Nearly Everything You Need to Know About Goodreads

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I like Goodreads.

Lately, quite a few of my friends have joined Goodreads, which made my bookworm heart glad. Thrilled, in fact.

You don’t have a clue what Goodread is? Let me tell you almost everything you need to know about it in today’s post. Why almost? Well, I’m only sharing about this from a user perspective, so I’m bound to have missed a feature or two that I haven’t discovered myself yet. But I will tell you all I know.

Goodreads is a website (and app) that allows you to keep track of your readings, connect with a reading community and enjoy quite a few other book-related activities.  

SIGN UP

Like any other online communities, Goodreads will ask you to sign up for an account. This is pretty straightforward.  They will send you a monthly newsletter and you can sign up for notifications, depending on what suits your fancy. I only get notifications when someone has requested my Goodreads friendship. Because I want to know and because it is flattering.

HOME PAGE

This is what I seen when I get on: Home Page, so called. You can see what your friends are reading, what they’ve been up to lately. Which is why I’m excited when more of my friends join. I enjoy perusing their reads, and the WANT TO READ button makes it easy to add books to read later, if anything looks intriguing.

Side-note: I often make use of this button, especially when I need to get out of my reading comfort zone, but would still like to read something a friend recommends.  

Here’s what the Home Page on the Goodreads App looks like:

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BASIC FEATURES

1. Adding books that you have read

This might take a while, especially if you’ve been reading as far back as you can remember yourself. I’d say you should not worry about it.

Add some books that you remember (most likely the ones who’ve had the greatest impact on you) to begin with. As others come to mind, add them. If you see books on your friends’ list you’ve also read, add them. If you see books you own on your bookshelf, add them.

Another side note: There is even a Books I Own Category – finally! I was hoping they’ll add it for quite a while now. 

Little by little, your collection will start to reflect your reading life. Not point in rushing it, though.

 2. Add books as you read them

Goodreads seems to have billions of books in their database. You can search by name of book, author, or even scan the bar code (if you have the Goodreads app). I’ve only come across a couple of books Goodreads couldn’t find, but most are available. Even some in Romanian!

Each book has a page of its own that looks something like the pic above. You can read a book’s description,check it’s rating and then rate it and review it when you’re done with it. If the cover of the books you hold in your hands is different from what the one on the page looks like, browse through OTHER EDITIONS – they usually have quite a few, especially for the more popular ones.

3. Add friends

This can be done by connecting with Facebook, and a whole lot of other ways. You can see their collection of books, what they’re reading, the challenges they’ve set. You can comment on their books, or like it. You can also message them privately. I don’t have a whole lot of friends, but their number is growing, so there will be more bookworms to stalk. Yay!

4. Add books to read 

This is made easy by the big WANT TO READ button I have mentioned earlier, and by checking out lists, looking up books. Many different ways.

Only problem is that you end up with quite a To-Read list! I currently have 83. And a lifetime to read them all (and add more!)

OTHER FEATURES

Personal Profile

I don’t think this is a must, but you can add some personal info on your Profile Page. Goodreads adds the rest, as you keep adding books: your favourite books, bookshelves, favourite Authors, recent updates, the Reading Challenges and the My Quotes section (see next point).

DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT make $260 a day and I DO NOT encourage you to click on that add, even though it is on my Personal Page. Unfortunately, adds like this are the price we pay for a free service from Goodreads.

Reading Challenge and Quotes

My fav extra features by far. I have set a Reading Challenge every year since I got on Goodreads, and not planning to stop. it’s been good to track my progress and see if I can accomplish my goal.

This year I have set a very low goal, and I’m having second thoughts about it. The good thing is I can update my Challenge if the need arises. Although I don’t want to do this, on principle.

Quotes are added by other readers, and you can like them. Or you can add your own quotes for other readers to like. I personally find it useful to keep inspiring quotes in one place.

Recommendations

Based on your reviews, Goodreads recommends books you might like, of different genres. I’m not that impressed with this feature, because the recommendations it has made for me have not been the best yet.

I have the habit of venturing into a new genre for a book or two, just to get a taste of it, and Goodreads seems to immediately assume that I like that genre, and starts recommending books. Mostly miss than hit, unfortunately. At some point it has listed “poetry” in my fav genres – which couldn’t be farther away from the truth, as I  haven’t picked up a poetry book since the days of reading Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales in high-school!

This might be different in your case, so you should still try it.

OTHER OTHER FEATURES

Like I said, I haven’t tried all Goodreads has to offer. Still unexplored are Groups, Listopia, Quizzes, etc. I recommend you go check them out for yourself. Feel free to get back and report what they’re like and if they’re worth trying.

That’s about all I had to say about Goodreads.

Now you get the chance to GO SIGN UP. And ADD ME AS FRIEND, please.

Or are you on Goodreads already? How do you like it?  

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12 thoughts on “Nearly Everything You Need to Know About Goodreads

  1. I *love* Goodreads. So much so that I wrote three posts all about how much I love it, so your one post seems quite restrained to me. 🙂

    I’ve had some better luck with the recommended books within favorite genres. Like you, when it’s recommended other genres for me it’s been laughably wrong. It’s rare that I even look at what it recommends however; mostly I looked at it when I was first using it.

    One of my favorite features is how it notifies me when a favorite author has a new book releasing that month. They base this on if I’ve rated one of the author’s previous books as 4 or 5 star, so it’s not always something I care about, but there have been times when I’ve been happy to learn about a new release.

    Sorry. Taking over your comments. I love Goodreads and obviously can’t stop talking about it.

    Like

    1. No worries about taking over my comments. Good to see you here – and a little intimidating too, considering that you’re one of the book bloggers I look up to 🙂

      I’ve never been notified about new releases, but maybe it’s because I didn’t sign up for it.

      Because I read mostly Christian authors, I rarely pay attention to the authors and releases they promote. They’re bound to improve, though. I’m hoping they’ll get better at picking up my reading habits and make better recommendations. Although between browsing what my friends read/recommend and what I come across on other blogs, I have enough books on my to-read shelf to last me a lifetime!

      All that being said, I just added a book recommended by Goodreads – “New Releases in Christian” – to my list. Oh, the irony!

      Like

  2. I have to say that I read more blogs and magazines than books, and if I do read books, they are something like “How to raise children and not go crazy” or something of that sort. 🙂 But your blog is seriously seducing me to read books.

    Like

    1. T – you made me laugh! I won’t deny it, this blog has a secret agenda – not so secret anymore – to allure people to read more books 🙂 In fact, I’ll be posting tomorrow about how you can start reading again – so do come back for more temptation 😀

      Like

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