by Angela Maria Hart
Goodreads.com has quickly become my favorite social media platform bypassing Pinterest and WeHeartIt, which I also adore. Goodreads is a place just for readers. Anyone and everyone who loves novels can join the community and discuss their favorite pieces. People can write about which stories they enjoyed and authors they particularly loved.
Unlike other social media platforms, Goodreads only wants you to friend people with whom you have some sort of connection or reason to be in contact with. The site tries to foster relationships so that users can read reviews, see similar reading lists, and join groups that discuss books the user has in their reading library. The ability to interact with authors and readers provides a positive environment for bibliophiles to turn to. Usually, reading is a solitary experience and individuals need to form their own book club of friends and family but, now, Goodreads can fill that void. Not everyone is going to have the same reading interests (preferring one genre over another) and Goodreads allows users to follow genres such as young adult, fiction, romance, historical fiction, and many, many, more! If someone only reads fantasy, then they can go to the fantasy genre and find other users who share similar reading interests. If people in a bibliophile’s regular life do not read the same novels or same pieces, it is wonderful that there is an outlet for them to turn to.
I have been a member of Goodreads for several years, but 2016 is the first year I have decided to undertake the Goodreads reading challenge. I pledged to read 100 books this year and it is encouraging to see the percentage increase with each book. Goodreads also keeps a running list of all the books that I have read in 2016 for me so that I can look back and see if I have already included something in the list or read a particular author a month or so ago and can then choose another book of theirs. Having the challenge on the front page of my profile keeps me motivated to try and complete my personal goal.
The ability to favorite and like lines from books and author quotes is another fun element to the website. Typing in an author’s name can allow someone to see all the quotes currently in the Goodreads’ database and find the ones that they enjoy the most. I have been able to add quotes from Stephanie Perkins, Rainbow Rowell, E. Lockhart, and so many others. Readers can even follow their favorite authors. If you are lucky enough, they may even follow you back and become your friend on Goodreads! Not too long ago, I had a great day when Meg Cabot followed me back and added me to her friends list. AMAZING! At the moment, she has around 3,000 friends, but it was nice to be included among them.
Unlike YouTube’s “BookTube,” a user is not filming a video just discussing their own thoughts. Goodreads allows people to interact back and forth so that there is an ongoing conversation. When I originally joined, I was not too active online. But, now, I appreciate the website for its many positive uses and applications.
You can follow or friend me on Goodreads.