In this post, I will be showing some of the most useful features that Goodreads has to offer. If you haven’t heard of Goodreads, it is a free website/app that allows you to discover books, set reading targets as well as the opportunity to connect with your favourite authors and other readers.
Firstly, you need to create a free account, which can be easily done by following the steps when you first download the app, or by following the steps on the website’s home page. Once you are in Goodreads, there are multitudes of features which can be used to enhance your love for reading. In order to get the full experience in Goodreads, I recommend using the website instead of the mobile app. Your account is valid for both the app and the website. Having said this though, the mobile app is still excellent for browsing books and updating your progress. I am now going to explain some of the most useful features that Goodreads has to offer.
The Reading Challenge:
At the beginning of each calendar year, Goodreads gives you the option to select a target of books to read before the end of that year. Even though, at the time of writing, we are partway through the calendar year, you can still start a challenge, and change the date of completion on the books you have read this year (more on this later). Each time you go into Goodreads, it will tell you how many books you have read in comparison to your target, and tell you if you are on, ahead of or behind your schedule. This is especially useful for planning your time with reading. The Reading Challenge makes your reading feel purposeful, as you are working all year on your target.
Changing the dates of books:
As mentioned above, you may need to change the dates of books so that it can count for your reading challenge that year. I feel that this is easier to do on the website. Firstly, you will need to search the book that you want to change the date of. Then, scroll down to the ‘My Activity’ subheading, where it will show your status on the book. Next to ‘Finished Reading’, there is a button that says ‘Add a Date’. Once you click on it, you will have the option to add the date started and the date finished. If you can’t remember the exact date of starting/finishing, that is OK, the year is the most important part for this purpose. The book will then be added to your reading challenge for that year.
Asking Authors Questions:
Another feature that I find really useful is the ability to ask authors questions. To do this, you will need to enter an author’s profile. This can be done by searching one of their books, and clicking on their profile picture. As you scroll down through their profile, there is a question box titled ‘Ask the Author’. From here, you can ask them any question you want to. This question will remain private until they answer it, where your answered question will appear in the feed of all their followers. I have used this feature once before, and it helped to clear up a question that I had about a book series.
Listopia gives you the option to vote on books by a specific theme, such as ‘Best Young Adult Books’ or ‘Must Reads’. This is useful to find books to read. It is easier to do this on the website. At the top of the screen, there is a ‘Browse’ button. When you click on it, a subheading ‘Lists’ will appear. When you click on it, many lists to vote on will appear. To vote, click on a list, and the books will be shown. Underneath a book, there is a ‘Vote’ button. Even though this does not account for anything, it is fun to do and can help others find books to read. In each list, you can vote for up to, and including, 100 books.
In the Goodreads website, there is a section where it will look at your Bookshelf (the books you have read, are currently reading and the books that you want to read) to recommend you books, based on what you like. To view this, click on ‘Browse’ at the top of the website, then click on ‘Recommendations’. From here, books will be displayed that Goodreads thinks that you will enjoy. The more books that you shelve as ‘Read’, the better your recommendations will be. If you see a book in your recommendations that you are not interested in, then you have the option to click ‘Not interested’, so Goodreads will be able to use this information to filter what it thinks will interest you.
Reviewing and rating books on Goodreads will help other users decide if they want to read books. By doing this, your recommendations will also improve (if you highly rate a book about fantasy, but lowly rated a book about dystopia, then Goodreads would recommend you more fantasy books, and less dystopia books). However, if you are going to review a book, please make sure that any criticism is constructive, and always bear in mind that the author could read your review.
So, I have explained what I think are the most useful features of Goodreads. Please drop a question in the comments if you want anything to be clarified, or if you have found any other useful features in Goodreads!
Thank you for reading my blog, I will be posting my review of ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’ by Ransom Riggs on Sunday 12th April.