I've seen several differing opinions on the book lovers site Goodreads floating about the interwebs, so I thought I'd add in my own two cents.
Goodreads describe themselves as the world's largest site for readers and book recommendations. Once you set up your account you can add books that you've read, books you're currently reading and books you want to read. Furthermore, you can interact with others and find people with similar taste in books to yourself, get a discussion going and leave your own reviews.
Some of the negative comments regarding the site have been that it's almost too organised and reading should be more organic; what you read shouldn't be so rigidly recorded and that it could result in reading just for the sake of reading to hit a target. I understand why people feel this way but personally I'm really fond of it. I've been using it for over a year now and have found it hugely helpful.
Here's (really specifically) why I love it:
- They do these beautiful original illustrations (above) to match famous quotes from books or authors. It's only a small thing but I love these.
- It has a "scanning" option so if I'm in a book shop and am unsure about a particular title, I can scan the barcode into Goodreads and it automatically gives me reviews and ratings on it from other readers. Yes, you're not always going to have the same opinions as someone else bit if it comes back as 95% positive reviews, I'll feel a lot happier about taking a chance on it.
- You can set yourself a reading challenge for the year. I've decided to read 60 books this year and Goodreads keeps count for me and tells me how everyone else is doing with their challenges (for a bit of extra encouragement!).
- I admit I've been guilty of forgetting certain books that I've read and so this is just a really helpful way of keeping an account of that.
- One of the main reasons why I love it so much is you can track your progress with the book you're currently reading. I tend to always have a few books on the go and never remember to use bookmarks so I just add into Goodreads where I am in each book. It's a handy record keeper plus it definitely encourages me to to keep going with any more arduous reads.
- You get invites to online chats with your favourite authors and events; last week I was invited to download a free YA book on Amazon, which I did..Yay, free books!
- Speaking of which, there's a whole section on Goodreads for free Ebooks. At the moment I'm reading Dubliners and Mrs Dalloway on Goodreads (for free) and previously I've read everything from Sherlock Holmes to Frankenstein with a good smattering of Shakespeare in there too. There's a great selection and it's so handy for when you're stuck waiting somewhere and you don't have a real book to hand.
- They send me emails with personalised recommendations of books I might like based on what I've already read...ah, yes please!! Not that I need help with finding books but nothing makes me happier than a book list. Nothing.
You can find my profile HERE if you want to see how it works. Do you use Goodreads? If not why not?! Let me know in the comments!