Here are the 10 bookish places/resources I use the most, that are not blogs:
- Project Gutenberg: Thousands upon thousands of free e-books. Read them online or download them and read them on your computer or your e-reader. All books are in the public domain. If you want to read a classic and you don’t mind e-books, why buy them from Amazon when you can have them for free from Project Gutenberg?
- BookMooch. Actually I don’t go there so much nowadays, because there are very few Icelanders active on BM and fewer people abroad are sending books outside their country or continent because postal charges seem to have gone up everywhere (here too), plus customs regulations have changed here and I now have to pay customs for every book I receive. When people forget to mark a book as second hand with a low price on the customs declaration, I get to pay a 24% VAT and 10% import duty on the combined postage and suggested retail price printed on the books, plus a handling fee, so I have stopped mooching as much as I used to and now only mooch hard-to-get books or several books from the same person in one go, with strict instructions to the moochee on how to mark the customs declaration.
- The Guardian book website. Besides reading the blog, I go there for reviews and articles on book-related matters. Try as I may, I just haven’t been able to find another newspaper book page that I like enough to check daily, although I must make an honourable mention of The New York Times book site, which occasionally has interesting reviews and articles.
- Fantastic Fiction is a site where you can look up author bibliographies. If it’s been published in English and it’s fiction, it will probably be there (although I have found some authors who are not represented).
- Stop, you’re killing me. Another bibliography site, but this one is dedicated to mysteries and detective fiction. Apart from author bibliographies you can also search for characters by name, ethnicity and occupation and books by genre, location or time period. There is also a section on read-alikes, reference works and book awards, and new releases. It’s pretty complete (but like FF dedicated to books in English only), but you may not find some authors represented.
- I recently discovered The Millions and haven’t even finished exploring the back issues yet, but I already think it’s awesome. This is an online magazine that covers books, arts, and culture.
- The Book Depository is a great site to shop for books, and they ship for free, which is a consideration when you have to pay VAT and customs on not just the price of the book but on the postage as well. The only drawback is that they send each individual book in a multi-book order as a separate package so I pay a customs handling fee for each one, but it’s still cheaper than buying from Amazon, even if they do ship the whole order all in one package.
- The Reykjavík City Library. If I wasn’t concentrating on reading my own books right now, I’d be in there a couple of times a week. There are several branches and I visit at least four of them on a regular basis.
- The book-shop Iða. In my opinion currently the best indie bookshop in Iceland. Situated in Lækjargata in the heart of Reykjavík, it’s just the right distance from my place of work for a good work-out walk during my lunch break.
- The second-hand bookshop Bókin. Situated in down-town Reykjavík, I visit it often. It’s so full of books that they overflow along the floor and are sometimes stacked up to the ceiling in a tottering tower that I am sure has collapsed more than once.
- All About Romance, for back issues of At the Back Fence. Technical problems prevented me from being able to register on the discussion forums after they changed the format, so I rarely go there any more unless I remember something I want to reread in the (now defunct) column.
- Heroes and Heartbreakers. Macmillan’s romance website is chock full of recommendations, news, excerpts from new romances and original short stories.
- The book and game shop Nexus. Located near where I work, it’s THE place to go for a fix of comics, manga, fantasy and science-fiction and all their sub-genres, DVDs of the same, as well as role-playing games and board games.