What’s Your Favorite Thing about Goodreads?

man staring excitedly at computer screen

Carolyn @ A Hundred Thousand Stories recently wrote a hilarious post about the dark underbelly of Goodreads called 10 Thoughts a Goodreads User Has. It made me laugh and also got me thinking about what I enjoy most about Goodreads.

Do you use Goodreads? If so, what are some of your favorite things about it?

I recently chatted with a fellow book junkie who says she never uses Goodreads, which surprised me. I’m definitely a Goodreads devotee, though I’ve barely scratched the surface of all its features–the reason for that is Lack Of Time. I wish I had more time to even write reviews. At some point I think it would be a blast to start categorizing books I’ve read into special shelves. I’d also like to get more involved in the Goodreads reading community but, yeah, to date have a sum total of about 11 friends.

WANT TO READ – For sure, my favorite thing about Goodreads is being able to click “want to read,” thus adding promising books to my TBR.

UPDATE READING PROGRESS – Oh, and I like publicly updating my reading progress (though I have no idea why this is important to me).

COMPARE BOOKS – I also love this feature I recently discovered (go ahead and laugh, Goodreads veterans) where I get to compare my reading lists/ratings with authors I follow. When I did this with Lauren Oliver, our ratings on books we’ve both read (around 15) matched 100%. No wonder Lauren is one of my favorite writers. (Incidentally, Neil Gaiman and I have zero books in common.)

COMMUNITY REVIEWS – Another thing I really enjoy about Goodreads is checking out other readers’ reviews. There are some cuh-razy readers out there and, yes, some of the reviews are very, very harsh. Strangely–even though I’m a writer–I don’t know that I’m totally averse to the ridiculously mean reviews. Admittedly, even a single one-star review would be terrible for new writers with only a handful of reviews because it would kill their book’s overall rating. Still, maybe I’m wrong, but I suspect there are some ringers out there, too, as in authors with tons of friends or die-hard fans who post 5-star reviews before they’ve even read the book. Why not also have the one-stars at the other end of the spectrum? As a book lover, it’s interesting to browse all the different reviews, both good and bad, and try to suss out whether or not I might like a particular book. Yeah, reading other people’s reviews is definitely my next favorite thing about Goodreads.

–Eve Messenger

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35 comments

  1. I really love good reads because I can keep track of all of the books I want to read, and the books I have read. Also, it keeps track of the dates you’ve read it if you update the ‘currently reading’ category when you start readying the book and take it out after you’ve finished it. Also, most of the time, the number of stars a book has usually is close to how much I end up liking the book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Now that you mention it, I’ve had a pretty similar experience with the Goodreads avg. rating matching up with my assessment of the book–with the notable exception of the Scarlett Letter. That will always be a 5-star book to me.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The post you linked to is GREAT! I’ve done the whole “loathed a well-loved book” thing countless times.

    I really enjoy being able to keep track of how many books I read during a year–the Reading Challenge they host every year is GREAT for this, because it keeps track of all the persnickety details. I also love the groups feature–I’m part of several groups that host monthly reading challenges, which really helps to keep me motivated to read.

    Great question! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t Carolyn awesome? I hope you get a chance to check out her posts–I love her blog.

      Yessss, you are a more seasoned pro at this Goodreads thing. Reading Challenges are something else I totally want to get more involved in. In what ways does Goodreads keep track of the details when you sign up? That sounds pretty cool.

      Beyond joining a couple of YA reading groups a while back, I’ve done nothing with that. What do you do, read through people’s posts in the group, or is there something more? Sorry if those are lame questions, I’m just curious to know how it all works.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. She is–I followed her immediately so I can keep an eye on all the awesome!

        So with the yearly reading challenge, they keep track of things like: how many books you read; how many pages this adds up to; what your longest read was and what your shortest read was; what genre you read the most of; what the most popular book you read was and what the least popular book you read was; what years published you read the most of; ….I can’t even remember all of it but it’s all sorts of awesome, and a great tool to help readers figure out what their preferences are (or what they need to work on more, if they’re like me and want to read more diversely).

        Uhm. It really depends on the group, but I’m part of one that offers things like Buddy Reads–there’s a thread where you post what books you’re hoping to read soon and seeking buddies for, and people respond if they’re interested in joining you; monthly challenges (in February, we’re doing a Wedding theme team reading challenge–we’ve been given prompts and teams receive points based on how many books read/checking off the prompts/etc.–and a “Love” scavenger hunt, which is individual–again, given prompts, and you get points for checking them off and so forth). They also do Group Reads, which are like Buddy Reads except for the whole of the group (or, all who are interested).

        There’s more, of course, seeing as that’s just for one specific group–it’s quite a bit of fun, once you jump in and get the hang of things. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Goodreads is my second home. Love the shelves, where I can park my – want to read, currently reading and read – books on. Love the ‘update progress’ option, like to know how much I’ve already read, even if it’s not important haha.

    And what you said about the one star rating, I think you shouldn’t take it to serious. I mean, we all think about stories differently. When I love a story, it doesn’t mean my best friend likes it too. So even if a book has an one star rating, I still read it. Just to see if it’s really that bad. And when I think different about the one star rating, I will absolutely let them know that!

    And the last thing I like, is to share my thoughts and reading-addict stories with other reading addicts. I don’t feel like a complete nerd when I’m on goodreads. Even when I just selected another 80 books on my TBR shelve.

    Goodreads rocks!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I definitely like reading people’s reviews! And being able to see which reviewers have similar tastes to mine. I also really like how it gives me a concise summary of each book so I have a good gist of it just from looking at the top of the page. Thanks for the shoutout! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I actually really love the yearly reading goal. It keeps me on track with my reading goals and I thrive on the pressure of a deadline. I also always check to see if any friends on my goodreads has posted a review on the app before I buy a book in the store, as well as other user comments and I check the rating even though they can sometimes be unreliable. I also like keeping my progress on there in the rare case that I lose a bookmark.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Eve, I’m a newbie to goodreads and still have no idea what to do or even how to get around it. I’ve managed to get to where I add books I want to read – great feature and I like it when other similar books come up. I wasn’t even clear that you could chat to others there as well. Yesterday I got a request from a writer to be ‘my friend’. Is that normal? Oh dear, does everyone do lots of writing there as well. I’m obviously confused.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I adore Goodreads, I’m maintaining my TBR there and I’ve started participating in groups for the book challenges I’m doing this year, and also a book club. Instead of the old method of remembering books I want to read, which was “write it down on a scrap of paper or forget it entirely,” there I am, wildly clicking “want to read” on anything that sounds remotely like a good time.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I haven’t tried it. (Yet?) Maybe if I start to have a particular writing ambition for publication. I have done a couple of reviews on Amazon. I did struggle with how hard to grade, knowing that the rating would have a significant impact. I also did come across one author who wasn’t as tech savvy as he thought he was and left an obvious trail of 5 star self ratings of his own books. Oopsy……
    I’m gearing up to review a book by a wonderful blogger friend and am feeling the angst already. I think it would be easier if I didn’t “know” the person.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I, like a few people mentioned, haven’t really used Goodreads that much. I can remember using the feature that provides book lists in a certain genre over the years, but I didn’t realize it could do so many other things. Definitely on the list of websites to use more often!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I was just thinking yesterday that I need to get back on my Goodreads account. I’ve been re-reading the Wheel of Time series, though, and talk about slow going! Dear God, I’m a voracious reader, and I don’t give up easily…but I’m on book 8, and it’s just grueling sometimes. But you don’t give up on book 8. I really love the annual challenge on Goodreads, though, where you can set a goal to read however many books in a year. That is fun. Although with these books, I may need to read some side books as well…

    Liked by 1 person

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