Before Al Gore created the Internet, a guy named Gutenberg started printing websites on dead trees. He called them “books” and the tradition of the printed word lives on today. You can find “books” in their original format at your local Borders Barnes & Noble, but it is increasingly more likely that you’ll be reading “books” on a screen…just like everything else.

Before I invented the web pick, there were places you could go for recommendations of the print media of yesteryear. They were called book clubs and the largest was run by the mythical figure Oprah. Like “books,” and Oprah, the book club has moved online–which brings us to this week’s pick, the “social cataloging” website Goodreads.

Goodreads is a Facebook for bookworms. Users import friends (or make new ones) to share favorite novels, complete reading lists, play trivia, review authors and otherwise nerd-out over the typed word. It also acts as a bookshelf in the digital age. You may not be able to judge a book by it’s cover, but you can judge a friend by their shelf, and this site makes it happen.

Goodreads isn’t the only site for bookies on the web, (bookie as in book lover, not gambling enabler) I actually prefer their main competition, Shelfari, based on site design alone. However, if you have friends who are likely to belong to one of these sites, they likely belong to Goodreads, and that is good enough reason to make it my web pick of the week.

Need a first reading buddy? Follow me on Goodreads and look for my book review round-up later this week.

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