I've mentioned Goodreads several times in passing on my blog, but I have never given an in-depth explanation. I am a big fan of Goodreads. Goodreads is a fantastic tool for readers no matter if you read a book once a day or once every few months.
Goodreads is an online database and community devoted to readers. First and foremost, Goodreads is a database of millions of books, including self-published books. The book listings include a short book description, author biography, reader reviews and average review rating for the book (out of 5 stars). The database is great, but it isn't much different than searching for a book on Amazon.
Goodreads excels when you setup a free account. From there, you can organize books you have read and want to read onto shelves. I recommend adding a few of your favorite books on the read shelf with 4 or 5 star ratings so Goodreads can give you recommendations. Goodreads gives personalized recommendations for new books to read based on the books you read and rated. I've discovered great books through this tool and I think it's a much better algorithm than Amazon's recommendations.
In addition, Goodreads has a huge social component. You can follow your friends and what they are reading. You can join forums to discuss books or get more book recommendations. They also have a fun book trivia section and conduct author interviews. Perhaps the most unique aspect of Goodreads is the giveaways. Authors and publishers can set up a giveaway through Goodreads to promote their books. Anyone can enter and there are hundreds of book giveaways on a daily basis to win free paperback books- no strings attached!
Currently, the best way to use Goodreads is through your internet browser. They also offer apps for ios and android, but they don’t have the complete functionality of the website at this time. The app experienced has improved over the past year and I'm sure will continue to improve.
This post is part of a small writing project called The Fiction Readers' Handbook. This project will be available to newsletter subscribers in a few weeks for free!