I’ve made a concerted effort over the last year to read more books. Missy has been passing me her favorite young adult fiction books. I finally got a library card. I started keeping a list in Simplenote. A visit to the Sci Fi Museum in Seattle last fall piled a lot of Octavia Butler and Ursula Le Guin onto that list.
And then I decided I’d like a better way to organize it all. Enter Goodreads.
Why didn’t I sign up for this sooner?!
Out of the box it allows you to categorize (“shelve”) books as read, currently reading, or to-read. You can re-name shelves or create new ones if you have other ways you’d like to categorize your books. The default is working just fine for me.
It’s super simple to rate books on the fly and the implementation is slick. It’s a scale of 1 to 5 stars. There’s a tool tip that appears when you hover over stars to guide you in choosing a rating. Rating a book automatically adds it to your read shelf.
You can add friends via a handful of web services (Twitter, Facebook, Gmail/Yahoo/Hotmail). Starting with Twitter and browsing friends of friends netted me plenty of people I know with good taste in books. Goodreads caps how many friends you can add at a time, which is good. I’d have overwhelmed myself. Just browsing my friends’ 5-star-rated books is reminding me of things I’ve read and giving me good titles to go on my to-read shelf.
I had a moment where I worried about what my shelves are saying about me. I’m trying to remember all the other stuff I’ve read to round it out beyond the recent spate of YA fiction and scifi/fantasy (not that there’s anything wrong with it…), which just means I’ve added some of those books that everyone reads in high school and college. But it’s impossible to brain dump every book I’ve read in the last year, much less every book I’ve ever read. Oh well.
I don’t need yet another web service, but this one seems like it has tangible value. I almost always have an adjacent tab open to my Hennepin County Library account. I had winnowed that list down a bit and Goodreads blew it back up again. That’s a good problem to have. A challenge, even.
Feel free to browse my Goodreads collection.
Are you on Goodreads? How is it working for you?