Connecting readers

<p><a href="http://www.countrybookshop.co.uk/booksconnect/">Booksconnect </a>was launched last month. Members have joined from across the continents including the US, Australia&nbsp; and India. Authors have started their bookshelves -&nbsp; Gervase Phinn, has created a bookshelf of books that have had the most impact on him. BBC family history broadcaster Anthony Adolph has also started his own bookshelf.<br />
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Since the launch of our <a href="http://www.countrybookshop.co.uk/">online bookshop </a>in 1997 the number of titles available to our customers had risen to more than 3 million. We have also built various features over the years and believed that it was the right time to extend these to include a social networking area, bookshelf, discussions, and features under the concept of <a href="http://www.countrybookshop.co.uk/booksconnect/">booksconnect</a>.<br />
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Our bookshop, Caf&eacute; and the Peak Festival at the old 19th century Hassop&nbsp; railway station in the Peak District National Park has over the years created a unique experience for the book community in the region. Local writers are promoted through the annual Peak District Book of the Year Award and Peak Festival has brought international writers to the community. We will be aiming to create a similar but unique online experience with <a href="http://www.countrybookshop.co.uk/booksconnect/">booksconnect</a>. <br />
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On the launch day we had a visit to our shop from Gervase Phinn, who bought his son, daughter-in-law and grandson. We also had author Ramachandra Guha unite with his long lost uncle during one of our peak Festival events. <a href="http://www.countrybookshop.co.uk/booksconnect/">Booksconnect </a>will provide more of these opportunities for more people. Local action groups and book groups who used to meet at the bookshop can now continue their discussion online.<br />
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The network is finding family audiences - some younger people have not been comfortable with their parents joining their social networks but <a href="http://www.countrybookshop.co.uk/booksconnect/">booksconnect </a> is a social network that they can all join and be comfortable using.</p>
<p>Members who have started creating bookshelves are finding it a very useful tool for remembering the books that they have read, for future reference,&nbsp; and remembering which books they have bought for their family and friends.<br />
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As we are evolving the community with the input and feedback of readers, authors, publicists, agents, publishers and independent bookshops, libraries&nbsp; and book groups it also means prioritising new features required for the different sector of the book community.<br />
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We are also excited about other initiatives that we will announce shortly -&nbsp; the launch of our online operation in India and online learning opportunities to the consumer, academic and corporate market.</p>