If you are a reader, and by that I mean someone for whom reading is a hobby not someone who is able to read, you ought to use Goodreads. I started using it a few years ago and in short order it became a go-to site. Here’s why.
Writing reviews and rating books
Goodreads is an ideal place to rate and review books. They provide a 5 star scale (but sadly no half stars) to rate books and room to publish brief or lengthy comments on a book as your heart desires. Most books aren’t worthy of a full and lengthy review, but they’re almost all worthy of some brief comment and recommendation of whether or not to read it.
Reading reviews and ratings
Having access to thousands of people’s opinions on books collected into one place is fascinating, occasionally depressing, but generally quite useful. The overall ratings of books are a nice guide, especially if it’s one you haven’t heard much about. You can find certain reviewers whose opinions you regularly appreciate and follow them closely for keener and more specific insights. If, like me, you enjoy browsing what’s out there and running across new books and authors, Goodreads is great for that.
Keeping track of what you want to read is a pain. Remembering the name of that new book or author you heard about is nearly impossible. It’s a whole lot easier on Goodreads. You can make lists (book shelves), add books in a few mouse clicks, and even scan the bar codes of books with your smartphone to drop them right onto your shelves. I use Goodreads exclusively for keeping track of any book I might want to read some day so that when I am buying online or browsing at the library all I have to do is pull up the app and scroll through my list to remember what I want.
Good reads offers a yearly challenge. You put in how many books you want to read this calendar year, then, as you read them and mark your progress, it keeps track for you. It tells you whether you are ahead of the pace to reach your goal or behind. This is helpfu in seeing both how much and what kinds of books I have read. It also allows me to note any weird reading habits I have. Wow, I’ve read 4 mafia related books so far this year. Huh, apparently I love teen fiction. Or whatever it is. I like keeping a balanced reading diet, so this helps me not overdo it in one genre or author.
Getting started on any new site and setting up any new account can be a pain, but this one is worth it if you enjoy books. Check it out.