Abstract: Bokringen - the Readers' Navigator on the Internet. About Books and Reading on 62 personal webpages

Petra Söderlund, Litteratur och samhälle 35 (2002):2

This study deals with 62 webpages about books and reading, connected through the webring Bokringen. The aim is to explore what kind of information about books and reading that can be found on the webpages, what the owners read and what kind of function a place like Bokringen has in the literary system and as a virtual community. The most mentioned titles in Bokringen are compared to various kinds of lists and the outcome is that the most popular titles of Bokringen are to a high degree the same as the most popular titles on the bestsellerlists of pocket-books 1-2 years ago. The most popular book in Bokringen was Sprängaren by the Swedish author Liza Marklund. The most mentioned author though was the Swedish-Norwegian author Margit Sandemo, mostly because she has published a large amount of titles.

Furthermore the study deals with how the owners of the homepages get information about what to read, discussions on an e-mail discussion list called Boklistan (where some webpage owners from Bokringens participate) and what kind of positive and negative values that are connected to the owners conceptions of a good and a bad book. The place of Bokringen in the literary system is decided to be placed somewhere close to the bookclubs but that Bokringen also functions as both distributor and consumer. Bokringen is described as navigators in the literary system, together with for instance the bookclubs, which means that Bokringen helps people to choose what books to read among the immense amount of published books.

Keywords: personal homepages, personal webpages, reading habits, sociology of literature, popular fiction, virtual communities