First off, I am so grateful that someone invented Goodreads just as my memory for what I’ve read was failing. I used to buy most of my books and then would have them on the bookshelf to remind me. But both money and space are limited and now most of my reading is from the library. So Goodreads is a lifesaver. If you ask me if I’ve read a book and liked it or ask me for recommendations from my recent reading, I will often have to pull up Goodreads and check to jump start my memory.
But here’s the thing, I have some complaints, too.
First, the 5 star rating system isn’t nearly enough for me. Going from “I didn’t like it” which isn’t nearly strong enough for some books to “It was amazing” in five jumps with no half-stars isn’t enough variation. And what about books that are very good but you didn’t like it, or books you really liked but aren’t necessarily well written. It’s rare that there is the perfect book – beautifully written that I just loved reading – although Margaret Atwood’s “Stone Mattress” is definitely that – and then I want to give it more than 5 stars. (As with all of her books.) Yes, I know I can review the book to explain but…..
Next, I know nothing about computers but why can I find almost anything within split seconds on Amazon and Goodreads will often have no idea what book I’m looking for no matter how I search? I just discovered that I can scan the book with my phone and that will pull it up quickly but searching on a title or author shouldn’t be that difficult, should it? Also, I often go to Amazon both to find books that aren’t coming up on Goodreads but also, their feature of “others who bought this book also bought” is a wonderful way to check if this is going to be something you like.
In my dream computer-world, I’d be able to figure out how to keep track of what I want to read, request it from the library, and then rate it and keep a list of everything I’ve read. Right now, that’s a list on my phone – going to the library website – and then onto Goodreads. I know I can put “want to read” directly onto Goodreads but if I haven’t gotten into the habit because I then have to enter them into the library anyway.
Finally, there might be a way to do this that I can’t figure out. But just as some people’s posts on Facebook aren’t what you want to see and you can easily hide them, I’d love to narrow down which friends I see on Goodreads. Not everyone likes the same kinds of books and it would be more useful if I could focus on those who do.
Of course, to complain about any of this is crazy. All these systems are brilliant and we’re lucky to have them, in addition to wonderful books to read and a great public library system.