The nicer word is a “bibliophile”. But I don’t care; being called a book nerd is just fine. The only way to really hurt our species is to throw book spoilers at us. Right now, I am among the 20 million plus users of Goodreads and indulging in my second favorite hobby. Reading a new book is the first, but hunting for the next book to read is great for all its anticipation.
Goodreads is a must-use site for book lovers, and it has made the hunt for the next book to read a lot easier with its recommendations. Has it ruined the fun? No; in fact it has added to the experience by opening up entirely new worlds. If you like books, and are on Goodreads (or planning to be), then these tips should help enrich your reading experience.
Maintain Your Library of Books
With Goodreads you can be your own librarian. To get most out of the service keep your digital bookshelves updated. The easiest method is to use the official Goodreads app. Use the barcode scanner to quickly scan all of your books and fill your Goodreads shelves.
Note: You can also use a CSV, XLS, or a text list to import books en-masse, but make sure to include the ISBN numbers for individual books.
Goodreads Right Click is a useful Chrome extension that helps you fill up your To-Read shelf when you come across a mention of any book on the Web. It is a timesaver. You can search multiple books from one page instead of copy-pasting the names of books on Goodreads’ search field.
Search for Reading Ideas
For me one of the best sources for finding books to read is the annual poll on the site. And there’s nothing stopping you from going back to the lists from previous years. The nominations for 2013 are still open.
Goodreads is a recommendation engine. The algorithm takes the cues from your shelves and the individual ratings you give the books. You can also select your favorite genres and allow Goodreads to recommend the best books. For more personalized recommendations ask your circle of friends what you should read next.
Scavenge Listopia which could be a utopia for book hunters.
Compare Books with Friends
In the offline world of books, comparing what you are reading with a friend’s collection is common practice. Goodreads has a Compare Books feature that lets you do the same online. Take the Book Compatibility test to see if your tastes match.
Share Your Wish List with Friends and Family
For a book nerd, books make for the best gifts. You can create a special shelf and name it as a “Wishlist”. Add your favorite books to the shelf. The special shelf is viewable by anyone in your circle of friends on Goodreads. Just hope now that they get the hint. If not, unashamedly name it as “Books I Wish My Friends Would Gift Me for Christmas”!
Take On a Reading Challenge
A reading challenge is a time-based challenge you take on to complete reading goals. It is a good motivator if you feel your reading habit slipping away. The “extra” incentive is the list of friends who are probably doing a better job than you. Some of them might be co-workers who probably spend the same time as you in the office!
Doing well? Gloat on Twitter.
The Best Place for Quotes
The best place for quotes you might not have heard yet. Keep a running list of the quotes you like. You can even subscribe to the “Quote of The Day” mailer.
The Best Place for “Free” Books
Okay, you have to enter and get selected for the Giveaways (Goodreads First Reads) first. But with the number of them happening on Goodreads, there is a fair chance of grabbing a free copy. The only condition is that you review the book after reading it. That’s the purpose because most of the giveaways are sponsored by new authors. Goodreads lets you choose the giveaway you are interested in from the genre tags.
Dive into the World of Books
Find the Voice. Goodreads has built an ecosystem around books and it is a nice way to discover the stories behind a book. Author profiles, video interviews on Goodreads Live, expert book suggestions by the authors themselves (Good Minds Suggest) are just some of the resources you can plug into. You can also meet some of the behind the scenes “book activists” on Meet a Goodreader. This could be the proving ground for all book nerds.
Play Trivia. Take a lengthier quiz on your favorite books. Grab bragging rights that you do know your books from cover to cover. If you don’t, maybe it’s time to refresh by going back to that favorite book again. There’s also a ranking system which tells you the metric of your performance.
There is a Harry Potter Alliance. And no, they are not protecting us from the dark arts, but from the darkness of illiteracy. It is just one of the charities profiled by Goodreads who are trying to spread the message of literacy and education. Check the good work the others are doing here around the world. Books can change the world.
Reading used to be a solitary experience. Now, reading is a social experience. Goodreads is definitely not the only book recommendation website out there, but probably it the social network for books now. How do you go about discovering books to read? Are you on Goodreads? Which is the best book Goodreads helped you discover?