Whether you are an avid or would-be avid reader or an author in search of an audience, goodreads is a compelling social media site for the seriously bookish. As the name suggests, the platform focuses on members sharing and recommending books that they have read, but there are some other benefits from getting involved with the world of books. Here are six things worth noting about goodreads that might compel you to start a library there. 

Size up your reading consumption

Your library at home and on your devices might be something you stop to admire from time to time, but why not let others join you in the admiring? Goodreads lets you share the extent of not only your library but also your appetite for reading. The ‘My books’ tab has a ‘My year in books’ view that shares the books you have read over the past year. Simply search for the book you are reading, select the image and upload it to your library, thus charting your reading journey. You can choose your status on this book – ‘I’ve read it’ or ‘I’m reading it’, so nobody can accuse you of tsundoku – the art of collecting books but never reading them! Compare your consumption of books with previous years and match that with your new year’s resolutions. 

Write book reviews that travel

The Home tab has a news feed that you can shape in several ways. You can read reviews of books you want to read and follow the reviewer and you can add books to your library showing your current readerly interests. Once you’ve read a book, how about penning a review yourself? You can study how other reviewers do it, and award-winning prolific reviewers also have their own YouTube videos sharing the benefits of being a goodreads reviewer – more on those benefits in a minute, but think, too, how writing the review will help to crystalise what you’ve read and encourage others to read it and follow you. A typical review is short and snappy, including such elements as why you liked it (or not), how it fits a genre and a quotation or two from the book. There’s a setting that allows you to add a spoiler alert that hides that part from your reader.

Join the club and get chatting about books

Goodreads is a social media platform and like all others you can both search for friends there and discover new friends by sharing your thoughts about your book and finding someone who had a similar reaction to it. So many romances and friendships have begun over the love of a book. This is a social media platform that aligns the people you meet with the kinds of books you prefer to read. This might rule out dating mismatches of mindsets, too, and help you to find a specific audience. Join a group or set up your very own group around a particular genre or subject. Message just as you do on other social media; you can also choose to set some of your comments and reviews as private, only visible to those you trust. If you select an open review, you can always turn off comments and messaging if your library gets too noisy. 

Visit bookshops from your armchair

Goodreads is a great place to find a new read without moving from home. The Browse tab allows you to input genres, authors and subjects to take you to the shelves you want. As goodreads belongs to Amazon, it’s an easy jump to buying a Kindle copy or good old paper version without leaving the platform. Just as in any bookshop, the popular reads of the moment are prominently displayed in stats, if you like following the numbers. And there’s a plus: you can read extracts of books and even find whole e-books for free that are on the public domain, so stock up on the classics.

Find readers for your books

There are so many great writers out there, but sometimes a book can get lost amongst the numerous new releases. Authors can also benefit from goodreads, since this is a place where there is an audience in search of authors. You can of course review your own books or get others to review them for you. To join the Authors Program set up your profile page, share your publications (you need just one to start) and provide links to other social media, a list of your books and their reviews, your Amazon page and your website. This is your wonderful backdoor way of becoming a bestseller. 

Hit the top readers and reviewers lists

For the seriously competitive book readers, there are several ways to win awards. You can follow your progress in the stats on the site to compare it with other top readers to see how you’re doing. You can also win awards as a top reviewer and really get noticed. Publishers may see your activity, like what you’ve done to boost their publications and send you copies of their unreleased books for free. Which of course means a bigger library and more reviews. 

Happy reading, collecting and connecting.