I’m using goodreads
When Amazon bought goodreads (and that’s how it is capitalized on the site), I was one of those people who wasn’t really using it, but was using Amazon extensively.
Honestly, it was a question of not wanting to divide my attention even more. I already have a family, a full time (and then some) job, write at least an average of 1,000 words a day in this blog, have two other blogs (neither of which takes a lot of time), spend large amounts of time helping out in the Kindle forums as a Kindle Forum Pro, and, oh yeah, write a book every once in a while. 😉
Something has to show real value for me to spend time and energy on it.
As Amazon has integrated goodreads more into the Kindleverse, I’ve gotten into using it a bit.
I’m still no expert, certainly.
I just decided today to make some things more public. I’ve allowed people to follow my reviews, for example. When I’ve polled my readers here about features, reviews have not come out high on the list. Still, I enjoy writing them (and haven’t completely abandoned them here), and I figure somebody might like to see them. 🙂
My understanding is that my reviews have already been showing up on the Goodreads’ page for that book…I don’t think you can stop that. Now, though, someone can elect to “follow” them, and they’ll be notified when I write a new one.
I think you can do that (and ask to become my friend?) by going here:
I know some of you readers are well-versed in Goodreads. I’d appreciate some advice: will this somehow mean that I have a lot of things to which to attend? Am I going to be approving Friends frequently, for example?
Well, I thought you would want to know. 😉
Here’s how I’m using it:
I do add books to it as I get them, and at some point, I’ll add a lot more of the books I own in paper. That’s not as easy as it seems: I know you can scan barcodes on them, but many of the books I have seem to predate any useful scannable marks. 🙂
I wish there was some other categorization than “want to read”, “read”, and “currently reading” when you add a book. Maybe I can add a shelf of some kind and do that?
When I finish a book, I am marking it as finished and adding a rating and a review.
For me, that’s the sort of addictive part at this point. 🙂 It’s not the writing of the review so much: it’s my natural tendency to be honest and accurate. If I said I was currently reading it, and then I finished it, I want to change it.
Some of the books which say “currently reading” may be ones that I haven’t read in weeks…but which I am still in the process of reading. I have some books into which I just dip from time to time…maybe with text-to-speech during a car ride.
I plan to eventually finish them. As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t abandon a book.
No doubt, the “currently reading” status on some of my books will outlast me: gee, do they have a setting for “was reading it, but no longer alive”? 😉
I find the interface, even at the site, to be a bit glitchy (or perhaps it works mechanically and is just not intuitive). For example, there is a listing on the homescreen (on the website) of books I’m reading. Every time I try and update one from there to “read”, I get a red “Error” message. I appear to have to go to my Books first, and do it there.
In terms of the integration with our Kindles, I don’t find I use that very much. I suppose that might change, now. I just accepted my first “Friend” request, and that person’s reading is showing up. That might be interesting.
The “Add Your Amazon Books” only seems to go back so far. If it would add all my books from Amazon (we have over 3,000 Kindle books), that would be great…but it doesn’t. It’s a decent help for adding new purchases.
Well, I think what I’ll do at this point is open it up to you. What’s the best thing about Goodreads for you? Do you find it effective on your Kindle? Are there any settings or activities you’d recommend for me? Any warnings? 😉 Feel free to let me know by commenting on this post.
Update: here’s another example of the difficulties I encounter using goodreads..
I recently bought a book, and wanted to add it to my goodreads books. There was a book there with the same ISBN and a similar title…but the entry was very incomplete. The author’s name was incomplete, and the publisher was different.
I first had tried entering it as a new book. It wouldn’t allow that, because the ISBN was different. That’s reasonable: cuts down on duplicate books.
I tried entering it as another edition of the first book, which is probably the case. It had a link for that, but wouldn’t let me do it. It wouldn’t accept it with the same ISBN, of course, but I had clicked “add a new edition”.
I tried editing the details of the first listing: I didn’t have the authority.
I ended up entering it as a book without an ISBN…so now, there are two listings for the book. I left in the note in the decription explaining the situation…hopefully, someone else can fix it.
Amazon does “Kindle Countdown Deals”. Those are limited time offers on Kindle books…you can actually see when they will no longer be on sale.
I checked it out quite a bit when it first started happening, but I was having trouble with discovery…I couldn’t find books I wanted.
Well, I’ve done something that seems to help:
This sort will show you the highest rated books first. That can make it easier to find something that you’ll enjoy (and often for ninety-nine cents).
Amazon’s “average customer review” isn’t a simple averaging…there are a lot of books with a single review which is five-stars, but they don’t show up at the top here.
When I look at reviews on Amazon, I do take into account the number of stars…but I also consider the number of reviews. I would have more confidence in a book with a 4.8 rating and a 1,000 reviews than a book with a 5.0 rating (a perfect score) and ten reviews.
That’s not to say that my tastes and the tastes of the majority always match. It’s just that it is easier to manipulate the ratings when there are fewer people involved.
You also have to consider who tends to review books. More recent books are likely to have a lot more reviews than older books. I doubt very many people go back to their favorite books which they read years ago and add a review. I think that’s why you’ll see more reviews on something like The Hunger Games than on, oh, Tom Sawyer.
One other thing (and it’s a big one) about this sort: it’s a great way to find books you can borrow from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library! You’ll see that you can borrow them here, and even choose categories. Remember that you’ll have to actually borrow them from your hardware Kindle, but this at least is a way to find them on your computer. Enjoy!
Nominate a child to be given a free Kindle at Give a Kid a Kindle.
* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. Shop ’til you help!
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.