Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Annoying things: The Goodreads edition

  • I was recently updating my Goodreads feed... I had several books that I started reading some time ago & haven't yet finished. I decided to create a new shelf (called "I'll get back to it someday," lol) and move those books from "reading" over there. The only problem being I wasn't entirely sure of what I was doing, and somehow one of those books wound up marked "read" and added as a book completed for my reading challenge. ARGH.  I thought I had corrected it, but I looked at Goodreads again on the weekend, and nope, there it was again. Hopefully it's now fixed. (I know, first world problems...!)  
  • I enjoy Goodreads for the most part, but it can be frustrating sometimes. When I first joined in 2011, I was thinking of it specifically as a way to track the books I'd read... but when I first signed up, they asked me to rate a whole bunch of books (had I read & if so, how many stars?) as a way of providing me with better recommendations. Fine... but I was supremely annoyed when those showed up in my feed as "read in 2011" ...and I wasn't sure whether or how I could change the dates. (I'm not sure you actually could do that back then.)  I didn't add any books for a couple of years after that until I had time to sit down & figure out better how the site worked, and could ensure the books I added were a true representation of what I'd read during the year!    
  • (Not annoying, but Goodreads-related.) I've started going back through the book review posts I've written here on my blog and adding an edited version of them to Goodreads -- something I've been meaning to do for quite a while now. (I've taken part in the Goodreads Reading Challenge since 2016, and I've been logging & giving stars to all my books since then, but not full reviews.)  All of my books for 2016 through 2019 year-to-date now have reviews,and I've started adding in the books I read & reviewed from 2013 through 2015.  
    • Annoying thing:  I have to ensure I set the (approximate) dates read & finished, so these older books don't show up in my current year reading total. It IS editable, thankfully!  
    • However, the view of my "books read," especially on the phone app vs website on laptop, still shows the most recent books added vs the most recent books actually read, which drives me NUTS.  (Yes, I am that OCD, lol...) 
    • Also, I have to remember to unclick the "add to my feed" box when I write a new review for an old book, so that I don't flood my Goodreads friends' feeds with updates from 4-6 years ago...! 
    • Not annoying:  Someone "liked" one of my reviews, which was nice. :)
Do you keep track of the books you read (on Goodreads or elsewhere)? Do you ever write reviews (on Goodreads, Amazon, your blog...?)?  

On a related note:  I have a friend who has a "Bookstagram" account -- an Instagram account specifically about the books she's reading. (Here's an article explaining Bookstagram, for the uninitiated.) She's been busy taking photos & writing reviews of the books she's been reading for Goodreads, taking part in challenges & giveaways and requesting -- and receiving -- ARCs (Advance Reader Copies).  It looks like fun -- but also a lot of work, lol. And while I wouldn't mind getting the inside edge on ARCs for a couple of authors I like, for the most part, my to-be-read pile is too big right now as it is...! 


  1. I track on paper (35 read this year!), but I sometimes add stuff on GoodReads. I use it to track my TBR list, but that's also in several places. Mostly I go on to find new books and sometimes will do a sweep of adding books. I will say that I only review/star books I enjoy. If I can't give it 4 or 5, I mark it as read and I don't star it. That happened recently. I hated the book, but I felt like maybe it was me and not a comment on the book itself. So I quietly marked it as read and moved on.

    One thing I wish you could do -- ask book-related questions in your feed. I know they have the forums, but sometimes I want to ask questions to the people I'm connected to. I guess they worry people wouldn't stay on topic if they allowed it.

    1. Interesting. I didn’t explain how/why I rate books in my post. I mostly follow the Goodreads explanation, with a bit of my own spin/interpretation. ;)

      Five stars means the book knocked my socks off in some way — the writing was brilliant, or I learned a whole lot from it, or it left me thinking long after I finished it. (Etc.)

      Four stars (my most common rating) means I really, really liked it — but not quite enough to give it the top rating.

      Three stars means I enjoyed the book. Maybe it didn’t knock my socks off — I may not have found it hugely challenging or original, or perhaps I had a reservation or two about something in the story/content — but on balance, I still enjoyed it or got something out of it.

      I’ve only given two stars to three books to date (including one of my more recent reads). These were generally books that had some interesting points, but that I found tough reading, or disappointing in some way. I’ve never given one star. The only “book” I’ve read & recorded but not starred was the Mueller Report. ;) I didn’t view that as a standard book… but at 400-odd pages, I was determined to get credit for reading it, lol.

      One thing I wish is that you could assign half-stars. That would sure help. I will often say in my review if I would have assigned a half star, and then rounded my rating up or down.

  2. I really like Goodreads. Yes, there are some frustrations with the phone app rather than my laptop app, but I usually manage to figure things out. I thought we could send messages to the people we're connected to. I'll have to check it out.

    I don't write reviews very often - it's too much like English homework, which I never enjoyed - but sometimes want to explain a particular rating, or just feel like making a few comments, as our old bookclub still use each others feeds to help choose books. And I like being able to refer back to see whether I've read a particular author or book, and also I use it when I'm asked for recommendations. It's easy to go in to sort for four and five star reads, and see my favourite books.

    I keep an Abandoned list - of books that I tried, but could never finish. I've decided that if I've tried to read something for weeks and it has never grabbed me, that I deserve to have that effort recognised, and I consider it "Read" and put it on that list too.Life is too short to read a bad book.

    I maintain a To-Read list on Goodreads, and love being able to add things to that. I match it up with my "wishlist" on my library app. Both lists have more books than I've probably read in my entire life. Sigh. Life is indeed too short!