Recommending books used to be a task best left to the librarians and the corner store bookseller. No more, because online recommendation engines have taken over. And they have brought the community of book lovers together to share each other’s interests.
Goodreads is definitely one of the best that’s out there. You might say, what’s wrong with Amazon? I would say nothing; but sometimes I just don’t like to go by sales figures alone when it comes to judging a book. I would rather trust word of mouth. Goodreads is the grapevine for what you should definitely be reading now and next.
Fill Up Your Shelves with Books
Goodreads gives you a visual bookshelf to keep a record of all books you have read, are currently reading, or want to read. You can search for books using the site’s search engine or add those recommended by friends.
You can even add books that Goodreads might not have cataloged, though they are few and far between. You can create a variety of bookshelves to house all your books. Goodreads also uses Google to give you a preview of a book.
Don’t Judge A Book by Its Cover
Clicking on a thumbnail book cover opens up the single page that tells you all about the book. You get to read what other Goodreads members think about the book, why they have recommended it, information on other editions, and where to purchase a copy of the book. The most invaluable detail for me however are the other ‘similar’ titles mentioned under Readers also Enjoyed. The titles recommended here are a jumping off point to more book discoveries.
Let the Community Know That You Are a Book Lover
Book discoveries and accurate recommendations also depends on the effort you put into your own book collection at Goodreads. Build your bookshelf with all books you have read or want to read. It’s a great tool to make your reading wish list. Enhance user participation by giving your ratings to books and start a discussion around the title or the author.
Find New and Interesting Books
We have already seen a couple of ways to discover new books to read (the search bar, Readers also Enjoyed). The Recommendations page takes you to a few more Goodreads thinks you might be interested in.
The Explore tool gives you many more – Listopia with featured lists; Popular books published in the month; and of course, the Goodreads email newsletter which brings you a digest of all that the best of Goodreads has to offer.
Goodreads is not all about turning the pages. There’s an entire section devoted to a collection of wonderful quotes (try Guess the Quote game), brain wracking trivia, and quizzes. Ultimately, if you love books, you won’t think twice about mingling with other members in the community. Try the ‘near me’ link to make new friends through books. It’s a shared love after all.
Is Goodreads a good collection manager and recommendation engine rolled into one? Let us know.