Watch This: Whatcha Reading?

I’m on the advisory board of, a new “social readia” networking site which is exploring the ways that we’re using technology to read and to share what we’re reading with others, and along with telling them what I’m seeing through my own experiences and what I’m hearing when I talk to others about the contemporary American reading culture, I’ve created an interview series called “Whatcha Reading?” The premise is simple: I find an author, and I get them to talk for a minute or two about a book that they’ve recently read that they’d recommend to other people. (Or, sometime, it might be a perennial recommendation, that classic book you always want to talk about whenever somebody asks you what’s great.)

We’ve already posted the first two installments in the series; above, Allison Amend praises A Visit from the Goon Squad, and before that, Helon Habila recommended The Memory of Love.

I’m looking forward to getting more recommendations from authors in the weeks and months to come; in fact, I’m headed to a bookstore tonight where I’m hoping to meet several writers and convince them to participate in the series. For now, I’m somewhat limited to those writers who live in New York City or are coming through town on their book tours, but I do get to travel occasionally, and the great thing about taping these interviews on a Flip camera is that I really can do them just about anywhere. This is no particular insight, but most of the great writers I know are as passionate about reading as they are about writing, so it can be enlightening to learn about the books that get them excited about books. I’m fortunate enough to be in a position not just to talk to writers about the books they love, but to share what they tell me with other readers, and if these short videos inspire even just one person each week to pick up the book that’s being discussed, then I’m giving us all credit for a win. inReads is currently in beta, but its full social networking functionality should be up and running later this month, and in the meantime there’s a lot of content for you to explore.

9 June 2011 | watch this |