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Ask the Readers (Should I Try Goodreads?)


Today I have a totally non-food question for you. I almost didn’t ask it, but my readers are so much help when I have a question, that I decided to go ahead and do a totally non-food fun post today. I hope you don’t mind. I also hope that some of you will find it helpful.

It is no secret that I love reading. My whole family loves reading. It is the reason my daughter and I started our book site. I love to talk books and I love to help people find great books.

I have heard all kinds of great things about Goodreads. I know many people love it. I have been tempted to sign up, but I have not really been able to figure out what the benefits are to joining. I know it is for reviewing books, etc., but what is the overall point. I have so many other social media and online things that I do, I just don’t know if I want to add one more.

However, I feel like I am missing out since so many book lovers use and love it. I keep thinking maybe I should give it a try. What do you think?

If you have tried Goodreads I would love to hear your thoughts. Do you like it? Love it? Or is it a waste of time? Tell me the good and bad. Do you think it would be worth my time or a waste of my time? 

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures


  1. Yes, yes yes – try goodreads! I don’t spend much time in it at all and you can control how often you get the email summaries to further reduce time spent. Granted, I don’t use a ton of social media, but I find this particular site very helpful to track the books I’ve read, what I want to read, enter quick “star” ratings and comments (I keep mine REALLY brief and more often than not, I just do the star ratings). I do a yearly challenge and it’s always fun to see that summary and revisit some of my favorite reads from the past year (and some not so fave!). The site provides book recommendations, but also you can get recommendations from “friends”. I like a few of the other features – if I am reading a book from an author I’ve not yet read, I can look at their other books, and again the site gives you recommendations based on what you have selected, so if I really liked a particular book, I might look at some of the suggested titles and find something that I wouldn’t have otherwise read or considered reading. I am a HUGE library user, so I can’t highlight or tag quotes, but Goodreads allows me to find a quote from a book and capture it (I usually will cut and paste it on my review if it is something I really want to remember!) There are giveaways which are fun (I’ve not won many but it’s always fun to try just in case) and you might really get some great traffic to your blog sites since I know I get a wrap up of blog authors that I follow through a Goodreads wrap up email. All of the above makes it seem like I spend a lot of time in Goodreads, but I would guess my time in Goodreads a week to be less than 30 minutes and that seems on the VERY high side. I can just at a glance do all of the above easily. I don’t like the site view in my Kindle as much as I like it on my regular computer, but that’s just me (and probably because I don’t want to invest a lot of time figuring out if I can get a different presentation on my kindle or phone). I don’t like that if I want to quickly like something or add a friends book to “want to read” that I have to get routed to sign on to Goodreads and again from my kindle or phone it is much more awkward than from my regular computer. I don’t like the ads for books AT ALL and most of the reviews are annoying (people put memes in their reviews and that just irritates me (pictures that move are the worst!) if I’m scrolling through the reviews quickly to try to get a general sense if I might like a book or not). Sometimes finding the edition of a book that I’m reading (again I’m a library user so my copy might be older or whatever) can take a few seconds longer than I want to spend but that doesn’t often enough to dissuade me.

    I would definitely follow you as a Goodreads “friend” if you do join! I think if you just figure out what YOU want out of it and limit yourself to those aspects, like any social media you won’t get sucked down the drainhole of time waster. 99% of the time I am in/out of the site within a few minutes and I’m only visiting the site itself a couple times a week, otherwise I’m just browsing what “friends” are reading in the summary emails quickly to see if anything warrants being added to my TBR list (or I can see if they rated something high that I hated and then I can temper my reaction to other books they might suggest remembering that our tastes may not align well).

  2. I love Goodreads. I use it to keep track of what books I’ve read. I can see which books my friends have read and see their ratings, help so to decide if I want to read that particular book. I don’t spend large amounts of time on there, so I don’t think it would take up too much of your time.

  3. I agree with the previous posters on the reasons I use Goodreads. I love it! I don’t spend a whole lot of time there, just enough to track books, see what friends are reading and discuss a few books in a group each month.

  4. I’m a Goodreads fan, too! I started using it to keep track of books I want to read – so much better than other approaches I have tried, including a written list, a Barnes & Noble wishlist, and putting books in my Amazon cart! I was so happy when I first received an email from Goodreads telling me that a book on my “want to read” list is on sale as an ebook – again an improvement over having to scroll through my Barnes & Noble wishlist to see if something has gone on sale. So if you do join, sign up for those alerts. It’s easy to track books I have read, and I have won a few books in Giveaways. Again, Goodreads alerts me when there is a Giveaway for a book on my “want to read” list. For me, Goodreads fills many needs.

  5. Camille T. says

    I like GoodReads. I look at the reviews when I’m not quite sure what a book is about or if I’m on the fence after reading a blurb. They also have giveaways. I also keep up with what I’ve been reading personally. When you read as much as I do, sometime you forget exactly what books you already read or tried to read.

  6. Agree with the comments above, and if you find it daunting to enter what you’ve already read, and you buy books on Amazon (hard copy or Kindle) it has an easy import feature to upload your past purchases.

  7. I like GoodReads. They have an annual reading challenge where you can set a number of books you want to read in a year and try to reach that goal. It really helped me get back into reading after a break. I also just like tracking the books I’ve read. It can also be fun to interact with other people who feel the way you did about a book (for example, I HATED “Wild”, and it seems like most of the universe couldn’t get enough of it, so it was great to go read reviews of people who also didn’t like it and have discussions with them within their review threads). Also I can see what my friends are reading so I can talk with them about particular books.

  8. Bonnie Plante says

    I absolutely LOVE Goodreads! I started using it when I was looking for an online book club. What I found was an entire community of “my people.” I thought I loved to read and read a lot – but I found that I was an occasional reader compared to some. I don’t have a problem with that – I read 50 books in 2016. I know this because I set a reading challenge through Goodreads – one of my favorite things about the site. Whenever I log on I can check the status of my challenge and it will tell me if I am on track, behind or ahead. This is only one of the things that I love about Goodreads. I love being able to categorize my books. I love being able to add a book to my want to read shelf so that I won’t forget about it. (Right now I have 178 on that list!) I like seeing what others are reading as well as reading their thoughts and reviews about what they have read. I like the fact that you can add friends – and yes I have “friends” that I don’t know in real life because they share my passion for books and reading. I really don’t spend a lot of time on the Goodreads site but check in a couple of times a week – more if I am adding books or looking for reviews. I follow a few authors and I do opt in for the Goodreads newsletter and the Goodreads Deals. These are just things that I enjoy but that are not necessary. One more thing – if you have a Kindle, you can add your books (from your Amazon account) directly into your Goodreads account which saves a ton of time. You really should give it a try. If you don’t like it, you can always delete it. Let us know if you decide to join and feel free to friend any of us – it’s a great community!

    • Many readers agree with you and love it. Since most are saying that it doesn’t take a lot of time, I think I will give it a try. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  9. I love having a list of all the books I’ve read because I will never be able to remember every single one.

    You also get to see in your feed, all the books that your friends have recently reviewed or added to their to be read list. Plus if you’re not sure about a book and you want to read some reviews, any of your friends’ reviews will appear above all the others. Thus, you’re not just relying on a total stranger’s review.

    It’s also a great place to find new book friends.

  10. Heather Bireley says

    I love Goodreads. I participate in their reading challenge and really enjoy it. I get a newsletter which tells me about books I might want to read. I love it.

  11. i know everyone else has said this… but i LOVE LOVE LOVE goodreads! it’s great to keep track of what you read – and i have found the recommendations section helpful, especially the longer i use the site. it gets to know you and your reading preferences. also, when there’s a book on your shelf that has a giveaway, you get an email notification (but i’m sure you can turn that off). i enter every one i’m remotely interested in and have won some books that way. it’s fun!

  12. Library Director here! I use it mainly to track what I’d like to read (since the selection gets out of hand sometimes, lol) and what I have read (because getting older means I can’t always remember until I’m half way into a book!). I don’t use the social aspect of it either. I only use it as a tool to track my own reading. Hope that helps! Happy reading!!

  13. Kimberly in NC says

    I don’t know anything about it…does it cost? How do you sign up? I’d like to keep track of books I’ve read, but I’ve never been able to before. Thanks for any info!

  14. Jennifer D. says

    I do enjoy Goodreads. If someone tells me to read a book, I can add it to my Goodreads “want to read” list rather than forget about it. When I am at a bookstore, I do the same thing then am able to go home and check my local library. It also allows me to see what friends are reading and think of books they have read.

  15. I use Goodreads primarily to keep track of what I’ve read and want I want to read. I set my goal # of books for the year and I watch a list of books women born in the 70’s are reading for my next read.

  16. I agree with what others have said. I like keeping track of my own reading. I usually rate and occasionally review a book. I spend a couple of minutes after I finish reading a book to record and rate it. No real time invested.

  17. I love Goodreads! I keep track of books I want to read, and what I have read. The app on my phone comes in handy when I am at a book sale or at the library.

  18. I agree with what others are saying plus I want to add one thing I like. Monthly emails with new books from authors I have read. This is helpful for finding out when an author you love has a new book available.

  19. I agree. Goodreads is super convenient. It’s faster and better than Google sometimes when looking for a specific book or author, I feel, because it takes me directly there. I don’t have to filter through sites that sell books. Also, very helpful for keeping track of To Read and Read lists. I agree with many others that the reviews and ratings are sometimes helpful and at other times overrated. And lastly, can I just say, I love that you talk about cooking and books here. It’s probsbly my two favorite subjects and all in one place. Hope Goodreads works well for you!

    • I am so glad that you enjoy my book talk! I have to be careful not to overwhelm readers with book talk here because I know not everyone loves reading, but I love knowing that I have readers that love it when I do. And after reading all the recommendations from my readers I am going to give Goodreads a try.

  20. I really like Good Reads. I use the scan tool all the time at the bookstore so I can then request the books at the library. It also helps me keep track of what I read.

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