When I first heard about the website/app Goodreads, I was skeptical. Despite being a book lover, I didn’t see what the point of it was. Couldn’t I just keep a list of books I’ve read in a notebook or computer file? I’ve never had a problem finding my next book to read, so why would I need a website to give me recommendations? For some reason, I eventually signed up for an account. And at first, I was underwhelmed. I didn’t use the site. I didn’t get it.
Then I had a baby and I couldn’t do some of my usual activities like go to Zumba, work four days a week, get together with my friends – in other words – socialize. But I could still read. That’s when I figured out how to utilize Goodreads. Now I’m on the site almost every day. Here’s what I do:
- Keep track of what I’ve read. So much more convenient than a notebook, so I’m always up-to-date.
- Rate the books I’ve read so I can figure out authors and genres I like and don’t like. This also comes in handy when friends ask for recommendations.
- Review the books I’ve read. Sometimes it’s only a few sentences, but it helps me remember the book later. This comes in handy for blogging.
- Participate in the yearly reading challenge. At the beginning of each year, you set a goal for how many books you’d like to read during the year. Goodreads helps count how many books you’ve read and let’s you know if you’re on track to complete the challenge. (Side note: I completed my challenge this summer! I thought I’d have a hard time reading this year with a new baby, so I set a lower goal than last year. However, I might end up reading MORE books than pre-baby!)
- Read and participate in discussions with other readers. Your homepage follows discussions related to books you’ve read. I love seeing what other people enjoyed/disliked about a book, or what questions people had as they read. I try to respond when I have something thoughtful to add.
- Ask questions. As mentioned in a previous post, I was confused about a book’s setting, so I posted a question on the book’s page. I thought a fellow reader would respond, but the book’s author actually responded and clarified it for me. So cool to have interaction with an author!
- Track my baby’s books. I created an account for my baby and I’ve added all the books (I can remember) that we’ve read this year. So far, it’s over 60 books! I’m so amazed that all the picture books and board books are listed on the site. We are signed up at our library for 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten, but I think keeping track of all the books on Goodreads will be a really cool thing to have.
And there you have it! That is what Goodreads is for! I’d highly recommend signing up for an account if you haven’t yet. It’s free! There are even more features to explore, too.
Do you use Goodreads? What do you think of the site?