a group on Goodreads.com, one of the Internet's largest warehouses of reader preferences, book tips and other discussions of all things book-related.

The Goodreads site has about 6 million users. The Lexington branch has nearly 300.

The site, which includes input from readers, writers and publishers, includes everything from "genre groups" such as mystery to discussions of the works of a particular author. Consider it a Facebook for the literary set.

Doug Tattershall, media relations coordinator for the library, said the connection with Goodreads started as "just a chance to see where it would go," and he credits the initial idea to Martha White, the library's assistant director.

"I'm hoping we can build it up to people who share tastes and reading," Tattershall said. "We're here hoping to make connections. We've grown quickly. We're really active, sort of a leader in making it a group that is geographic."

The group will meet at 7 p.m. June 4 at the Beaumont branch and hear from representatives of Joseph-Beth Booksellers and publishers Penguin-Putnam, Random House and University Press of Kentucky.

The event, which includes refreshments and door prizes, also will feature a book share, in which readers drop a book at the door and walk out with someone else's castoff.

"It's not just about local titles; it's not just about a genre," Tattershall said.

Lexington Reads member Morgan Reck said she joined Goodreads "because I like to think of it as a 'book nerd central,' to find reviews on books and find people who like the kinds of literature I do."

She later found, and joined, the Lexington Reads group.

Reck, who was a history major at Lindsey Wilson College, particularly enjoys biography and memoirs. Two of her favorite books are The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien, a free-form meditation on the Vietnam War that was a finalist for both the 1990 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Awards, and My Century in History: Memoirs by Kentucky historian Thomas D. Clark, who died in 2005 at age 101.

In the future, the Lexington group may have more recommendations as additional members join, Tattershall said.

Getting on Goodreads, he said, "meant that we have to think bigger."

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