Goodreads – a website for a book readers and why you should care
Today I am going to share my experience with a website that changed the way I interact with books. I am a developer, member of industry that is constantly changing, evolving and coining new ideas, new approaches and of course new languages and frameworks. And this constant change forces us to learn new stuff and or course to read A LOT.
Goodreads is a website for book readers helping them to track what they read and recommend what they should pick next. I am so satisfied user that I have decided to share my positive opinion about GoodReads here and try to convince you to start using it 🙂
Create your to-read list
Once in a while everyone stumbles upon a book that looks very interesting that we want to read it someday. But very often we forget to write it down somewhere and later on it is hard to get back to it.
With Goodreads you can easily mark any title as “Want to read” and have a list of planned readings. I also use this list as a reference during sales (Black Friday, Cyber Monday, etc) to check what I am planning to read in next few months and try to buy these books much cheaper. It can be also a good source of ideas for gifts to your friends.
Your reading history, your ratings and “Want to Read” lists are source of recommendations that Goodreads prepares for you. It suggests similar books from genre you read a lot, notifies you about new title from author you liked or from series you partially read. And in most cases suggestions are relevant.
Follow friends and check books they like
We are surrounded by advertisements, they are everywhere and it is hard to find a reliable opinion about anything we plan to buy. That is why what I value the most is an opinion from someone I know and trust. Same applies to books: if someone I know writes an enthusiastic review of a book or gives 5 of 5 stars and book is within area of my interest then I check this book and maybe consider it as a something worth my time.
Sometimes I even get a direct recommendation from my friends when they think that book they have just read is something I should be interested in and very often I am.
Knowing that some of your friend started or finished a book is also a good topic for a discussion. At work we often discuss books that we are currently reading, want to read or looking for a free time to read 🙂
Follow famous people and influencers to see what they are reading
Same situation applies to famous people and well-known people from your industry. Obviously in most cases you are not their friend but similarly to Twitter, you can follow their activity and see what they are reading and check their reviews and ratings. This is also a very good source of interesting books to read that I probably would not find other way.
This way you could follow:
- Kent Beck, author of “Test-Driven Development: By Example” and co-author of JUnit testing library
- Sandro Mancuso, author of “Software Craftsmanship”, developer and speaker at various conferences and meetups
- Jurgen Appello, author of many innovative books about management
Motivate yourself to read more regularly
Every January Goodreads starts a challenge in which you can declare how many books you are going to read this year. You can see your challenge next to ones of your friends: their progress, whether they (and you) are on track or a little behind 🙂
Once a week you get a notification about what your friends have read or want to read. Even if you fail and do not complete 100% of your reading plan still all of these small “pokes” are nice motivators to read more regularly and read more.
And sharing that you have finished reading a book is also kind of small gratification 🙂
These are the most important advantages of using Goodreads. From my perspective it has influenced they way I choose books to more conscious and changed how I think about reading. I believe it is a very helpful website for every book reader so I encourage you to check it out.
If you like it, you can find me there under Tomasz Dziurko.