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Old 06-29-2013, 09:16 PM   #1
Melpomene
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How does GoodReads work?

I've signed up for a GoodReads account, but I'm extremely confused about exactly what I'm supposed to do - do I log all the books I've ever read? (I could never remember!), or do I log all the books I read from my registration date onwards? How do some people thousands of books logged without remembering everything they've ever read?! Nobody can do that. What do I do if a book I'm reading isn't listed in their catalogue? Will I be kicked off if I don't read "fast enough"? Is it a reading website or a popularity contest?

It's definitely the strangest website I've ever signed up for. Are there any alternatives? What exactly IS its purpose?
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Old 06-29-2013, 09:43 PM   #2
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Well, there are a lot of ways you can use it, I can only really tell you how I use it.

Aside from a few long-time favorites, I only log the books I've read since joining. I also log books I want to eventually buy (my wishlist shelves) and books I plan to read and already own (to-read shelf). If you look at my profile (http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/4354442-christa) you'll see I'm a fan of making genre shelves.

Goodreads has a lot of features I don't use, but others find very useful. Listopias are user-created public lists that anyone can vote on / add books to. (Too free-wheeling for my tastes, but can be good to find new books to read.) I don't take the quizzes or use the trivia features.

One of the advantages of Goodreads is that you can shelve the specific edition of a book that you own. I don't really do this, as I'm not trying to build an accurate catalog, I just mostly want to track my reading. But for people who are book collectors and want to track this info, it's very nice to be able to do that.

You can join groups of readers who share your tastes, if you wish, but it's not required. Some of us Mobilereaders started a group there a few years ago to go along with our annual reading challenges. It's a pretty small, very low-pressure group. http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/42178 I belong to a few other groups, mostly to get recommendations for reads in my favorite genres.

You can make friends with other users, but again, it's not required.

Some people started tracking their reading long before Goodreads came along, so it's possible that they merely transferred their own lists over rather than working from memory.

If a book isn't in the database, you can add it yourself or post in the Goodreads Librarians group to have a librarian add it for you.

You will never be kicked off for not reading enough. People only get kicked off Goodreads for breaking the rules, and there aren't that many rules compared to some sites.

My advice is to explore the site a bit and see what is of use to you. The only thing close to being an alternative is Shelfari, but I don't really care for it.
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Old 06-29-2013, 09:59 PM   #3
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Goodreads and Mobileread are the two most invaluable sites for my ereading pleasure.

I mainly use Goodreads to keep track of books that I've received recommendations for, heard are good, am curious about, etc. Then I can order that list into a queue and read them. It helps me know which books to send to my ereader, which ones to buy when I have a coupon, and which ones are available at my library. I sync my Goodreads wishlist with my luzme account, which emails me when an ebook on my to-read list drops in price. I use Listopia to help populate my to-read list.

ETA: I also use it to check reading order in a series and to find other books by an author that I like.

Last edited by treadlightly; 06-29-2013 at 10:06 PM.
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Old 06-29-2013, 10:23 PM   #4
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Depending on how anal retentive you are will depend on how you use GR.

And I saw you used the word "popularity contest". It certainly can be, IF you want it to be. But if you're a normal person more concerned about what you're reading and what you've read and what you're going to read, that aspect will hardly ever impinge on you.

I guess my question to you is, WHY did you join? Any specific reasons? We can certainly point you in the right direction, if you know a general idea of what you want

I use GR to rate and review the books I read. Been keeping track since 2000, so it is invaluable when it comes to keeping me from re-reading books I read over a decade ago but don't remember.

AND you can get in fights with authors But I only recommend that if you have a thick skin and like conflict...
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Old 06-30-2013, 12:08 AM   #5
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As far as logging books I read prior to joining Goodreads, I mostly do that for series that I'm reading. Otherwise, just post what you want to post.
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Old 06-30-2013, 06:19 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CWatkinsNash View Post
Well, there are a lot of ways you can use it, I can only really tell you how I use it.
...

My advice is to explore the site a bit and see what is of use to you. The only thing close to being an alternative is Shelfari, but I don't really care for it.
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Originally Posted by treadlightly View Post
Goodreads and Mobileread are the two most invaluable sites for my ereading pleasure.
.....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravensknight View Post
Depending on how anal retentive you are will depend on how you use GR.
.....
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Originally Posted by cromag View Post
.... Otherwise, just post what you want to post.
And reviews of books I'm considering reading.....I also enjoy participating in the science, short story,

oh and the

ongoing battle over "The Road"

http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...ated-this-book

-- love that thread.

In fact I better go prod it along....haven't seen much activity lately.

Last edited by kennyc; 06-30-2013 at 06:22 AM.
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Old 07-02-2013, 10:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melpomene View Post
I've signed up for a GoodReads account, but I'm extremely confused about exactly what I'm supposed to do
If you enter books you've really enjoyed then it will look for other users who enjoyed the same books and then find books they enjoyed that you haven't read yet. There's almost certainly a little more maths involved but that's basically how it works. The more books you enter (especially books you really like or really hate) then the better it's recommendations should be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kennyc
The Road
I love Cormac Mccarthy but found that particular book to be his weakest (for me anyway). All the Pretty Horses on the other hand is definitely in my top 10.

Last edited by mike_bike_kite; 07-02-2013 at 10:04 AM.
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Old 07-02-2013, 10:05 AM   #8
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I found Goodreads pretty confusing and not user friendly, but that was me. I gave it a go for a week and gave up on it. (shrugs)
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Old 07-02-2013, 10:09 AM   #9
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I found Goodreads pretty confusing and not user friendly, but that was me. I gave it a go for a week and gave up on it. (shrugs)
I agree with that! It's a bit confusing/different/strange in the way it work and the user interface, etc. But I stick with it as it has lots of good things as well.
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Old 07-02-2013, 11:20 AM   #10
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I found Goodreads pretty confusing and not user friendly, but that was me. I gave it a go for a week and gave up on it. (shrugs)
Really? That's too bad. I'd been doing a book blog for about 4 years before I started using it full time, so I was used to rating/reviewing so it worked great for me.

I've been VERY slowly exploring all the other ways to use GR since about '10. And I'm talking pre-birth baby steps Of course, most of those other things deal with people, so I limit that as I think most "people" are asses...
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Old 07-02-2013, 11:27 AM   #11
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I gave star ratings to a bunch of books I've read in the past, especially favorites, so I'd be given some recommendations. Then I also mark was "to read" any books I'm interested in, so I don't forget them. And I read reviews of books I'm interested in - I like the Goodreads reviews better than the Amazon ones. And then I rate and review books as I read them.
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Old 07-02-2013, 11:35 AM   #12
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I've been VERY slowly exploring all the other ways to use GR since about '10. And I'm talking pre-birth baby steps Of course, most of those other things deal with people, so I limit that as I think most "people" are asses...
You should join the MR group over there, so you can hang out with asses you already know and love.

And I just clicked on your Goodreads profile link and thought, "Wait, that looks familiar..." Ha! Had no idea that was you! 'Tis a small world sometimes.
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Old 07-02-2013, 11:39 AM   #13
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You should join the MR group over there, so you can hang out with asses you already know and love.

And I just clicked on your Goodreads profile link and thought, "Wait, that looks familiar..." Ha! Had no idea that was you! 'Tis a small world sometimes.
Yeah, were a 'special' bunch.
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Old 07-02-2013, 11:41 AM   #14
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I just use it to record all the books I read or want to read, with a shelf/folder for each year. I have also added every book I can ever remember reading (apart from kids' books). For me it is a great repository of my reading history. Before this, I never kept a track of what I had read, and now I am able to go back and see what I thought of a book at the time, or check whether I have actually read one before.

I agree with some of the comments about aspects of it being confusing - I find the "forum" part of it difficult to use, and therefore rarely do.
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Old 07-02-2013, 11:51 AM   #15
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Yeah, were a 'special' bunch.
Oh, indeed.
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