About a month ago I discovered goodreads.com, and I haven’t been the same since. In fact, I am close to addicted. Anyone who’s ever known me or been in my house can tell you I’m a bookaholic. I signed up with librarything.com first, but one has to pay to list more than 200 books there. I also tried shelfari.com, but it insists on putting books on my shelf I don’t have and do not want to have. So I seem to spend all my spare time at goodreads.com. Check out my reading list there .
Now if you can’t understand why anyone would enjoy just making lists of books to read, already read, or what one is currently reading, please understand there’s a whole lot more to it than that. It’s a whole social networking site built around books. You can make friends with those on the site who have similar reading tastes or invite real-world friends to join you so you can keep up with each other’s reading choices. You can compare your books lists with others to see if a friend invitation is in order. You can read member reviews of any books that interest you and rate and review any books you’ve read to help others with their selections. But, best of all, there’s trivia.
And, I confess, trivia is really what has me hooked. Once you have your account, just go to the menu across the top and click on “Explore.” And from the drop down menu, pick “trivia.” Your first multiple choice question will appear. If you don’t like it, you can skip it with no penalty — after all, not everybody can read everything that’s been written. You can even limit your trivia questions to those about books on your lists. And if you think there’s not enough variety, you can write some questions of your own to add to the fun. The site keeps score of how you are doing in relationship to others, how you answer specific questions compared to your friends, etc. You can even evaluate the questions themselves. I love playing goodreads trivia and adding questions on the books I’ve read and seeing what others think of them.
One other feature I occasionally use is the “books lists” on the “explore” drop-down menu. This enables me to see what others think are the best or worst books ever in a number of categories and to add my own additions to these lists and to order them according to my own opinion. This, in turn, has the capacity of changing the main list as others continue to add their input. Looking through these lists is a great way of putting more books on your shelves because you are bound to run into a few you’ve read but not thought about when making your first bookshelves. The more books you have listed, the more fun the site becomes as you compare reading lists with others — another good way to update your shelves.
The last feature I really enjoy is the group discussion. There are public groups for every reading interest. Or you can start a private group for you and your real world book club so you can have your book discussions on line. I have joined a few of the public groups and really do have a good time interacting with others who want suggestions or opinions on books I’ve read and who will offer me suggestions for books that might meet my own needs. As I participate in discussions and get reading updates and reviews from my friends, I find myself adding books I’ve never heard of to my own wish list.
I have by no means described all the features of this site that make it sticky. But I hope I’ve described enough to motivate you to get your own free account and give it a whirl.