Sharing My Love of Reading on Goodreads

Lately, I have been spending a lot of time in Goodreads. Goodreads is a social platform where you can share what you are reading with friends and the public. Right now, I have over 500 books listed on Goodreads.

According to Goodreads, there are more than 50 million book lovers. With Goodreads, you can track which books you have read, want to read, and are currently reading. You can also see books your friends share as well as get recommendations for new books to read.

With Goodreads, you can enter each of your books in a number of possible ways. Once a book has been entered, you can mark it, rate it, and add a review. In my case, I write my review on my blog, then I copy the top paragraph of the blog post and enter it into Goodreads with a link back to my blog. In addition to writing a review, you can share when you started and finished reading the book. Additionally, you can add tags or “shelves” to the book for quick organization.

My Goodreads list

To get your books into Goodreads, there are a number of different ways:

  • Search for the book
  • Scan the book barcode
  • Imported a file
  • Import from a web page
  • Import from your Amazon purchases (Amazon owns Goodreads)

One of the ways to get a new book into Goodreads is to do a search for the book. Simply add the title or the author into Goodreads, Goodreads will give you recommendations that you can choose from. Once you find the selection you want, you then indicate from the drop-down provided if the book is something that you want to read, you have read or are currently reading, and it will add it to the appropriate list.

Another way of entering books into Goodreads is to import from a file. I, personally, have not done this; however, Goodreads provides a sample file format you can use to import the information directly into Goodreads.

Goodreads also can pull the information from a web page. For example, if you have an Amazon wish list, Goodreads can pull this information from that page. A key component is an ISBN number.

These last two ways are methods I used to import a number of books into Goodreads very quickly. The first way was to import my Amazon purchase list; this pulled in all the books automatically. The other way was to install an app on my phone and scan the ISBN numbers of books on my bookshelves; this also quickly added the books into Goodreads.

On My Books page of Goodreads, I can see a list of my bookshelves. This includes all the books that I’ve read, all the books I’m currently reading, and the books that I plan to read. It also includes shelves that I’ve added books to and the number of books on each shelf. These shelves act as filters. I can filter the books I want to see for a specific shelf. The resulting book list will include a cover of the book, the title, the author, the average rating from all the individuals on Goodreads, my rating, the various shelves where it is listed, when I read the book, and when I added the book. I have the ability to edit each book at any time.

Goodreads has a number of tools available that I think are quite useful. These tools include

  • Recommendations
  • Add Amazon book purchases
  • Widgets
  • Important export
  • Find duplicates
  • Shelf cloud
  • Most read authors
  • Stats
  • API

On the recommendation page, Goodreads suggests books based on the different shelves that you have. For example, you get other recommendations based on the books you have listed in a specific category.

Goodreads Recommendation List
Goodreads Recommendation List

With widgets, you can add your Goodreads books to your signature block showing what you are currently reading. You can also add a widget that shows all the different books you are currently reading or that you have read, which you can post it on one of your personal websites. You can add special buttons on your website linking to your Goodreads page. You can also add the reading challenge widget to your page to let everybody know how are you doing on the challenge.

With large libraries, you could accidentally enter duplicate copies of a book. Goodreads has a tool that will help you identify and remove the duplicates.

The shelf cloud shows you how many books you have on each of your shelves in the form of a word picture. There’s also a graph that shows how many books that you have in various categories. This a nice visual look for what you’ve been reading.

Goodreads Word Cloud
Goodreads Word Cloud

The last tool that I really like is called Stats. Stats allows you to see how many books you have read each year based on different filters. In the images below, you can see the number of books read for each year. It is also possible to drill down and see what specific books you have read and your ratings. You can also see how many pages you have read. Finally, you can see a matrix of books read based on when you read it and its publication year. Right now, I am going back to my blog and loading missing reviews into Goodreads. I’ve completed 2011-2012 and 2016. Now, I have to complete the middle years.

Goodreads stats
Goodreads stats
Goodreads Stats Detail View
Goodreads Stats Detail View
Goodreads Stats - Pages read
Goodreads Stats – Pages read
Goodreads books read by publishing years
Goodreads books read by publishing years

One of other capabilities I like about Goodreads but I have not yet explored it in depth is the communities. You can join and create communities.  You can create your own virtual book club. This is something that I would like to do with the local library. I would like to get them on Goodreads as part of a community reading program.

I really enjoyed Goodreads. I like to see my progress as I read. I like to see what my friends are reading as well as get suggestions from them and suggest books for them. Every day, I receive an email from Goodreads. In the email, there are updates from Goodreads sharing what my friends are reading and other book suggestions. It’s just a nice way to keep focused on reading and the power of reading.