Book stack

The internet is the new library.  You’ll find reading material about everything and anything you can imagine, and it’s free. 

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love the classic brick and mortar library.  I think it is incredible that you can walk into a library and you can borrow any book you want.  For free!  However, the library isn’t open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Luckily (unless you are still dialing up the old modem) you can still read new materials at any hour, on any day, online.

I am constantly amazed and excited when I find another book lover like myself.  Reading has always been on the back burner of cool, regarded as a nerdy activity most enjoyed by four-eyed geeks who wear socks with sandals and run from social interaction.  Therefore, it’s been almost a secret addiction of mine.  However, over the years, I’ve learned that in reality, the majority of the population loves reading.  And none of these people fit the nerd stereotype.  In fact, they’re pretty darn cool.  I just found out tonight that one of my fantastic co-workers, Anna, is a fellow book lover.  Anna and I even discussed starting a book exchange in our office with Charlotte, another reader/co-worker.  This was inspired by my friend Jennie, who already has a book exchange set up at work.  Book lovers, rejoice – you are not alone!

Okay, so it’s late.  The library is closed, and you just finished the last hardcover from the stack of new books next to your bed.  You’re looking for something online to read.  Websites and blogs can offer fresh reading material, and I’ve got a few suggestions. 

If you check out my blogroll to the right, you’ll see some of my own personal favorites.  You can also check out my Delicious page, which links to articles, pages and websites I’ve bookmarked as worthy of sharing with others as I’ve come across them. 

Here are some other favorites that I’ve been enjoying recently:

  • Friday Playdate – Mommy blogger Susan Wagner writes about life, shoes & booze.  She’s a funny woman and a really cool person.  Yes, she’s in my blogroll, too.  But I had to point her out here, too.  Even if you’re not a Mom, you will enjoy her writing.  She also writes for Parent Dish.
  • E! Online – The Soup! – I absolutely love this show.  It makes me laugh out loud every single week, guaranteed.  The blog is almost as good, but at least it fills my craving until a new episode. 
  • New Brahmin – Also in my blogroll but worthy of extra promoting.  My co-worker Lindsey’s roommate and her friends blog about fashion, shopping and style in Boston.  A must read for Boston area ladies, but enjoyable by everyone.
  • Sarah Lacy – She is a BusinessWeek blogger who also is an active member of the social media world and provides some entertaining and intriguing insight.
  • Yahoo! Buzz Log – A new service by Yahoo!, which basically is an interesting summary of what’s hot on the Web.  The links within the page are cool and the writing is easy to understand.
  • Word Wise – Edelman and PR professional in Chicago who writes about, well, words.  If you’re a fan of Lynne Truss, you’ll love his writing, too.
  • Chowhound – Want to see what local foodies are chatting about in your town?  Check out this bulletin board out of Chow.com.  Fascinating and funny discussions abound!
  • Alltop – Fairly new blog aggregate site from social media influencer Guy Kawasaki.  Basically, pick the topic you want to read about, and it provides some of the top blogs, with links to recent posts.  Hours of entertainment!

This is just a small smattering of what’s out there.  If you search deep enough you can find E-books as well (do a Google search – it’s amazing what you’ll find), which are brief online publications shared typically for free and normally in a PDF format.  There’s news sites, communities, bulletin boards, and more.  Go exploring! 

And interact, too!  The web is wonderful because it is a world of give and take.  Post comments on blogs, start an account on Facebook and add friends and post on their wall, start your own blog, or join the Twitter conversations.  Start your own Delicious or Digg or StumbleUpon or Clipmarks account and share your favorite sites, too.  Add RSS feeds (the little orange square with the white stripes you see on websites) to your Google Reader, which will update once a new post is up.  (Shameless plug: add my site, too!)

You’ll be surprised what you can find or accomplish with a little turn of a page, whether it’s paper or electronic.  What are some of your favorite things to read online?

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