Avid readers are always in search of their next book, or a new author to try. Best described as being a form of social media – but strictly for books! – is Goodreads. Available directly via Goodreads.com or through our website under the “Resources” tab at the top of the page at MyPlymouthLibrary.org, Goodreads can help you figure out what is next!
Your first step will be to create an account, and set up your personal profile. Goodreads will ask you about your book interests, your favorite authors, and provides space for an “about me” bio that will be displayed for your friends to see. You can also upload a profile picture, similar to what is done on other social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter. You can be as open or as private as you prefer.
From there, the world of Goodreads opens to you. You can search your favorite authors and add them to a favorite author list. You can search for the book you are currently reading and add it to your “currently reading” log. You can browse recommendations and topics such as new release lists, award winners, and more. You can join communities and fan groups for specific authors, get updates directly from the authors themselves in regards to new material they are working on, or have recently published, and enter giveaways. You can also search for your personal friends and add them so that you can see what they are currently reading (or have previously read), and vice versa!
A great feature that Goodreads offers is that you can look up any book you have read in the past and mark it as “Read.” This feature has helped me many times in the past when I have gone to start a book only for Goodreads to remind me I have already read it and forgot!
I joined Goodreads in November of 2012 and it has completely transformed the world of reading for me. I use it to find new authors and titles, to connect with others over similar reading tastes, and have even directly connected with a few authors! I have asked questions about certain titles, what is coming soon, and simply expressed to them that I am a fan. I also really enjoy getting to see what titles my friends are currently reading, or have marked “want to read”. I have discovered a plethora of books based simply on seeing what my friends have found first!
Goodreads is great in offering suggestions based upon titles you are either currently in progress on, or have recently finished. Time and time again I have finished a book only for Goodreads to suggest “You might also like…” and have them be exactly right! I recently finished a book by one of my favorite authors, only to have a new unknown author personally message me. He had seen that I had just finished said book, and offered his own new title as something I may like based on the book I just finished. I took him up on his suggestion and read his book, and he was right – I enjoyed it!
My favorite part of Goodreads is the yearly “Reading Challenge” they offer. Every year at the start of the year you can set a reading goal for that calendar year. Choose whatever number of books you think you can read, and start reading! Every time you finish a book it is logged and counted toward your total. I love a good challenge, especially one I’ve imposed upon myself, and through the Goodreads Reading Challenge I have read more and more books each year, always trying to surpass my previous goal! For example, in 2019, I set a goal to read 50 books, and ended up reading 108! For 2020, I upped my goal to 70 books, and recently finished #30. I am already almost halfway to my goal, and it is only May! Time will only tell what my final number will end up being.
I also really enjoy getting to rate and review the books that I read. It is optional if you want to write a review or rate a book, but I enjoy doing so because I know that my review might sway some other reader out there that is curious about a title. I have found this useful myself, scanning ratings and reviews for books I am interested in, and often deciding to give one a shot or not based on the feedback from others.
If you need help setting up a Goodreads account, or have questions, feel free to contact me at email@example.com
Join Goodreads today, add some friends and your favorite authors, and have fun!