I Swear GoodReads isn't Paying Me
If you are an avid reader, you should be on Goodreads. Period. Even if you only occasionally read, you should be on Goodreads. Period. Post complete. I'm done early for the day. Yipee!
Okay, so maybe I need to go a little more in-depth than that. If you don't know what Goodreads is, it's like your Facebook account and your Amazon wish list got frisky one night in a library. It's a website that at its very basic, provides information about almost every book ever published. Beyond that, it allows users to track what books they have read and want to read and includes forums and places to socialize with similar readers. It even provides you with book recommendations based on what you've read and liked before.
I discovered it when it was still fairly young. At first, I really only used it as a way to keep track of everything I read. It was kind of cool to see my "Read" list grow and grow. Before long, I was also tracking books I want to read (because I swear that for every book I read, I find three others that I want like some sort of literary hydra). Then I dug deeper, discovering the recommendations pages, the quizzes, the book groups, and the list goes on and on.
Where social media junkies are addicted to Facebook or Twitter, Goodreads is my web-based drug of choice. I go on it several times a day and have spent countless hours scouring its pages.
Now, if you're not part of the Goodreads crew, I'll give you one good reason to sign up today--recommendations. I don't spend a lot of time in the socializing side of Goodreads, but I do spend a lot of time looking for my next favorite book. I will be honest, it's not fool-proof. I've read some absolute stinkers of books based solely on Goodreads' recommendation, but I've had better luck with them than looking for recommendations from friends and family.
Part of my problem is that I go through obsessive bursts when I get really into a specific type of book. I'm not talking about fantasy or sci-fi, but ridiculously specific types of books. For example, I went through a phase where I wanted to read clean Regency historical romances that featured an unattractive and insecure heroine. Or there was the abuse survivor biography phase. Or the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale retelling phase, which led quickly into the Persephone and Hades myth retelling phase.
What happens, is that I read a book that really tickles my fancy, so I want to find another just like it. Usually, the reason I like it may be something very specific, like the type of hero or heroine. But other times it may be that I'm just looking for another author with a similar style of writing or plot. When I get jonesing for something like that, I just go onto Goodreads and root around in there a bit. I can go find lists of books that people have put together of books that would fit that description. There are thousands of lists, everything from the general, like "YA Urban Fantasy", to the specific, like "Books with Epileptic Characters" or "Picture Books to Help Children Deal with Loss and Separation" (yes, those are both real lists).
Or if it's an author you crave, you can go to their author page and click on "Similar Authors" to find others just like them.
Then there's the recommendation page where Goodreads will point out books based on what books you liked.
I know this sounds like an infomercial (and that's not all, folks!), but I can't begin to tell you how much this website has done for my reading. I have found so many books I would never have normally found, which only encourages me to read more because I keep finding more and more books.
So, if you haven't checked it out, please do so. Call now! I mean, click now! Goodreads.com