Chloë and I have frequent conversations about technology and our thoughts about how best to use it. Really, they are more like mutual panic attacks about overextending ourselves (should one of us join ANOTHER social networking website, etc). But apparently none of these conversations stuck, because I joined another one.
Goodreads.com is a user-generated book review website. Once you join, you rate and review books you’ve read, as well as put books on “am-reading” and “to-read” lists. It’s a simple way to keep track of what you’re reading, and the reviews can be short or long. This attracted me because while I sometimes write lengthy book reviews on my Tumblr, I am not motivated to write one for every book I read—just the ones that are important enough to me that I need to record my thoughts (usually in a meandering, anecdotal way). I admit I panicked when Goodreads first presented me with a list of books and asked that I rate them out of five stars (How can I rate a YA fiction book on the same five-star system as a biography or a nonfiction? Completely different genres!), but I quickly threw hesitation aside in favour of obsessively clicking on stars. Clicking on things! They make it fun again.
What attracted me to this website was not the opportunity to read online reviews (I could just go to Amazon for that, after all) but the website’s reading community. There are discussion threads, active authors, and plenty of chances to see a new book without the same pressure to buy as online shopping sites (though I do believe there is an option to buy). I’m still new; I put up my profile picture about fifteen minutes ago, and I have only two friends. But the potential for community is there. And writing short book reviews is more fun than you might think.
If you’re a Goodreads member who can fill us in on what you like or don’t like about the website, please do so in the comments! (And be my friend. Seriously, only two.)
Posted by Stephanie