The Reading Room (thereadingroom.com) lets book lovers talk about books they've read, why they read them and, most importanly, what it is that they love about them.
According to Anderson, the site offers readers "a place to live [their] reading lives." A global community, 75% of The Reading Room's readers are from North America and 25% come from Australia and the United Kingdom.
As an online reading community, The Reading Room has garnered comparisons to GoodReads, the biggest name in online reading communities, even before it was acquired by Amazon. Despite the many similarities between itself and GoodReads, The Reading Room prides itself on the things that distinguish it from GoodReads.
One difference is that The Reading Room does not facilitate the ability for authors to upload their own commercial material to the site for personal promotion. By doing this, The Reading Room's reviews are from the readers, not the writers themselves.
"We wanted to be a place where the membership endorses the writing — not the writer," says Anderson.
Readers have the opportunity to rate books "through critical reviews and through personal comments." But The Reading Room separates its reader endorsements from reader reviews. "If I say I love this book, that to me is a post," said Anderson. "If I spend time writing why I loved this book and what its strengths and weaknesses are, that to me is a review. We split them."
The Reading Room also features reviews from The Guardian as well as The New York Times.
The Reading Room has also been selling ebooks for roughly six months now, with Bluefire-powered e-reading apps for both iOS and Android operating systems.
On June 1, The Reading Room added print sales to its repertoire. While sales is an important part of the site's plan, Anderson says that The Reading Room exists for the benefit of readers. "We want to sell books. We don't want to be the Goliath. We just want to be good at what we do."