If you’re looking for a neat way to keep track of the books your kids are reading (or have read) and to inspire them to read more, Shelfari is a great online resource for this purpose!
Last year, I got turned on to this online social networking site for bookworms, where you can share what you’re reading with your friends and, in turn, see what they’re reading. It’s fabulous! I get so many great recommendations for books from my friends and, likewise, get to see the not-so-nice reviews of other books! If someone, on or off Shelfari, recommends a book to read I very simply add it to my “Plan to Read” queue. I never run out of recommendations!
After a few months of using it, I got the idea to create an account for my elementary age son and started tracking the books he was reading. Previously, we kept track of his reading with a good-old fashioned pen-and-paper reading log but it was sloppy, with ripped pages, and not very pretty to look at. Shelfari is very pretty, displays covers of books on your virtual “shelf”, is convenient and easy to use, and keeps track of how many books have been read so far this year as compared to last year. My son added some friends and family to his network so now he gets to see what they are reading as well. And I’m always adding new book ideas to his “Plan to Read” virtual shelf as suggestions for future reading. He gets excited whenever he sees another book tallied to his “Books I’ve Read” virtual shelf which inspires him to read even more! It’s worked out really well!
In the beginning, when I was reading aloud to him a lot as well as when he read along using www.RFBD.org’s CDs, I tracked those books as well using custom tags I created: ‘read alouds’ or ‘RFBD’.
Shelfari also allows you to write your own (brief or lengthy) review of any book you’ve read. I haven’t required this of my son yet because he’s dyslexic and it’s been a battle getting him to love to read and therefore I hesitate to make reading the tiniest bit painful. So at the present moment, I’m happy with letting him just give an appropriate star rating for each title and will consider working the book reviews in at a later time.
Stop by Shelfari.com and create a free account for yourself and check out how cool it really is! Then create an account for your kids and inspire them to read more and share!