Some authors don’t like visiting Goodreads. But I find there’s a perfectly good reason to participate on the site, which was why it was created in the first place. Participate as a reader.
Goodreads has been around since 2007 and has been the go-to site for bibliophiles, from beginner level book enthusiasts to hardcore book collectors. It’s a virtual book club where people from all over the world can share reading lists, recommendations, and write reviews. According to Goodreads, they are “the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations.” A claim that’s hard to contest.
So what are some of the benefits of hanging out on Goodreads?
1. You can curate your list of books
If you haven’t checked it out yet, Goodreads is a good place to curate your own list of books by filing them into categories. Start by organizing them into the three default categories or shelves, namely: Read, Currently Reading, and Want to Read.
In your Read shelf, you record all the books you’ve previously read. This can serve as a reference for when you want to re-read books. Or, if you’ve been following a series, the list can serve as a reminder of which books you’ve read so far. You can also see how many people have read the same books you have and how they rated them.
In your Currently Reading shelf, list all the books you’ve started reading but haven’t finished. This is useful for people who are into reading challenges, where they set a goal of a specific number of books they plan to read during a calendar year.
In your Want to Read shelf, list all the books that are part of your reading wish list, aka the to-be-read (TBR) pile. This is particularly helpful if you have a thousand recommendations from friends and family, but for the life of you, can’t remember a single one of them. Having a wish list on Goodreads beats keeping a notepad on your phone. My personal TBR list is long, and I refer to my Goodreads list as a reminder of books I want to get the next time I visit a bookstore or browse online.
2. You can create your own shelves
Another cool feature of Goodreads is that you can create your own shelves. My shelves are pretty mundane. They include titles like contemporary romance, sensual, african-american romance, etc. Other members have created quirky shelves where they put their favorite books into re-read categories or list them as guiltypleasures, or the not-so-nice overrated-drivel.
3. You can discover new books
Goodreads’ main mission is to help their members find new books. Every time you view a book, Goodreads will show you reviews of it by your friends first and then will show you reviews from other members. This creates a strong sense of community, making Goodreads like being part of a worldwide book recommendation club. I’ve found quite a few new authors by scrolling through my friends’ updates.
4. You can discover new releases from your favorite authors
The platform helps you discover new releases from your favorite authors. You can use Goodreads to follow your favorite author’s work and also create shelves of all their previously released titles. You also have the opportunity to learn more about your favorite authors, their upcoming events, which books they love, what they’re currently reading, and genres they are particularly interested in.
5. You can join book groups
Keeping with the book lovers community theme, Goodreads has thousands of groups for book fans. They fall under hundreds of categories with featured groups displayed on the landing page. This is an avenue to ask questions or discuss common interests, tropes you love or hate, favorite authors, genres, writing styles, and just about anything under the sun. In groups, you may discover independent authors or start a discussion about your favorite book, author, or genre. And because some authors do hang out in Goodreads groups, you may get the opportunity to chat with them.
Other fun things Goodreads offers:
If you’re a book lover, you should definitely explore Goodreads. It’s currently available as an app on Android and iOS devices. By the way, check out my most recent reads on Goodreads, below.
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A box set of the Johnson Family series (books 1-3)
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Brooks Family series