Scholastic is releasing a new social networking site today, YouAreWhatYouRead.com, that lets people build a profile based on the five books that were most influential in their lives. Like GoodReads and other social networking sites for readers, users can find other people with shared literary interests, or “Bookprints,” as Scholastic calls them. Scholastic books don’t appear to get special billing on YouAreWhatYouRead.com, and nearly every book in print from any publisher is available for users to catalog on their profiles. There is a strong celebrity angle to the site, with visible profiles for more than 130 well-known personalities ranging from Bill Gates to Whoopi Goldberg.
The site is free to anyone, and people can log in via Facebook or create a Scholastic account. Features include an interactive web that shows how users’ Bookprints are connected and a tool that lets people compare their Bookprints to participating celebrities—on the site, they’re called “Names You Know”--and find out if they share any books in common. Among the celebrity profiles are ones by Taylor Swift (whose books include Eat, Pray, Love and Big Bird’s Day on the Farm), Al Roker (Green Eggs and Ham, The Bonfire of the Vanities), Sir James Dyson, Scarlett Johansson, Venus Williams, Jodi Picoult, Malcolm Gladwell, Judy Blume, and President George H.W. Bush.
While users build profiles around just five books, they can “favorite” other books they like. Another feature, called Pass It On, lets users suggest books to others, and the map feature shows the places people are who have put a particular book on their profile. There is not a "buy" button on any book page. The site has a separate community for young readers with kid-friendly activities and information about books. In the future, Scholastic will update the site with new features, including Book Buzz, a live feed of comments, news, and reviews.
The site is part of Scholastic’s Read Every Day. Lead a Better Life. global literacy campaign, in celebration of the company’s 90th anniversary. Maggie McGuire, v-p of eScholastic, kids and parents channels, called YouAreWhatYouRead.com “a celebration of the books that bind us together, and the personal connection we feel when we read a great book. In addition, the new site adds a tool in our arsenal to help kids and parents find the books that will keep kids reading every day.”