This is the first installment in a Resources for Readers series we can build together for those of us, and our friends, who are readers. From the voracious three-novel-a-week book consumer to the casual three-book-a-year reader, the tools and resources we will highlight will help them find great reads, and even share their thoughts on the gems they discover.
When we choose a book to read, cost is becoming less and less a factor in our decision. Many worthwhile e-books are less expensive than a large chai latte, and thanks to advances in printing technology, many impressive paperbacks are about the cost of a fast-food meal for two. Our reading decisions have always been about something much more precious. Our spare time. Choosing a book to read represents committing several hours of our valuable personal time, so the more help we can have in making good choices, the better our downtime will be spent.
So let’s get to the first resource we are going to explore together!
There are no faster or firmer friendships than those formed
between people who love the same books.
Author of The Agony and the Ecstasy
Plainly put, goodreads is a place where readers can find and share the books they love. goodreads users can also keep track of the books we plan to read, and the ones we’ve already read. If you stop right there, it’s a fun way to keep a diary of your reading life. But to really tap into the power of goodreads, you’ll need to make some friends. With nearly nine-and-a-half million members, we’re all bound to be able to find some reading friends there. Better yet, bring some of your friends along and sign up for free accounts together!
Let’s take a brief look at the major features of the goodreads website. There’s a lot there, and I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t use all the available features—yet. So dabble here and there first. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, and I wouldn’t want you to do that. This is supposed to be fun!
Home – You’ll see recent updates from friends, like what they are currently reading and what they plan to read, and you can even start or participate in book discussions here. There’s a spot that displays what you are currently reading and your can do status updates on your progress. Your profile can also be seen and updated on the Home page.
My Books – Here is where you can build bookshelves to your heart’s content, and organize your books any way you want. goodreads starts everyone off with bookshelves named all, read, currently-reading, and to-read. There are several display settings, and I think it’s fun to see all the great covers of the books I’ve read, or plan to read. Clicking on any single book shows you all the details, including stats and a description, your review and rating (if you reviewed and / or rated it), and reviews from the goodreads community.
Groups – Participate in an existing group that’s discussing a topic you find interesting, or create your own group. Groups are great places to find new friends with similar interests, or who will help you learn everything you ever wanted to know, but were afraid to ask. (I think I just dated myself. Oh well, we’re all older than we were yesterday, aren’t we?) And before the embarrassing comments start to flood in, no, I haven’t joined any goodreads groups yet . . . but it’s on my list of things to do!
Recommendations – goodreads has algorithms that kick in after you’ve rated at least twenty books. You’ll find personalized recommendations here, based on the books you’ve rated, your favorite genres, and the categories (bookshelves, like science fiction, or history) you have created.
Explore – This is a jumping-off page to all the rest of the great features goodreads has to offer. You can search for books by title, author or ISBN (as you can from the header of any page on the website), check out the highest ranking titles of the moment, see what book giveaways are happening, and see new releases by genre.
I know I haven’t mentioned lots of other available features, but I hope this gives you a sense of what goodreads has to offer We the Readers. If you sign up for a free member account, or you’re already a goodreads member, please find me and friend me. I’d love to compare bookshelves and swap a few recommendations with you!
Rob’s Resources for Readers Rating for goodreads
goodreads is a great Resource for Readers, although the one caveat I must mention is that it isn’t as intuitive and user friendly as I would like to see it become. It will require some digging on our parts to find and utilize everything this website has to offer, but I believe our efforts will be rewarded with a richer reading life.
I mentioned at the beginning that we can build this Resources for Readers series together. Your comments and input are always wanted, always welcomed, and always appreciated.
- What goodreads features have you discovered that I missed mentioning?
- What other Resources for Readers would you like to see featured in this series?
- What’s the favorite book you’ve read this year so far? How about ever?