For all my fellow bookworms out there, how many of you guys are currently on Goodreads (or some other similar site)?
Well, I personally have recommended the site to my friends, in hopes of having more people to join me on this wonderful social networking site, which I have actually spent more time on than Facebook.
Unfortunately, my fun little tea party did not happen and their time on the site was pretty short-lived. So I was pacing back and forth, trying to fathom what exactly was it that failed to draw them in when I realised that it was quite the case for me as well, when I first joined back in 2008.
Like all other social networking sites, to fully enjoy and utilize GR, you HAVE to have people to interact with when you are on the site. I mean, it’s called social networking for a reason right? So hopefully if you are just getting started on GR or you were one of those who first found out about GR but never really got into it, maybe this little guide will help you to rediscover the site and you might even make a few new friends (aka me)!
Okay, so you are totally new to GR or maybe you have been thinking of joining this awesome site that your friends have been talking about. Where to start?
1. Rope all your friends in.
If you are not too particular about revealing your inner bookworm to all the people who know you, just click the Facebook button and GR will pull all your friends on FB who are also GR users and add them to your friends list. Alternatively, if you want to keep your book fetish a secret, you can choose to find them by name or email address. I personally have my close friends on Twitter so that’s my go to list.
Of course, your offline friends may not all be into reading like you are. So look to your online friends! Are you part of any online book/reading community or book clubs? You can always create a thread or a post in whichever forum or community that you are active in to source for more like-minded book lovers who are also currently using GR.
There are also groups on GR that you can look to join, to find more people with similar interests or reading habits and what not. The possibilities are endless.
2. Start shelving books and be creative.
Part of the fun in using GR lies in Bertrand Russell’s famous quote which was very aptly paraphrased above, so get started on shelving those books! Add everything that you could remember having read and loved or hated. I started out with the the default shelves and then added some other generic ones like mystery, crime, etc. But then I realized why stick to the boring ones that everyone seems to be using when you can have some fun?
Okay, the one you see above belongs to me and admittedly, I’m not the most creative or snarky person out there but you can be one. Create as many shelves as you want if you find that it helps you to better categorize the books that you have read or want to read. Let your shelves express how you feel about certain books. You can have warning shelves for downright horrible books that you never want to let people go near or shelves gushing how amazing the protagonist was in the book. There are really no limits for this and people who chance about your profile will have fun going through your shelves too.
3. Start choosing your idols (reviewers and authors).
I started really getting into GR after I followed a few popular reviewers and amused myself with their snarky and witty reviews. By following reviewers and authors on GR, you get their reading updates, books they have added to their shelves as well as their reviews.
What I would usually do is to check out the popular page, read a few of their reviews to gauge their writing style and then finally I would compare books to check out the books we have in common as well as the ratings. Thanks to the reviewers I’m currently following, I’ve managed to really broaden my reading scope and found loads of pretty amazing books and authors. I’ve also started interacting a little with them by leaving comments on their reviews and updates.
You can also become a fan of your favourite author(s) if they are already on GR.
4. Be an explorer.
So you are done with the three steps above and your account is roughly set up, but GR has so much more to offer! If you are feeling bored or have some spare time, check out the Explore drop down list on the top bar and you will find that you can easily waste an hour of your life doing all sorts of (fun) nonsense on the site.
5. Leave ME a comment!
And with that, I end my hopefully useful guide to Goodreads. I can safely say this is my very very first time doing up such a long post and if anyone does chance upon this, some feedback would be lovely! I’ve always had ideas for blog posts but they almost never materialize into something physical.
Also, if you have a Goodreads account and are looking to expand your circle of friends, do feel free to add me at the url below! Just a warning though, my reads are 95% YA novels.