Like every bibliophile, I’ve seen and used Goodreads before to track my reading progress and post which books I’ve read, and also used it to find new books. Unlike a lot of bibliophiles though, I can’t say that I’ve been all too taken with it.
I like the concept of Goodreads, don’t get me wrong. I think any website that dedicates itself to books and helping readers read has the right idea. Heck, that’s one of the reasons I started blogging myself. But I’ve never found myself that into using Goodreads before, and here’s why.
- Book Summaries – I have rarely ever read a plot synopsis for a Goodreads book that actually gives me enough info on whether or not I’m going to like the book. They’re always so vague, or they don’t really describe the plot exactly — they might give you a summary of the character’s personality instead or some off-the-cuff side plot. I just always find myself then going to the reviews to see if a reviewer posted a better summary, which brings me to my next point.
- Bad Reviewers — Sure, I know not everyone on Goodreads is a professional book reviewer. But I feel that so many of the reviews for books on there, even the most popular ones, don’t really review the books well. I feel that often times you either get caught in a loop of “I LOVED THIS BOOK OMG” which is great, aside from the fact that it doesn’t tell me anything, or people get critical of pedantic parts of every novel. No book is perfect, and I hate going into a book with an already negative perception of it (which happens a lot when I have to read the reviews just to get a plot summary).
- I’ve just been using it wrong — This one is totally on me. I started using my Goodreads account maybe freshman year of high school, and I added in so many irrelevant books that I had read in the past, that my shelves are now full of books I don’t even like and my recommendations are skewed because of it. I don’t exactly want to go on and create a new account, but it’s also going to be a laborious task of undoing everything I’ve ever shelved and keeping only what I still want on there.
As a book blogger, I feel like I should be using Goodreads, because that’s what everyone does, but I’m not sold on the idea of going back to it yet and using it more efficiently. Is there even a way to use it more efficiently? Is the app better than the website? Are there other website that offer some of the same benefits? This is all stuff that I need to think about before I make a decision about getting back into it (which I want to do soon, thanks to my impending summer reading list), and I suppose once I do, I’ll post an update about what I’ve found. I’ve just never been sold on Goodreads, even if I love the concept of it.