What the Crap is Goodreads and Why is it Cool?

I forget sometimes that not everyone is a writer, and that things that can make sense to me often times don’t make sense to other people. Its true writers have their own “lingo” and that in itself deserves a post alone—one day—but today I’m going to talk about Goodreads.
When I discovered GOODREADS—what feels like a millennia ago—my life changed. I was surprised that I hadn’t heard about it before but I did get led their by writers. So, it only makes sense to have post about it. Since I’ve mentioned it a few times, and my last blog most featuring M.R. Merrick told you how you could enter to win a copy of his latest book Exiled by going to Goodreads, I’ve learned that there is a wide variety of people out there that know nothing about the site and what it has to offer.
Sure some of those people might have included my Mom, Mr. Olive and a few other non-writer friends, however it’s not just the non-writers that need a little guidance either.
So, to start off Goodreads is about a million awesome things rolled into one.
Have you every wished you had a running list of all the books you’ve read? So many of us today use libraries, e-readers, used-bookstores and many other means to get new books into our hands. And in that aspect, so many of us just don’t keep books. Sure, I’ve got boxes upon boxes of books shoved in the many cubbies around my house, but I know many who turn their books back into the library, or borrow them from friends only to relinquish it when they are done soaking up the prose. And if you buy from a used-book store, chances are you bring that book back, take a credit from them and use it on a new book.
My point is Goodreads has nifty online bookshelves. You can search their database of books—which I’m quite certain has just about every book ever written—and add those read books to your “Read” book shelf. Now, not everyone cares about keeping track of the books they’ve read, but what if Goodreads could take all the books you’ve read and then create a “Recommendations” list? That’s right, it’s as though it has a mind of its own. Whenever you find yourself needing a new book, you just go on over to Goodreads and check out what they are recommending based on what you’ve read in the past. Sweet! You can also keep track of all the books you want to read—in the future—by searching for the book, adding it to your “To Read” shelf and those books are always at your finger tips so you’ve never forget.
Now, if you want something completely different, not a choice based on what you’ve read in the past, well check out Listopia! Here you can search dozens and dozens of lists like “Best Indie 2009” or “Best YA Fantasy 2011” Or “Can’t Live Another Day Without Reading” Of course there are more generic lists like “Fantasy” “Chicklit” and “Thrillers” but you are sure to find a book, a cover or a blurb that entices you.
Once you’ve read a book, you can give it some stars and/or write a review. This is helpful not only to other readers but to the Authors themselves. If a book isn’t working—though reading is very subjective—it’s nice to know why people think that. This can also help you in deciding if the book you’ve chose to read is right for you.
There are forums and chats, with other Goodreads members and Authors. It’s fun to interact with other book lovers, just like yourself.
Also, keep up to date with your favourite Authors by having easy access to their latest information, blogs and websites. Be the first to know when their latest book is coming out or if they are going to be doing a book signing near you.
Another great thing about Goodreads is Giveaways! Who doesn’t like a chance to win a free book, and not just any free book, how about a book fresh from the press that hasn’t even hit the shelves of your local bookstore yet? Goodreads offers dozens and dozens of Giveaways on any given day. This is also a great chance to learn about new and upcoming Authors, independently published or from small press houses.
Goodreads is great for readers and Authors alike, with so many ways to keep in touch, learn about new things and to promote your own books before they even come out in the bookstores.
Did I mention that Goodreads also has a handy iPhone App? Well it does, have the world of Goodreads on the go wherever you are. But the app also comes with a nifty bar code reader. Say you are shopping but don’t have the money to spend that moment on a new book, scan the barcode, learn about the novel, the author and add it to one of your bookshelves on the spot, without ever leaving the store.
Goodreads also allows you to directly purchase books by taking you to one of them many online stores like Amazon. So if you’ve found the perfect book, and want it that second instead of waiting until you go to the book store, click on the handy “where to purchase” link and then go ahead and by the book!

There are many great features about Goodreads, too many to share in one post, but these are my favourites, and personally I think it’s enough to show every reader and Author why you won’t be disappointed if you sign up and start using it right away. Also, tell your friends, because you can add them, see what they are reading and share your favourite books without ever having to utter a word J

5 Response to "What the Crap is Goodreads and Why is it Cool?"

  1. Brinda Says:

    I agree that Goodreads is an awesome a little known site. I have the iPad app and don't care for it as much as on my desktop from the web. This is where I keep my TBR list so I know which book to buy or check out from a library next. Great post!

  2. Avery Olive Says:

    yes I keep tons of books on my shelves. I'm not sure the app for iPad would be as good. I just love the barcode reader, it's super handy.

  3. MaryAnn Pope Says:

    I love goodreads. Every time I finish a book, I go on goodreads to see what others thought of it. I think it is a great way for writers to see what things in books bug readers.

    But it has much more to offer than what I use it for. Thanks for the the post!!

  4. Avery Olive Says:

    @MaryAnn thanks for stoping by and dropping a comment! Much appreciated, and yup, it took me a bit to really understand the full potential of Goodreads! It's almost has more cool things than I have time for.

  5. Unknown Says:

    Great blog. New follower via GFC. I hope you will visit and follow my blog. I look forward to spending time here. Donna