Why I Love Goodreads

If you've stumbled across my blog, chances are you're an avid reader.  You probably also already have a Goodreads account.  (I can be found here, if you'd like to be friends.)  If you do have an account, you may be thinking, "Why am I reading this post?  I know Goodreads is a cool website."  And I get that.  The thing is, we all have our reasons for loving Goodreads.  Today I want to share some of mine.

If you've ever struggled with finding books to add to your "To Read" list, Goodreads is the perfect resource.  If you're like me, though, you probably rarely have trouble finding tons of books to add to that list.  But, once in a while, I fall into a reading slump.  Maybe I just haven't been picking great books lately.  Or maybe the opposite is true -- I just read an amazing book and I'm finding it difficult to want to move on.  Regardless of the reason, I tend to get out of a reading slump by searching Goodreads and adding books to my "To Read" list that I can get excited about.

One of my favorite ways to search for books on Goodreads is via the "lists" option under the "browse" tab.  There are literally lists for everything.  I use the lists most often when I'm searching for books to satisfy reading challenge categories, but sometimes I also use them when I'm in the mood to read about a specific topic.

Goodreads is also a great resource for finding books you may like based on your reading preferences and ratings.  I've found quite a few books by taking a couple of minutes to click through my recommendations (and they're usually pretty spot on).

In addition to simply finding books to read, Goodreads also makes it easy to organize these books.  A lot of people have tons of shelves.  I don't.  Sometimes I think I'd like to have a more elaborate system for organizing my books on Goodreads, but, for now, this works for me.  Each year I create a new shelf for my personal reading goal.  (For example, this year's shelf is labeled "my 2018 70 book challenge.")  I add books only as I begin to read them, and can then easily keep track of how many books I've read for the year as well as how quickly/slowly I finish them and my overall rating.  My only other shelves are for the book challenges I'm participating in.  Again, it just makes it easy to see my progress in each challenge.

And, speaking of challenges, there are tons of groups available on Goodreads for book/reading challenges (as well as for a wide variety of other book-related things).  Some groups are obviously more active than others, but I've enjoyed participating in the groups I'm involved in.  I'm also planning to join a few more over time because I don't think I utilize this area of the website enough.

Another area of Goodreads that I haven't utilized to its full potential is the "creative writing" section under the "community" tab.  So why am I adding it to my reasons for loving Goodreads?  Because I love that it's available.  It's a really cool resource for people who want to share their writing, and maybe one day I'll feel like sharing some of mine.  It's nice to know it will be there if/when I'm ready.

One of the coolest features of Goodreads is the fact that many published authors are part of the community.  It's always interesting to see what questions readers have about a book and what answers the author has for them.  As with music, I often prefer to create my own interpretation if there is any ambiguity, but I also appreciate knowing what the musician or author actually had in mind.

But my favorite thing about Goodreads is that it truly acts as a community.  You can see what your friends are reading and what they thought of a book.  You can read short and simple or incredibly in-depth reviews.  You can join groups to participate in challenges, expand your horizons, or simply make new book loving friends.  You can share your own work and offer helpful tips or praise for those brave enough to post what they've been working on.  You can discuss books with other readers or with the authors themselves.

Put simply, Goodreads is an amazing resource for book lovers.

Now it's your turn: what do you love about Goodreads?  Or, if Goodreads isn't your thing, why don't you like it?  (And what bookish site(s) do you prefer?)

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