Goodreads: A Social Site for Book Lovers

There’s nothing like reading a good book, getting lost in another world while sitting at home and never moving out of your chair or exchanging pants for pajamas. I used to be a voracious reader, although the advent of Netflix sure hasn’t helped. Sometimes I still am. Given my penchant for recording my activities like bicycling, doing yoga, and walking, it makes sense to record what I read, too. Goodreads is a site for just that, a digital bookshelf, and much more. If you’re a reader, you probably know about it, but if you don’t, it’s worth a gander.

Some of the books on my To Read list on Goodreads.

After writing about Michael Noll departing the Writers League of Texas, I’ve been thinking more about what it takes to be a good writer. As Paulette Perhach says in her book, Welcome to the Writer’s Life, one pillar of that is reading. One way to make doing that less of a solitary effort is by joining Goodreads. Started in 2006 by a couple who combined their love of books with backgrounds in social media and journalism, it was later bought by Amazon. Despite that causing some controversy, that integration took the site from 12 million members to now at 90 million (Statista.com).

I signed up for my free account on Goodreads over a year ago but haven’t used it for much besides a repository of books I’ve read, am currently reading or want to read. I’ve written a few reviews, but so far have not noticed the algorithm suggest books for me (you have to rate 20 books first). I have a few friends on the site, but I haven’t heard from them. One bloke with a blog in Australia wrote me, and the site shows me his updates, like when he adds a book to his list.

There are many features of Goodreads I haven’t explored to Browse:

  • Recommendations
  • Choice Awards
  • Giveaways
  • New Releases
  • Lists
  • Explore
  • News & Interviews
Goodreads has an old-looking interface with small font, but it works.

Under Community, there’s another bunch of options:

  • Groups
  • Discussions
  • Quotes
  • Ask the Author
  • Trivia
  • Quizzes
  • Creative Writing
  • People
  • Events

It also interfaces with Kindle, Amazon’s e-book company. There are also critiques about the site: its interface is old-fashioned, searching for books is clunky if you don’t have the title exactly right, the font is too small, the app version doesn’t work well, etc. For power users of the site, it probably is due for an overhaul. For A Dude’s occasional purposes, it works just fine. Over time as I use it more, maybe I’ll have the same gripes. Be that as it may, for me, anything that gets me and other people reading more is great.

Are you on Goodreads? How do you like it? Find me there at A Dude Abikes!

Three books I’ve started but 1) had to return to the library, 2) am actually reading (my autographed copy!), and 3) set aside because I got bored.

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3 thoughts on “Goodreads: A Social Site for Book Lovers

  1. I have been using Good Reads for a while. I switched from a site where I would leave a book with a stamp that directs people to a site and share their location. Sort of like “Where’s George” to track the travels of a dollar bill. I’m capejohn on Good Reads.

    Liked by 1 person

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