I know. I just talked about GoodReads here last week. But when I wrote last week’s post, I was still doing a lot of stumbling around the site, becoming more and more aware of its potential.
I’ve had such a good time since then, discovering all the things I can do there. So I thought it would make a great Wednesday Fun post!
Here are some of my discoveries:
Giving credit for book recommendations. A big thank you to Care who shared this tip: if she’s discovered a book as a result of a blog review, she pastes the url of the review into either the private notes section or right into the reviews box, so that later, when she’s ready to write her own review, she can easily give credit for the recommendation.
I’ve tried several different methods in the past to keep track of how a book ended up on my to-read list so I can refer back to the other blogger’s review when I’m writing my own review. None of these methods have been very successful, but I think using GoodReads to do this has a lot of potential.
Posting reviews directly to your blog. You can set your account up so each review you write, you have the option to post the review directly to your blog. (This only works for WordPress.com, Blogger and self-hosted WordPress blogs.)
I have mine set to post each review as a draft; you also choose whether or not to post each specific GoodReads review to your blog. What I’ve decided to do is write short reviews on GoodReads that are more about my impressions of the book, and then later, when I’m ready to post the review here, I flesh these impressions out more formally. It’s a handy way of saving my thoughts about a book.
Yesterday’s review of Blood Oath, by Christopher Farnsworth, was my test post – I wrote a shorter version on GoodReads, then expanded on it in the blog post here. I think it worked pretty well, and I’m very excited about this. I think it means I’ll end up blogging more reviews here!
The GoodReads iPhone app. I find myself going to the GoodReads iPhone app several times a day – as often as I check out Facebook, actually. (And GoodReads feels a lot to me like a Facebook for booklovers.) I really like finding new books that others have either just reviewed, or added to their to-read lists, and adding them to my own to-read list.
It’s really handy, too, because now I’m always carrying around an up-to-date wish list, for those unexpected jaunts (I know you do them, too) to the bookstore or the library.
Groups of booklovers. There are a lot of groups at GoodReads, most of them genre-based. I’ve signed up for the ones in the genres I’m interested in. I haven’t participated yet, but they look like so much fun, and I’m hoping to get some good book recommendations from them, and a heads up about new releases, too.
And for writers, there are also quite a few writing groups! I’ve joined one so far, and another one I took a peek at looked pretty good, with information about writing contests and other resources.
I’m currently reading … I like to have several books on the go at once, and I’ve been discovering it’s really fun to pop into my GoodReads iPhone app and say what I’m currently reading. One problem I do have is with epubs, though – I do a lot of ebook reading, and epubs don’t give you page numbers, so I can’t do the “on page XX of” thing.
The other problem is that I’m a moody reader, so I don’t finish a lot of books I start. But they’re not DNFs (did not finish) for me, because when I put them down, I do have every intention of picking them up again. I’m just never sure when – it could be a year from now. But I think I’ve figured out a workaround for this. I’m going to create a shelf for Back to To-Read Status, or Waiting for Me to Pick Up Again, or something like that, so my “currently reading” list doesn’t become too unwieldy.
My children’s book blog. Last summer, I set up Learn Play Fun; I wanted it to be a place where I could write about the books and activities Dylan (my seven-year-old) and I are doing together. Our focus is on learning through play and having fun.
Unfortunately, I haven’t posted a lot there. But I do want to – it’s a great way to keep a record of these homeschooling years of ours.
So I had a bit of a brainstorm the other day: I created a LearnPlayFun account at GoodReads! This will be our account to keep track of all the books we’re reading. And now, after I read a book to him, or he reads a book to me, Dylan gives me his thoughts about the book (I ask him “What was the story about?” and then “what did you like about the book?” as thinking prompts). I write down his words (exactly as he says them, no editing); he loves reading over “what he wrote” when we’re done, and later on, I slip them into our review of the book.
It’s easy, and it’s fun. Two of my favorite words.
So those are my discoveries so far! One thing’s for sure: every time I visit GoodReads, I discover something new; usually, a book to add to my to-read list.
(My TBR stacks are groaning, though …)