Friday, October 31, 2008

Be Careful Who You Associate With

For every subject or public figure, someone has created a book collection. In many cases a bunch of those folks have gotten together to form a society or social group around their interest. The websites for these groups are some most useful and interesting ones around for avid readers, excited fans, or mercenary sellers.

The big author names are represented well, such as Tolkien (, Lovecraft (, Frank Baum (, Michael Chabon (, Cormac MacCarthy ( and others.

Societies or collaborations for authors of lesser rank are out there, including H. Beam Piper (, M. R. James (, G. A. Henty (, and more. There are also societies that focus on subjects, like the Victorian Era (, Mars (, Chicago Maritime History (, Blimps & Dirigibles (, and Food Writers ( to name a few.

There are a number of reasons such websites are useful. Many of them recommend better books in their area to members and visitors. Some even publish books or shorter works, a few of which might be online. Others offer forums, some for members only and some for the public to read, where book related topics come up. Societies also offer awards on occasion, and can have detailed discussions of the nominees which are most helpful and informative to read. I have even found that some of the better organized societies offer special deals on a variety of publications, which can be a better deal than buying through Amazon or other sites.

So when you are delving into a subject, take a moment and check if there is a society or association running around unsupervised out there on the web. They might save you a ton of time, and give you a fast education on some uncommon topics.



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