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QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Goodreads…

Boys in our Books Friday Question of the Week!

Each week we’ll ask a question about your reading experience. Our review team will give our answers and we encourage you to join in and comment with your answers as well!  Let’s talk about BOOKS! :)

QUESTION:

Goodreads – love it or hate it or somewhere in between? Also, what suggestions would you give to make it better?

Ami:

I still say I love it. Goodreads, first and foremost, is my library — where I keep track on books I have read. I use my own review to remember details (and why I like/dislike a book). I often go back and check here because my memory sucks. Despite the drama llama between readers vs. authors OR readers vs. readers OR readers vs. fans, that is how I use the site since 2007. It’s the easiest place to do so.

My suggestion? I dunno, it’s a price to pay when the site has been getting bigger recognition and pretty much used as marketing place, where ratings and reviews become important for authors. That it has become a community rather than just place for people to catalogue their books. But I believe users/readers can use Goodreads accordingly. Even probably to check only few friends to be on his/her top feed. So no need to be involved with the fiasco.

Sara:  

I like Goodreads, always have.

I don’t have the issues that seem to filter through my feed. *shrugs* To me, Goodreads is what you make of it. You can go for the drama and marinate in it until your fingers are pruny making updates or reviews have comments that last for numerous pages and no one ever gets the point – OR – you can ignore the Llama’s and just talk about books. It is a sight for books after all. You have the right to not accept friend requests or filter out whose updates/reviews etc you want to see, as well as deleting those who you don’t interact with. *gasp* You have the option block users and not engage with them at all. You also have the right to follow the rules Goodreads establishes, however crazy they may be or rebel and go full on anarchy and have them discipline you however they see fit – OR – you can go to the site, make fun/sad/interesting/ranty status updates about the book you are reading, chat about the likes and dislikes and possibly make a few book friends. It’s what I have enjoyed since I joined. Meeting like minded people and finding new books to read. I am simple that way.

The only suggestion would be with the blocking of members. I would like it to be more along the lines of FB or even Twitter, where you block the person and they are gone. I have blocked users for many different reasons and if mutual friends like something or comment on something, that shows up in my feed. I want to block them as in NOT see them. That I think needs to be looked at and remedied.

Sheri:

Goodreads? Love ’em.

When I joined GR it was to help me keep track of my books and lead me to new exciting finds. I had no idea I would also gain such amazing friends as well. It opened countless doors for me and I am forever grateful.
I’m not on any other social networks. Honest, I’ve never had any part of Facebook or the others…for personal reasons. But GR has always been my safe haven.

I believe that Goodreads has the potential for many things *cough…drama…cough* but it’s up to you.
Either you throw yourself into the boxing ring, observe from the sidelines or simply walk away…it’s your call.
It’s easy to get caught up in the word slinging and add to the disgusting hurtfulness that has occurred (myself included) on goodreads.

BUT…shit happens everywhere. For some strange reason people seem to air their dirty laundry freely on GR. I’m not certain, but I think most of the drama on fb and twitter occurs behind others backs. ‘Cuz if you think people don’t talk shit about your fb and twitter, I hate to break it to you…they do.

But like I said, you don’t have to get sucked in.

I think in general, you are responsible for your own happiness in life…ditto for goodreads; if you want it to be good, you make it good. If you want to bitch, moan and whine, well, then you do that too.

Jenni:

Goodreads is nice. I don’t hate it by any means, but I wouldn’t say I love it, either. I super like the idea of cataloging all I’ve read or hope to read; that’s my favorite part, I suppose. Frosting/cherry on top: I’ve met some really lovely people through the site. :)

Ilhem:

I joined GR in 2012 and I have not been interacting there for one year 1/2 or so, but I didn’t delete my account. I don’t hate the site, but I don’t feel good there anymore. When I first joined it, I discovered a whole world of new books to read and I met the m/m village. It has been a fantastic experience and I miss friends I’ve made there. However, even if it’s an nth drama that triggered the decision, it was only the last straw because I was growing tired of the concept. I’m not crazy about this whole ‘transparence’concept; I do not wish to know everytime a friend of mine liked an update or a review and I do not wish my every move on the site to be advertised. Generally speaking, I had this feeling of something like a permanent scene, with a lot of spectacle, noise and movement, but all things considered not a lot of genuine discussions about books. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that some friendships over there are not genuine, but I am more at ease in a perhaps less entertaining, but more discreet and cozy environment.

I don’t know what could improve the site. As far as I am concerned, the improvement would be to shut the noise, but the system itself is bound to favor build-up and popularity contests, to spread rumors, dramas, and well…hubbub.

Tracy:

I do like GR. I really do. I don’t like the occasional drama, but I do love finding books, and I love that I’ve met some wonderful GR friends who live all over the world, but who read the same genres that I do, and are so fun to talk to. I probably wouldn’t have developed the passion and love for these books if I didn’t have such a fun community to grow with, listopia lists to pour over, and book friends to chat with and get recommendations from. If GR could fix something, i would vote for the Android phone app, which hasn’t worked well since it’s last update. :(

Xing:

Despite some of the drama that has surfaced, I still find myself enjoying GR. I find it a great way to organize my books in a way that satisfies my OCD needs. In terms of socializing with friends, I would say it was “alright.” I still get some notifications that are lost in the virtual abyss, but nothing’s perfect. In terms of making it better, I wished there wasn’t a word count limit when making status updates while reading!

Rachel:

I love it. I joined GR to be able to have a conversation with others about the love I share for books (romance books specifically) and GR provided me with and introduced me to a community that is lacking in my real life. So for the purpose that I wanted to achieve with joining GR, it has fulfilled that goal and even gained me some friends – some that I have met with in real life and some that I someday look forward to meeting. But with that being said, everytime that I use GR, I keep in the back of my mind that it is a social media where often times conflicting views converge – sometimes harmoniously and sometimes explosively. I think we are all well familiar with the fact that in our quaint M/M romance community there seems to be a melt down/ scandal every six months – in these instances I try to steer clear and let the dust settle before reengaging – and maybe it is good for every once in a while that there be a reminder that for every positive aspect I take from my experience on GR that I do engage in a lot of social interactions with strangers on it and that often times being cautious in word choice and privacy is something to always keep in mind. As with Facebook, I could do with out the advertisements and corporate monitoring of my actions on it. But I think that is the new normal for any social media site in these times.

Susan: 

Without GR, I wouldn’t have found and read so many of the great books I have. I think at it’s best, it’s a good site for book recs and organizing your library and sharing reviews. I’m not a huge fan of the social media aspect of it, however. I like meeting other readers and talking about books, for sure. I’m not as interested in the hate-spewing, the mob-mentality, every us-vs-them drama, and just to be honest, the gifs drive me bonkers.

I used to be very actively involved, but have chosen to back away a lot in recent months. I realized I was engaging more on GR than I was actually reading. ha! So, I gave myself more time to just…read. And it’s been lovely.

And for heaven’s sake, GR, you’d think, for once, you’d listen to your users! GR never improves in ways that the users suggest or demand. My biggest beef from the very beginning? 1/2 stars for ratings!

HOW ABOUT YOU?

 

13 comments on “QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Goodreads…

  1. llesarlorraine
    January 23, 2015

    Goodreads totally works for me. Without their aid, the chances of finding some amazing new authors, would have diminished considerably. I like the idea of seeing what others are reading, especially their reviews (another tool for finding great books and authors that I haven’t tried in the past). Their “want to read” list is another way of ensuring that nothing “sllips thru the net” as well as my “read” listt (great reference library). My only minor critism is that their “to buy” links don’t always work which is frustrating if someone like Amazon, doesn’t carry it. In summing up, I wouldn’t want to be without it.

    Like

  2. Debra E
    January 23, 2015

    I like GR. I’ve used it for years and have found it a great resource for finding and keeping track of books I want to read and discovering new genres. I’ve also found plenty of lovely like-minded readers to interact with. You can choose to be involved in drama or not like on any other social media. Sure it has glitches and issues, but you get what you pay for. :)

    Like

  3. Tammy
    January 23, 2015

    I really like Goodreads. I use it to keep up with what I’ve read. I have been know to buy a book only to discover that I have already read it. GR helps prevent that. Through GR I have been introduced to many new authors I would have never found otherwise. I also use GR to help me choose books. I always check out the reviews of friends and people I follow before purchasing. I also read some of the other reviews. I’m a definite spoiler whore so the reviews are very important to me. I’m more of a lurker than an active participant so I’ve never really been part of any drama – except for leaving a brutal, rambling review of a m/f romance that I regret now.

    Like

  4. Jennifer B
    January 23, 2015

    I love GR. I’ve found so many books and authors that I never would have found otherwise. It also helps me manage my TBR mountain.

    Like

  5. Kim W
    January 23, 2015

    I like GR for keeping track of what books I’ve read and my TBR list. I don’t have any GR “friends”. I follow reviews of people who seem interesting and rarely interact with them. I have my reviews set so that no one can comment on my them but I rarely review even though I read a lot. I have no interest in being involved in any online drama.

    Like

  6. Idamus
    January 23, 2015

    I like Goodreads and the people I’ve met there + it keeps track of my books much better than anything else I’ve ever tried.
    If I could change one thing, it would be to remove every single ‘GIF review’

    Like

  7. suze294
    January 23, 2015

    I like GR for the book organisation, seeing what I’ve got to read, especially now with ebooks I’m sure I’d forget some.
    I do dabble in groups but am not a big commenter etc. usually the dramas pass me by and I only find out later!
    I would like to be able to turn off more feeds – its an all or nothing on discussions, and I want some for fun, some for info but if I’m not involved I’d love to be able to get rid!

    Like

  8. rojoroaors
    January 23, 2015

    I love a lot of the aspects of Goodreads but I can do without the people whose joy in life comes from tearing people down, but you will get them in any social network around. and I love the Challenges. My TBR hasn’t been helped by GR but I have found many new friends and many new authors because of Goodreads.

    Like

  9. Gwen
    January 23, 2015

    I’m with Susan 100%. I have met some amazing people and found some amazing books on GR, but the constant us v. them with a revolving door of who “us” and “them” are is very tiresome. I don’t get involved in it, but it is all over my feed sometimes. I’ve actually gone back to just using my account like I did when I first got it, solely for books, in a last ditch attempt not to delete. And the GIFs drive me bonkers too. I do wish we could give half stars, and I think it’d be nice if we could block books from showing up in our feeds, because there are a couple of books that I absolutely can’t stand that seem to reappear on a regular basis in my feed, and I get angry every time I see them.

    Like

  10. Jenn
    January 23, 2015

    I’m torn. I really love GRs cataloguing system and I’ve found it far easier to use than say Leafmarks or Booklikes, but I do think my feed gets clogged up with extra things. I don’t like that every time someone likes something it appears over and over in my feed. I don’t like the no 1/2 stars or the character count for status updates. The gifs drive me bonkers and sadly I see less and less actual book discussion on there lately and more and more just randomness.

    I’ve said before overhyping or over talking a book makes me eventually have bad feelings or exasperation towards the book and I find that happening on GRs (and Twitter too, tbh).

    But I don’t necessarily believe GRs is the problem for drama. I think it’s social media period and the genre itself and its members. Because for every hate-filled thing I’ve read, I seem to actually see it more on FB, Twitter or blogs than really GR lately.

    But, yeah, I found myself reading less and less or doing less of other activities I enjoyed, so I’ve backed away from everything to *some* degree.

    Oh and I love, love Listopias. I have found SO many books and authors that way. And all of the challenges and games to read books…love those too.

    Like

  11. Marlobo
    January 23, 2015

    I mainly love GR, although I avoid getting mixed up in certain quarrels, especially when they become very aggressive or it turns into an embracing of factions more than a debate about tastes and opinions; but I don’t consider that this is a privative problem of GR, I believe that it’s a general characteristic of Social Media, the minority counter-face of what is plentiful and good in any social network.

    GR is excellent to catalog and to organize my library, and a great site to discover new titles and authors as well as to know another ways of considering the same text. Also I enjoy Listopía and Quizzes.

    I don’t like that GR (now aka Amazon) recommend me books, so I deactivate those features any time that I can. I’m involved in GR because I look for opinions and recommendations from readers no from booksellers, publishers or authors (regarding their own work), thank you.

    GR would be better if it had:
    * Half a star (is there anyone who doesn’t want such thing?).
    * Like button in comments.
    * More space/characters for naming the shelves.
    * Excluding the three basic shelves (read, currently reading, to read) and although they have the same name which somebody else’s shelves, I want to be able to describe mine at will. At this moment a shelf can have a description but it’s imperative to everybody that have such shelf. I consider that invasive, it’s my library and they’re my shelves!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. H.B.
    January 23, 2015

    I don’t hate GR but I don’t think I love it either. There’s nothing wrong with them in particular but there are a lot of stuff that go on there. There seems to be distension and some minor trolling happening and that’s just something I don’t like seeing.

    I could do without the comments on my reviews. i once had someone make a comment that my review practically told the ending of a book and practically attacked me for it. I’m sorry that that reader took it as a spoiler for the end of the book but I never did state in the review that that was actually how the story ended. I would like to be able to turn off comments at will for my own reviews and just keep the like button.

    In addition make it so 1/2 star rating is available. Fix it so the use on a mobile device is easier. When I try it on my android phone I can’t find some of the functions or lists as easily. It’s like a hide and seek game.

    Like

  13. Kaje
    January 26, 2015

    Missed this question – you know me. I’m on GR a lot. I run the Young Adult LGBT group. It feels like home. Yeah, there’s drama, but I’ve actually seen more (and blocked far more people) on Facebook in 3 months, than on Goodreads in 3 years. I like the focus being on books, reading and writing, and less on the wide world and politics and lifestyle and so on. As a writer and even more as a reader, it works for me most of the time. And yeah, half-stars ratings would be lovely.

    Like

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