Goodreads: Social Networking for Readers

| January 31, 2011

Sometimes, I find myself totally overwhelmed by the vast range of books we have from which to choose. Should I catch up on classics? Or is it better to stay on the cutting edge?  Fiction or nonfiction? Should I judge a book by its cover? And it is easy to forget which books we have decided to read, and difficult to prioritize them.

This reading indecision and organization has been much less of a problem for me ever since I started using Goodreads, a social networking site for readers. Using Goodreads, you can make an account for storing lists of books (your “shelves”) to organize what you’re currently reading, what you’ve read in the past, and what you plan to read in the future. Your account has a profile, which you can fill out as much or as little as you please with information about you and your reading tastes.

Then, you can become Goodreads friends with other users  you know in real life, or just follow other readers who seem interesting. Goodreads users frequently give books star ratings, write reviews, and make lists of books with a particular theme or style, which makes choosing a new book to read much more focused than just wandering around the bookstore or clicking haphazardly around Amazon.com.

Never again will you forget about a book you wanted to read – just add it to your Goodreads account and it will be stored on your virtual to-read shelf for as long as necessary for you to get around to it. Adding books is easy to do on-the-go with the Goodreads mobile website and iPhone app.

Feel free to have a look at my Goodreads account. As you’ll see, it is easy to accumulate very many to-read items, but at least I will never again feel like there is nothing left that I want to read!