I know many people who have a bone to pick with Goodreads. The problem is I wasn’t quite around during the hubub, thus Goodreads to me is nothing but an excellent place for me to track my books and if I’m lucky, win a giveaway (I’ve yet to be that lucky). Now, I’m reaching a state n my interaction with the site, that I’m reaching obsession levels. I check the site regularly and it has spurred my reading into over drive.
The average number of books Americans read is 12. However, the median number of books Americans read in a year is only 5. Based on those numbers I’m an anomaly. This year my total is at 121 books and the year isn’t over yet. Before you think that number is outlandish, that number also includes all the volumes of manga I’ve read. However, of novels I’m still an outlier at 33 about to finish 34. That’s a lot of books and I’m not sure I would have gotten that far without Goodreads pushing me further.
Goodreads had nothing to do with inspiring me to read, that motivation was already there. It did however incentivize reading. It made it feel like more of an accomplishment by allowing me to set goals and watch my progress.It becomes a personal race with myself. It makes me want to reach further and read more. The easy accessibility I have on my devices makes it even more tempting for me to go all in. I can watch my numbers go up and see how my reading habits compare to others. It created a system that allowed me to enjoy books and enjoy tracking them.
Goodreads has also proven to be an invaluable source for determining if I would enjoy a book. Recommendations from people you know or look to for advice is nice. However, they may not be catered to you. They also can be highly based on the recommender’s recent tastes rather than what is best for you. I’ve walked into many books that have been recommended to me excited because it was made to seem like a book I’d want to read. However, when I put the book down I felt almost offended that someone would make such ostentatious claims about a book that didn’t do it for me at all. It’s happened more than once. However, that doesn’t happen so much with Goodreads. Yes, there are recommendations and admittedly they are often about as wrong as a person. However, they offer up a larger number that inevitably allows me to find something that I would enjoy.