Thursday, September 6, 2012

Thursday Review—Goodreads

by Lynn Huggins Blackburn

Once the disease of reading has laid hold upon the system it weakens it so that it falls an easy prey to that other scourge which dwells in the inkpot and festers in the quill. The wretch takes to writing. ~ Virginia Woolf

I was born a lover a books. My mother says that when I was a toddler, she could hand me a novel upside down and I would turn it right side up before flipping the pages. Clearly, the disease “laid hold” of me early. My stated purpose in going to kindergarten was to learn to read. Not because no one would read to me…but because I desperately needed to be able to read for myself.

These days, I tend to refer to myself as a writer, but I was a reader first.
And that is why, despite my reluctance to add anything more than Facebook and Twitter to my social media plate, I have been completely sucked in to Goodreads.

Here are a few of my favorite things…

  • Books ~ The people on Goodreads love books. They love reading them, and talking about them, and playing nerdy games related to them. They are so my kind of people. I’ve started tracking what books I’m currently reading and what books I want to read. (Click here for a Breakdown of what you can do on Goodreads).
  • Recommendations ~ Once you’ve added a bunch of books to your shelves, Goodreads will make recommendations based on your reading preferences. I have about 200 books listed as “read” and I must say, the Goodreads recommendations are on the money.
  • Reviews ~ I put more credence in my friend’s reviews than anything else. When a friend raves about a book, there’s a good chance it will find its way to my to-be-read shelf.
  • Authors ~ There are many opportunities for authors to interact with readers on Goodreads. As a reader, I like seeing what my favorite authors are reading. And several of my favs have hosted giveaways to celebrate a release. (I haven’t won yet, but hope springs…). If you are published (traditional or self) you should check out the posts from Rachelle Gardner, 8 Things Writers Should Know About Goodreads, and How Authors Can Effectively Use Goodreads .

This is just my two cents, but if you are seeking publication, it makes sense to hang out where the readers are. And an awful lot of them (over 10,000,000) are on Goodreads.
Now it’s your turn. Are you on Goodreads? (Are we friends?) What do you like about it? If you’re a Goodreads Author, has your experience been positive or negative?

Don’t forget to join the conversation!

Lynn Huggins Blackburn has been telling herself stories since she was five and finally started writing them down. She blogs about faith, family, and her writing journey on her blog Out of the Boat. Lynn is a member of the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild and the Word Weavers, Greenville. She lives in South Carolina where she hangs out with three lively children, one fabulous man, and a cast of imaginary characters who find their way onto the pages of her still unpublished novels. She drinks a lot of coffee.


  1. Love it, thanks! I always need tips for social media :)

  2. I Love GoodReads! Like Pinterest, I could spend hours on there. My favorite feature is the recommendations -- spot ON.
    Thanks, Lynn!

  3. I loved your post today. I have been a reader for as long as I can remember. My mom told me I could sit in a dump with a good book and be happy and that is true. I love Goodreads too. God bless you.

    Glenda Parker

  4. I am a member of Goodreads and much prefer it to every other social media site I've worked in or thought about.

    I'm not yet published, but I've written recommendations for many books and have found the Goodreads site very useful.

  5. I keep hearing about this. Guess I'd better get my act together and hop on over! Thanks for sharing it.

  6. I love hearing from my fellow book lovers. Be on the lookout for friend requests from me :-)!

  7. I'll be joining Vonda on righting my delinquent involvement. Thanks for the boost and tips...and love the quote

  8. I know I should, I know I should, but I feel like my brain can't handle one more new thing. But since you've heightened my interest, I have to check it out. And maybe I'll even hang around if I can figure out how to do that. Thanks, Lynn.

  9. Okay.....I'm convinced...this is something I need to do. And now I know whom I can call for help if needed! :o) Thanks.

  10. Signed up last night. A little confused, but at least I did it. Thanks for the encouragement.