Why I Love Goodreads – Part 1

The name of the author is the first to go
followed obediently by the title, the plot,
the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel
which suddenly becomes one you have never read, never even heard of,
-from Forgetfulness, by Billy Collins


No, I can’t actually remember this beginning of one of my favorite poems, but at least I still remember where to find it in Sailing Alone Around the Room, and where the book is located on my bookshelves. Goodreads is a social networking site for readers, but on a more practical note, it is a site to keep track of books you’ve read and books you want to read. So often I only seem to remember whether or not I liked a book, but not anything else about it. I don’t even use most of Goodreads features, but I love to be able to list all the books I’ve read, categorize them (in my case, very broadly), give them a quick 1-5 star rating and include a short review. I’ve started listing some of the books that I want to read on my TBR shelf (to-be-read), but I still mostly just have piles of TBR books all around the house.

The books I’m choosing to review on this blog are those books that have given me something to think about after I’ve finished reading them. Admit it, there are some books you can finish, close, and you’re ready to dive into something new. Others, good and bad, nag at you somehow. You need to work out how you think about them, or talk to someone else about them. Goodreads can provide outlets for all of that, too, but I really just like having a single place to list my reading. It really helps at the bookstore, too, when I need to write a review or provide a recommendation for something I read long ago (like, say, last week).

There are other sites out there that are similar, and I haven’t actually checked any of them out. I just knew I needed/wanted something, experimented with Goodreads, and was happy with it.  Besides being a personal electronic library catalog, you can form and join groups on Goodreads. For example, you neighborhood book club could be a private group and you could list all the books you’ve read, future bookclub picks, meeting information, and use it as the preferred communication for all book club notices. My bookclub uses email, but I think Goodreads would actually be a lot easier. There are also a gazillion public groups that you can join that are about, well, at least a gazillion different things. Gazillions of book lovers – how great is that? Tomorrow I’ll post about the group that turned me into a true Goodreads addict.


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