Opinion

How I Use Goodreads

Hello everybody! I wanted to take the opportunity today to talk about Goodreads, one of the most well-known social media sites that focusses on books. I actually had an account on Goodreads before starting my book blog, and then I decided that I wanted to start anew, since I had given a lot of my childhood favourites 5 stars but didn’t really know if I would still rate them 5 stars nowadays. Thus, I deleted my personal account and created a new blogging account.

So that was the intro! Let’s talk about the 6 main ways that I use Goodreads!


1. Reading reviews

The huge advantage of Goodreadsis the fact that all of the reviews and ratings for one book can be found on that book’s page. I don’t need to search for reviews in a search engine. A huge advantage is also that I first see the reviews written by my friends, who are all part of the diverse book blogging community (diverse book bloggers and allies). Next, I see reviews written by people I follow, also diverse book bloggers and allies. And after all of them, I can read reviews written by the other members of the Goodreads community.

2. Writing my own review of a book

It’s very important for me to make sure that the books I review on here, don’t have stereotypical or harmful representation and that I include critical warnings about the text (i.e. possible triggers, passages that could make a reader upset) in my review.

If you check out the Goodreads page of a book, you can find all of the reviews under that one book!

When I’m reviewing a book, I can check out what #ownvoices reviewers have said about the book. I do this regardless of whether I am an #ownvoices reviewer or not, since sometimes, I might have internalised a microaggression or missed a microaggression while reading the text. If I am going to criticise representation, I make a point of looking for #ownvoices reviews and including them in my post (either Goodreads link or if they have a blog, I use their blog link).

Then I check what the positive reviews (4 -5 stars) have said about the book and what the negative reviews (1-2 stars). I do look at the 3 stars reviews as well, but I don’t usually look through as many as I do for the other categories. If I am going to give the book a positive rating, I make a point of going through quite a few negative reviews and vice versa. I feel like this gives me the possibility to check if I’m being too harsh or too lenient on the book. It also gives me the possibility to check if I missed mentioning important issues in my own review.

Since, I first see reviews written by friends and people I follow, I also have a higher possibility of finding a review written by someone who has experience in criticising representation.

3. A virtual TBR

I try to  blog hop as often as possible, and the downside on that is that my TBR grows quickly. Goodreads is my to-go platform for adding new books to my TBR. I can add them to my to-read shelf with one click, and take them off with just one click if I decide I actually don’t want to read them.

4. Choosing which books to buy

My process of choosing which books to buy:

  • go on Goodreads
  • browse through my to-read shelf
  • click on books I feel like getting
  • check if my friends or people I follow have opinions on the books
  • skim through other reivews
  • decide whether I want to buy it or not

And I can do all of this on Goodreads, I don’t need to go to a different platform and check to see whether people I follow have added their review to that platform. Also, I can include my preferred online shop to my Goodreads account and there will be a small button that I can click to go to the shop and directly buy the book after making a positive decision.

5. Liking reviews

The review with the most likes, is the first to be found in the community section of the book reviews. Since, a lot of diverse book bloggers work tirelessly at discussing and analysing the rep, I use the like button to give their review a boost and heighten the chance of it being read.

6. Reading updates

A cool part of Goodreads, is the ability to update your reading process and thus give the people who follow you real-time insights of your thoughts of the book. I love seeing what other people think of books that I enjoyed or books that I still want to read. It gives it a fun and social aspect.


Those are the 6 ways that I use Goodreads! If you want to follow me on Goodreads, you can find me at Huntress of Diverse Books.

Do you use Goodreads? If you do, what are the ways that you use it?
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20 thoughts on “How I Use Goodreads

  1. I really like how detailed this post is. I also appreciate that you boost reviews written by #ownvoices reviewers. (I’m not sure of the appropriate term.) It helps with not having to scroll further down! I like reading both the negative and positive reviews as well – after writing my own – just like you said, it helps point out if we have any inner bias. Sharing this post!

    Like

  2. I’ve found that Goodreads giveaways are a good resource for titles. not quite NetGalley good but still, a nice way to get a surprise bit of mail

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  3. For me, it’s a really great way to at least attempt to keep tabs on all the books I might wanna read. Tumblr really lets my wishlist explode sometimes and there really wouldn’t be any other practical way to remember them. (Though more often than not, they end up deleted from the list when I browse my bookshelves every few months.)

    Plus the reviews. I prefer to read the negative ones, if there are any. Mainly because positive reviews rarely “help” me. Even if another review share a very similar taste in books, it’s more useful for me to read the negative reviews ans ask myself whether the points that are criticised are point that I’d also dislike. (E.g. if a heroine is deemed unlikable, when a story focuses more on action than romance or when it’s a character-driven novel without much of a plot.)

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      1. I kinda get way. Hardest reviews to write, for me, are for books I absolutely loved. It’s like I can’t put it into words how much I loved it … which really helps no one reading the review.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Lovely post! 🙂
    I mostly use Goodreads to keep track of what I’m reading, what I read and what I want to read, but I also find it super-useful to see what my fellow blogger friends are currently reading, what is on their TBRs and to read their own reviews and star-ratings for the books I’m considering to read. I’m often reading reviews as well, to try and see whether or not the book is for me, compare my own thoughts on a book with others and see if I might have missed some things that should be mentioned or taken into account, like harmful content or anything. I’m definitely trying to be more careful about it all.
    Thank you for this lovely post 🙂

    Like

  5. I LOVE THIS! we have the same approach to Goodreads, it’s such a resourceful tool when reviewing. I especially like that I am able to view my friends reviews first & foremost before checking out what the community is saying. I’ve also linked back to #ownvoices reviews on Goodreads (Saints & Misfits) and found that many readers appreciated this. Wonderful post! 💙

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  6. I recently joined Goodreads but I’m not sure how I’ll use it. Keeping up the blog and reading takes up enough of my time that I don’t necessarily want to be active on any other sites.

    However, lately my diverse reading TBR list has gotten out of control so I’m looking at different options to manage it. Normally I have three things going: an email chain of links to books/reviews that interest me, an Amazon wishlist (with notes on which books to borrow from the library or where to purchase), and my blogging journal which has notes on all the reviews I’ve done or have pending as well as all the library books I wish to read or review and which library I plan to get them at.

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