Goodreads brings together readers around the world in a massive online book club that never sleeps.
Goodreads has been my favorite social place online since I joined in 2010. Earlier this year, I wrote a post about How to Make the Most of Goodreads for authors, and I decided it was high time I write one geared toward readers!
So, are you on Goodreads? If you are, are you making the most of Goodreads as a reader? Today, let’s check out a few ways you can interact on the site and some of the benefits of being an involved reader member of the Goodreads community.
If you’re not, maybe this post will entice you to join! It’s completely free without all the pressure or negativity of regular social media.
Did I mention the books?
Let’s get you making the most of Goodreads as a reader!
As a Goodreads member, get ready for recommendation-palooza! Between your friends and Goodreads-generated recommendations based on your reading habits, you will never have to ask, “What should I read next?” You will ask instead, “Which one should I read next?”
I have read books I never would have discovered without recommendations received on Goodreads. Just like getting book recommendations from friends face to face, I love getting these suggestions online from reader friends I know I can trust. You can see what your friends are reading and get a feel for their tastes, which makes it easier to know whether or not you’ll like their recommendations.
While Goodreads utilizes many algorithms and probably has some promotion system in place for certain books, the recommendations I get from them are typically ones I wouldn’t get otherwise and genuinely relate to my recent high-starred reads.
Plus, I can search through any of their many categories to look for something more specific to my tastes. You can even go through their recommendations and select “not interested” to help better tailor them to your exact interests.
What better way to keep up with friends all over the world than by what they’re reading? When you engage in conversation around a piece of literature, your communication will be deeper and more revealing of each other’s character, philosophies and passions. That could then lead to an even deeper relationship.
It’s no secret I’m a huge fan of reviews. I shared a three-part series on the importance of writing KINND reviews. Book reviews help authors, publishers, agents and others in the industry; but they also aid readers.
Think about the last time you were choosing between two books to read. What helped you make that decision? My guess is a trusted friend’s recommendation may have come into play somehow. Past that, maybe you were in a bookstore or online reading and rereading the book’s description.
If you had hundreds of reviews to glance through in the palm of your hand, would that have helped? With Goodreads, you do! You can pull up any book and see reactions from your friends or from the community in general. You can pick from 5-star, 3-star and 1-star reviews to get a well-rounded picture.
Of course, that only works when readers leave reviews in the first place! That’s where we come in. As readers, we have an opportunity to leave our reactions and thoughts on books for others like us who may be trying to decide which book to give their next block of reading time to.
As I mentioned in my first post on KINND reviews, writing reviews helps readers keep track of the books they’ve read and remember what they did or did not like about those books. It’s also a way for you to become part of the great literary conversation across time and space as readers and authors come together to discuss books.
Finally, I think it’s a helpful mind exercise. Instead of mindlessly reading, you’re reading with purpose, paying close attention to details in the narrative with the goal of sharing the highs, lows and in-betweens.
Goodreads is not without its entertainment value. You can join various groups, participate in literary polls, commit to a yearly reading challenge (and cheer friends on with theirs), enter giveaways for great books and be a voice in the annual Goodreads Choice Awards.
Finally, never before have readers had more of an opportunity to reach out and touch authors. Thanks to Goodreads, you can follow your favorite authors to get updates when they release new books or give one away. You can ask them questions—that they’re likely to answer—and receive weekly roundup emails with blog posts written by all the authors you follow. Keeping those all in one email sure is handy!
Plus, because authors are first and foremost readers, you’ll get to see what your favorite writers read. You might have some common favorites!
If you’d like to start with an author you already know, give my author profile a follow today and ask me a question. I recently answered a couple, so those might spark your curiosity and inspire your own questions!
I’ll see you on Goodreads!