Thursday, September 22, 2011

Goodreads: Then and Now

The year was 2008 and I'd just broken up with my girlfriend when someone in the Christopher Moore group on MySpace (remember MySpace?) gushed about Goodreads.  I gave it a shot and never looked back.  MySpace was largely abandoned soon after.

Back in the day, Goodreads had a lot fewer users than it does now and a lot fewer people writing reviews.  I don't remember when I first noticed the top 50 reviewers or when I consciously decided to write reviews for every book I read.  I do remember the first time I got on the weekly top 50.  I read three Hard Cases that week and got a whopping 12 votes all told.  12 votes!  These days, you need at least 30 votes to get in the top 50 and even then it might be close.

When I first started writing reviews, I was happy if more than two people voted for them.  I laugh because ten votes is an average review for me.  Ten!  My reviews themselves have evolved quite a bit.  My first few reviews were just a couple sentences at most.  It took me a little while to get comfortable with the act of writing book reviews and developing my style.

Goodreads has changed the way I read.  Sometimes I jot down things I want to include in the review while I'm reading.  It's also changed what I read.  When ten of your Goodreads friends review the same book in rapid succession, it's hard to ignore.

You know how certain social networking websites endlessly muck about with the site, usually complicating it?  All of Goodreads' modifications have been fairly minor tweaks.  It still has a very simple interface.

I didn't expect this blog post to turn into a long commercial for Goodreads but that's what it feels like at the moment.  I'll just say that every reader should be on Goodreads.  It's like Facebook except that there's no Farmville, no one gushing about their pets, and no one sharing details about their life except for the most important one: what they happen to be reading.


  1. I've never tried Goodreads (I'm currently on Shelfari). Sounds like a great site--and I know a lot of people use it.

  2. Just started writing down notes as I read - great idea.