Me and Goodreads

It’s been around four months since I’ve started using Goodreads properly – verdict?  I really like it.

I’ve made my profile public by the way – whoops for not realising that you could only see what I was reading if you were a Goodreads member yourself.

Since some of you have been kindly answering questions on how you use Goodreads etc when I first started, here’s how I’ve been using Goodreads.  Be warned, a fair bit of navel-gazing ahead:

  • I’ve always jotted down what I thought on books I’ve read over the course of the year, but since logging them on Goodreads, I’ve spent more time thinking about what I’m writing – Goodreads feels more public than a Google Docs spreadsheet linked only from my blog (err… that’s because it probably is *rolls eyes*).
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  • I’ve started copying over my Goodreads reviews (or thoughts?  I hesitate to call some of my notes reviews really) over here on a semi-regular basis, as you may have noticed.  That’s because I want them on my blog somewhere.  I feel as though I should apologise for the duplicated content if you’re following me on Goodreads and reading my blog, but I figure you can just skip over the blog posts as they’re not very often (umm… only two so far, in actual fact).  Does it really bother anybody?
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  • I like the update feed on my home page when I log on – it gives me a feel for what everyone’s reading.  I’ve actually added my Friends feed as an RSS feed in Google Reader as well, for a quick skim every now and then.  And I like being able to comment/respond on individual books.
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  • I love that Goodreads makes it so easy to search for a particular book and add to your books.  It has been super-easy keeping track of the monthly new releases (though I will say the publication/release dates can be a bit iffy at times) and getting covers/blurbs for my posts.  I am all for time-saving tricks.
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  • The rating system… Goodreads has the 1 to 5 star system (1 = didn’t like, 5 = it was amazing) which I’ve been using.  As always, my ratings are skewed towards the positive – my average is 3.3 for 33 books as of today.  I haven’t yet used the 1 star rating (as I doubt I would finish the book if I really didn’t like it, though never say never), but have a number of 2 stars (it was ok).  I’ve avoided getting into the 0.5 ratings (slippery path, that…), but what I’ve (ahem… sneakily) done is use the favourites shelf – not all my 4 stars (really liked) are on my Favourites shelves, though all my 5 stars are.  So you could argue I sort of have a 4.5 rating.
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  • I have been trying to get my shelves to reflect how I want to view my books – this is probably still a work-in-progress.  Apart from Favourites and the usual genre tags, I have Series, 2011 New-to-me Authors, and Short Stories shelves.  The first two were things I captured in previous years, while the third is a new category because I haven’t previously kept track of short stories I’ve read.  I’m also using the standard To Read shelf for upcoming releases, but may split this at some point between the actual upcoming releases and already-released books I just want to read.  And I have a Maybes shelf, which is sort of self-explanatory.
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  • I’ve still not really explored the groups feature – the only group I’ve joined is the Karen Chance fans one, and that because I received an invite – and I don’t really say no to anything 😉

If you’re on Goodreads yourself, does the above sound familiar?  Totally different to how you’re doing things?  I’m curious.

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19 thoughts on “Me and Goodreads

  1. Ooo. Goodreads. 😀 I’ve become addicted to several of the Group’s reading challenges. My favorite group is the Serious Overload of Series (SOS). It’s focus is urban fantasy/paranormal romance series, primarily. You don’t need to be a member to see the discussions, but you do need to be one if you want to comment. You don’t need an invite to join and there’s no pressure to join the challenges, etc. A friendly bunch. No drama. You’d fit in just fine, if you decide to join. :-D.

    • I’ll have to check out that group, thanks for the rec!

      I’m staying well clear of reading challenges this year though – I was an abysmal failure last year, so decided to pass this time around.

      • You’re welcome!!

        I can understand that. I was pretty bad with the blog-hosted challenges last year. Those required a review of some sort, but most challenges that I’ve seen on GR don’t require anything more than the date you finished the book, and do not require a list up front — less pressure that way. Buddy reads or the Book of the Month are a little more demanding, obviously, but in those cases you’re only committing yourself to one book! ;-D

        Steph at SOS keeps the monthly ones very low pressure (two or three books — and if you do both the Genre Juice and the Cover Hunt, more than likely you can use the same books for both). We’re in the middle of a round of bookshelf Bingo — a team challenge — and it’s actually been helping me fill slots in challenges (I thought it would hinder me). We started this round in March, and I think Bingo will be declared before the end of the month. It’s been fun! 😀

        (Sorry for the gushing).

      • I am eyeing some of the monthly book club-type reading, but staying firmly non-committal at the moment 😉

        I’ve seen your posts on Bookshelf Bingo – looks like fun!

  2. Li, that sounds just quite familiar. I use Goodreads pretty much the same way you do.

    What I tend to do differently is grade my books in Goodreads, organize them there and sometimes use it for personal notes. But I tend to review or write down my thoughts/impressions in my blog first and then later on copy that over to Goodreads (most of the time in a condensed version). Very seldom do I do it the other way around. However, there is that repetitiveness there, right?

    I don’t mind reading your thoughts when I get them on my RSS feed from Goodreads or and if I get them on my Google Reader from your blog, I read both depending on time or place. I tend to comment on blogs and not on Goodreads. 😀

    PS: I joined the SFR Goodreads reading group too and really enjoy it too. It’s great as a book group discussion with no pressure. 🙂

    • I’ve seen your posts on the SFR Goodreads group, but haven’t read the discussions – will check them out!

      I am toying with adding the books I’ve finished reading to Goodreads immediately with a rating, and then adding notes/impressions afterwards, but knowing me, that may be a good while later…

  3. GoodReads is like a book-only LiveJournal to me, so I enjoy commenting on reviews and on people’s activities if they tell them. I stopped regular blogging sometime in … 2006? On my own blog, I mean, I never used LJ as a blog only as a replacement for a feed reader and for commenting.

    I enjoy reading your thoughts on GoodReads – I think you give more short reviews than you do big posts here, which probably encourages you to write more. I certainly write lengthier reviews than I used to myself (part of the time, anyway).

    I want to see how many books I read, I also want to remember more clearly what I thought of them the first time I read them, etc. So my aim is to actually write some impression for every “book” I enter there.

    I haven’t used groups myself, because that is what Live Journal does for me, allow me to take part in dialogues with people whose opinion I’m interested in.

    • It is definitely more conducive to writing short posts than writing a blog post. Though I have ended up occasionally with very long posts, which I then stick on here as you may have noticed 😉 I don’t think it’ll replace my blog though.

      Oh, and ditto on the writing something, no matter how brief, for everything I read.

  4. It’s nice to see how you use Goodreads Li! I have to say, it’s much easier to click a few options than to manually enter information in a spreadsheet… as a result, I’m way behind on my spreadsheet ^_^; but as long as I have a record somewhere, right?

    I’ve copied some of my reviews onto Goodreads. I don’t know about others, but I read someone’s blog or Goodreads, not both… so I don’t care about redundancy. For me, Goodreads is more for the non-bloggers.

    I enjoyed seeing what people are reading and what they think of it, but it bothers me a little when I get to Goodreads and see someone has added a bunch of books and that means all I see is that person’s updates ^_^; Guess I’m being picky here LOL.

    I haven’t used the groups yet. I’m sticking to the basics LOL.

    • Identify on the basics part 😉

      I love seeing what people add to their bookshelves, especially if they’re upcoming releases – found a few good ones that way.

    • I was in awe of people who had hundreds of books on their shelves – but I’ve just hit the 100 mark myself (admittedly mostly upcoming releases) and it is amazingly easy.

  5. I use good reads pretty much the way you describe here. FYI they also have ARC giveaways so if you’re in search of something you might get lucky and win a copy there. I haven’t yet, but there’s no harm in trying.

  6. Goodreads is EVIL! I joined I guess back in 2009 w/o knowing it. But this January, because of your blog, I went back to check it and see what I can do with it. My original goal of 150 books this year is now changed to 300. Now I’m at 194 books completed, I’m going to have to change my goal again. I couldn’t believe how people could have so many TBR books. Then I hit 200 w/o knowing it. I cleared out roughly 150 of those books and um, my TBR pile is STILL around 200 (186 as of this moment). How does this happen? What is even odder, is I have purchased books in that I haven’t added to my TBR pile.

    I never thought I’d be overwhelmed with too many books to read until I actively started using GR in January of this year. Thanks Li, it’s all you!

    I love the features and I tend to post some of my reviews into my private blog. I’ve also tried the giveaway and won two books. I’m still not ready to read the second one even though I really want to read it. I just haven’t had the time.

    Unlike you, I’ve joined two groups which then became like 10 of them. I did remove myself from from several of them and I think I’m going to drop from another one shortly.

    The main groups I participate in are all adults only. 😉 There are so many books challenges and introduction to new authors it’s amazing. The number of free books I’ve received is pretty cool. I’ve also been hooked up with several authors whom I now beta read some of their books for them.

    I also was hooked into reviewing for two book sites so I receive on average, 6 free books a month to read and review. It’s been pretty cool. I’m hooked on GR. I don’t know what is going to happen next year when I return to school. Sigh.

    • LOL – glad to hear you’re loving Goodreads!

      I am impressed with the number of books you’ve read this year – and totally with you on that TBR pile thing. I’ve given up counting how many books I have that I have NOT yet read – and the scary thing is that it doesn’t actually stop me from buying more. Sigh.

      And good to know people actually win books from those giveaways! I agree one of the best things is finding out about new authors.

  7. “I like the update feed on my home page when I log on – it gives me a feel for what everyone’s reading. I’ve actually added my Friends feed as an RSS feed in Google Reader as well, for a quick skim every now and then. And I like being able to comment/respond on individual books.”

    How do you do that? Where is the Rss xml for friend’s updates?

    • Good question – I had to dig around to remember how I did it 🙂

      I use Google Reader and have a button in my browser’s toolbar that I press whenever I want to subscribe to that page’s feed (I think most web-based readers offer something similar). When I was logged into Goodreads, all I did was press that button and it automatically detected the relevant feed and added it.

      • Thanks for that mate. I dont have any button and I used to use a bookmarklet before i shifted to Rockmelt as my feed management platform. thanks for reminding me, the greader bookmarklet worked it out for me!

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