Tuesday, May 19, 2020

TTT: How Do I Love Thee, Goodreads? Let Me Count the Ways ...


It's Tuesday again and things in the world have changed a little bit.  Has your state or country started opening up?  What do you think about it?  Here in Arizona, a few more places (restaurant dining rooms, movie theaters, public swimming pools, salons, etc.) have been given the green light to reopen.  I'm still a little leery about the whole thing, but I'm not going to lie—I'm happy to have a hair appointment next week and to have been able to reschedule several doctor's appointments that had been postponed due to COVID-19.  I'm a homebody by nature, so I plan to stick close to home no matter what.  I just hope things can get back to a new normal that will feel stabilizing and safe.  This has certainly been a strange Spring, hasn't it?

On a lighter note, it's time for my favorite weekly meme.  This week's topic is a nice, open one that should lead to lot of interesting lists:  Top Ten Reasons I Love ______ (insert your favorite book, author, genre, etc.).  I'll tell you what topic I chose in a sec, but first I want to encourage you to join in the TTT fun.  All you have to do is click on over to That Artsy Reader Girl, read through some brief instructions, craft your own list, and then spend some happy hours hopping around the book blogosphere.  It's a great way to spread the love around our wonderful community!

I've always been a list-making type of person.  There's just something so satisfying about corralling my thoughts into neat columns, adding to it when needed, and then crossing out accomplished tasks.  I began keeping track of the books I read and those I wanted to read in the back of a paper journal in college.  When Google Docs became a thing, I switched to a spreadsheet.  While I've used Goodreads here and there since its creation, it hasn't been until the last few years that I've made it my number one tool for keeping track of what I read, what I want to read, and what I think about what I've read.  So, for today's list, I'm going to tell you why I love the site so much.  

Top Ten Reasons I Love Goodreads (in no particular order):

1.  I can keep track of what I read.  Yes, I could do this on a Google spreadsheet, but I like GR's interface.  It makes tracking easy and fun.

2.  I can rate what I read.  Like many, I have some issues with GR's limited star-rating system.  Half-stars should totally be a thing!  Still, I like being able to rate a book using a simple system.  I can always explain my reasoning in my review.  

3.  I can review what I read.  For the most part, I review every book I read on my blog.  However, sometimes it's months before I actually get around to doing it!  I'm good about ticking off the books I read on GR right away, though, and typing up a quick review on the site.  It's really nice to be able to look back at what I wrote about a book when my thoughts were fresh to remind me of what to write in my blog review.

4.  I can see ratings and reviews from other GR users.  As always, I take other readers' opinions with a grain of salt, but I still appreciate being able to see what other people thought of a book.  Both ratings and reviews help me decide which titles to add to my always-growing TBR lists and which to leave on the shelf.

5.  I can follow my friends and acquaintances.  It's fun to follow my friends on GR so I can see what they're reading as well as the titles on their TBR lists.  My favorite feature under the "Friends" tab is "Compare Books."  It's always interesting to compare/contrast my thoughts on a book with those of my friends.

6.  I can make endless "Bookshelves."  This is a GR feature that I should use more.  Right now, I have only three bookshelves:  Adult Fiction TBR, MG/YA Fiction TBR, and Non-Fiction TBR.  Originally, I only had one bookshelf for all genres, but when the shelf was loaded up with more than 5000 titles, GR would no longer let me organize them in want-to-read order, so I split my main shelf into three.  I could have organized my TBR list by genre or favorite author or setting or whatever, really.  Other people do this a lot more than I do and it's fun to see their lists, some of which are very handy, creative, and entertaining.

7.  I can organize my books in want-to-read order.  This is my favorite GR feature by far.  There are a number of ways you can organize your bookshelves in GR, but I like to have mine in order of most excited to read to least.  In fact, I'm a *tad* obsessive about this.  I spend a fair amount of time making sure the first 30 books on my shelves are in want-to-read order.  Because I can pull up GR wherever I may be, this prioritizing helps when I'm browsing for books at the library or bookstore.

8.  I can take GR with me wherever I go.  See above.  Bringing up a Google spreadsheet on my phone when I'm at the library or bookstore is not easy.  Firing up GR is simple.  The site helps me see what books are on my TBR list as well as find other authors/books when I'm on the go.  Super helpful.   

9.  I can participate in GR's annual reading challenge.  I love me a reading challenge, so I've had a ball with this GR feature.  The site makes it a cinch to set a personal reading goal and keep track of your progress.  GR even gives me a fun widget to put on my blog so everyone can see how I'm doing.  Who cares if I never actually reach my GR goal?  I still have a good ole time with it!

10.  Everything else.  GR has tons to offer book lovers.  You can follow favorite authors, interact with authors and other readers, enter book giveaways, join groups of like-minded bibliophiles, vote for your favorite reads in the annual Goodreads Choice Awards, etc.  There are tons of great features on GR, probably more than I'm even aware of.  It's an awesome website that I definitely recommend using.  If you haven't checked it out yet, do it!  And if you want to follow me, just click on the GR icon on left sidebar of my blog.  Easy peasy.

There you have it, ten reasons I love Goodreads.  Do you use GR?  What do you think of it?  What are your favorite features?  I'd truly love to know.  Leave me a comment on this post and I'll return the favor on yours.

Happy TTT! 

85 comments:

  1. Toronto is starting to open up, too. I'm being very cautious about going out, though because we still have a ton of cases and my spouse is in a high risk group. I'll give it a couple of weeks and then see how things look. But I do need a haircut sometime soon! :)

    And, yeah, Goodreads is fabulous.

    My TTT .

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    1. I think you're smart to be cautious. That's how I'm feeling about the whole thing, too. I have Type 1 diabetes, so I'm considered high-risk as well. Thankfully, I've been perfectly healthy through this whole thing - except for diabetes, of course. Ha ha.

      Thanks for coming by, Lydia!

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  2. While GR can be frustrating, it is a really helpful site in so many ways! I totally agree with your list, and love your creative take on TTT!

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    1. Thanks! GR definitely can be frustrating. For one thing, I can't figure out how to separate my account and my husband's. The books he's reading always show up as my current reads. Irritating.

      Thanks for stopping by, Leah!

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    2. We had the same problem so I just put us both on the same account. Unfortunately, that throws of the tracking for reading challenges for us, but oh well. I just keep a word document for each of us for the year.

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    3. Smart! My husband doesn't use any of Goodreads' other features and I think the "Currently Reading" feature updates automatically because it's linked to his Kindle account. It's just confusing because he reads very different books than I do so I'm sure it's confusing when people see what "I" am currently reading!

      Thanks for coming by!

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  3. I love using Goodreads to track my reading too!

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    1. It's such a helpful website! I know it has tons more awesome features that I'm not even using. I need to keep exploring it.

      Thanks for coming by!

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  4. Thanks for stopping by MBJ! Your list brought me so much joy, its genius! GR is the best book tracking/interacting site out there right now, it's amazing!

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    1. Ha ha, thanks! I agree - it really is an amazing site. Whoever thought it up is a genius.

      Thanks for coming by!

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  5. I don't use Goodreads as much as I used to, really just for the challenge, as I track my catalogue on LibraryThing. This list was a really good reminder of all the things I do like about it and all the good stuff it offers :)

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    1. So, I've never actually been on LibraryThing. I should check it out to see how it compares to GR. I'm glad it works well for you.

      Thanks for stopping by, Suzie!

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  6. Goodreads is my favourite social media! That said, I think I may have overdone it on the reading challenge this year. Great take on the prompt!

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    1. LOL. I always set mine for 200 books and I haven't reached it yet. Some years I've come within twenty books of reaching it. Most years? Not even close!

      Thanks for coming by!

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  7. I love every single thing about this post!!

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    1. Awww, you're so sweet! This was a fun TTT to write. I've loved seeing everyone's different take on the prompt.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  8. OMG! Your TTT is genius!! I love it!

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    1. Thank you! It was a fun one. I came up with the topic last night when I was playing around on GR and thinking about how much I love the site :)

      Thanks for coming by, Leslie!

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  9. I love this list, I did not know I could organize them by what I want to read first. I will have to check out how to do that. I have pieces of paper all over my computer table and side table where I read.

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    1. Yes, you can, and it's super easy. If you have a bookshelf on there, all you have to do is scroll down to the bottom of the page and click "Sort." Then, choose "Position" and "Ascending." Once you do that, you will see little boxes with numbers on the left side of the book images. You can change those numbers to prioritize your books. Also, when you're adding a book to one of your bookshelves, after you click "Want to Read," hover over the "Want to Read" button and it will let you type in the number you want it to be on your bookshelf. Pretty handy, right?

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Carla!

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  10. I like what you came up with for this week's topic. Goodreads has changed my way of reading a lot ever since I joined three years ago. It's probably my favourite platform. 💗 Happy TTT!

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    1. It's a great website. Super useful. I have really enjoyed learning to use it, even though I know there are a lot of features still for me to find and use.

      Thanks for stopping by, Linda!

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  11. I am jealous of anyone getting a haircut. I have not worn my hair long since the mid 90s. It's making me nuts! I love Goodreads for tracking, research, keeping a record of my thoughts on all the books I read (I don't feature them all on the blog), but I really like interacting with readers there. I wish their commenting system was better. If it was, I would spend more time chatting with other readers.

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    1. LOL. I get my hair cut and colored by a friend who has a salon in her home. She sent me a long text telling me all of the precautions she's been taking, so I feel like it will be safe to venture over there. Plus, my grays are really showing through!

      I really only chat with other GR readers when they comment on my review or vice versa. I haven't tried out the communities or other interaction features much.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Sam!

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  12. I'm a list person too :D I have both a spreadsheet of books I've read and I keep track in Goodreads! I don't utilize the bookshelf feature but I love all the other things you listed!

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    1. I deleted my spreadsheet when I really started using GR. I don't feel like it's necessary to have both, but I'm sure you have your reasons :) I admit, if GR suddenly goes dark, I'll be in trouble!

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  13. I love Goodreads for many similar reasons! I just gave you a follow/friend request! I enjoy creating various shelves and was thrilled to discover I could create an exclusive shelf for DNF! I also appreciate having the app on my phone as a handy tool! Great post!

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    1. I've heard other people say they have DNF shelves. That's brilliant! I never even thought of that until someone else mentioned it. Very smart.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Carol!

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  14. Yes, I too love Goodreads for all of the reasons you mention. And I'm a bookshelf junkie, I have loads and am always delighted when I think of another and can sit happily for hours adding books to it. LOL!

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    1. GR is addicting, isn't it? I love adding books to my shelves. I really should create more because I find other people's lists so entertaining and helpful. I'll have to look more closely at all of yours.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Cath!

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  15. Thanks for coming by my blog, and I really enjoyed this post about Goodreads. I use Goodreads too, for logging the books I have started and read, and I have a shortish list of books I want to read. I also have a book cataloger on my computer that has all my TBR books (although I am behind now).

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    1. It's probably smart to keep a back up of your TBR list. Like I said in another comment, if GR ever goes dark I'll be in big trouble! LOL.

      Thanks for coming by, Tracy!

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  16. Great pick with Goodreads. I agree with it all! Sometimes in an organizational mood, sometimes I feel like taking a book quiz, it's all there!
    I was actually supposed to fly to AZ this morning for my niece's graduation later this week. Obviously, the graduation is off and I'll be watching a video from home her high school is putting together for commencements instead. It's a bummer, but I would have been too leery to fly right now (I'm high risk) even if they held the ceremony.

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    1. Too bad you didn't get to come! Or not - it's REALLY hot here right now :( My daughter's a senior this year and I can't decide how I feel about her not having an in-person graduation. On the one hand, it will be much nicer to watch it at home on my comfy couch instead of on the hard bleachers in the heat. On the other hand, I'm sad that she'll miss the in-person excitement with throwing up her cap, hugging her friends, taking pictures with her classmates, etc. It's so different from when my son graduated a few years ago. Weird times we're living in ...

      Thanks for stopping by, Cheri!

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  17. What a great idea for a TTT! I love love Love this! Goodreads is one of my favorite sites, it never occurred to me to use it for a TTT prompt. Thoroughly enjoyed all of your reasons. I had no idea you could organize lists even further by prioritizing which books you would like to read first! It feels like I could be on Goodreads all day if had the time. You're right, there is so much on it and its nice and easy to use.
    Happy TTT!

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    1. I love organizing and reorganizing my bookshelves. I have spent hours doing that before :) It's just so addicting!

      I explained in a comment above how to put your lists into want-to-read order. There are a bunch of other ways to sort them, too, but this is how I prefer to do it.

      Thanks for coming by!

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  18. We're a little slower to open up here in WA. No hair appointments yet. I'm thinking we may get them by the end of June.
    I love your topic! Goodreads is so handy. I love it, too!

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    1. My parents live in SW Washington (where I grew up). They're in their 70s and 80s, so they've been really cautious about going out. My dad finally had my brother (who lives with them) trim his hair. I guess he was desperate!

      Thanks for coming by, Deanna!

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  19. I believe Goodreads is one of the best things on the 'net. Even with Amazon owning it, it is super.

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    1. I agree. It's fun, easy-to-use, and super helpful to me in lots of ways. I'm glad I'm not the only fan!

      Thanks for stopping by, Lisa!

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  20. Awesome list. I use GoodReads, but you taught me something I didn't pay much attention to before--the chance to organize my books in want-to-read order.

    Thanks for visiting my blog today.

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    1. I'm glad I taught you something :) This is my favorite feature of GR. I'm sure there are many more that I don't know about or that I underutilize.

      Thanks for coming by, Cheryl!

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  21. I do use GoodReads but not efficiently enough at this time.. Looking at your list inspires me to do more with it..

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    1. I'm so glad! It's got so many useful features. I'm using some efficiently, but I know there's lots more I can do on GR. Here's to continued exploring and discovery!

      Happy TTT!

      Susan
      www.blogginboutbooks.com

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  22. I'm a dedicated GoodReads user, but going through your list here has given me a couple of new things to try, so thanks for that. I especially like the way that you do "quickie reviews" on GR as reminders for your longer blog reviews on the same books.

    Have you tried LibraryThing at all? I use that one, too, and find that the two sites are different enough to make using both of them worthwhile. Seems like more interaction on GR, but I get better ARCs from LT.

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    1. The quickie reviews have proven to be super helpful since I write them very soon after finishing a book. By the time I sit down to write a full review on my blog, I've often forgotten what I liked and disliked about a book (even though I take copious notes while reading). I also sometimes find that myself quoting my GR review because it hits the nail on the head in a more succinct way since I tend to be wordy when writing reviews on my blog.

      I have not tried LibraryThing at all. I've thought lots of times about making a catalog of all the books I have and LT seems like a good platform for that. I just worry that using both would be really redundant. If they're different enough, though, maybe I'll give LT a try. The best of both worlds, right?

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Sam!

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    2. So, apparently, I did open an account on LT in 2008. Who knew? I never added any books or did anything with it. I'll play around with it now and see what I think. Thanks for the push, Sam!

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    3. The good news is that it's an entirely free site now, Susan. I think when you signed up there was still a fee if you wanted to list over 100 books...or something like that. I think I paid $20 for a lifetime membership instead of going for the yearly fee, but now as part of this whole virus-thing they've gone free to everyone.

      It can be a little redundant, but I do like some of the data captures better on LT and the data are completely sortable.

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    4. Maybe that's why I didn't continue using it. That's great that it's all free. I'll have to experiment with the site and see if it works well for me. Thanks for your input!

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  23. Tara Carpenter19 May, 2020 18:35

    Ditto times ten! We will keep quarantining for a while because of Aaron’s condition and everyone else going out makes me nervous. I have been spotty about reading during quarantine. I will read three books in a few days and then not be able to settle down and concentrate for two weeks. Working a lot (from home). Hope your cute fam is well! And that those oldest two can start college in the fall? I assume TJ will too.

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    1. I think that's smart, especially since Aaron is high-risk. I am, too, apparently, so I'm being cautious without being paranoid (I hope). Quarantine hasn't been that bad, anyway. I've been reading a ton and I picked my cross-stitching hobby back up. Not gonna lie, I haven't been too motivated to clean, exercise, or do any of the things I SHOULD be doing. LOL. I thought I'd be more productive in quarantine. Apparently not!

      We are doing well. T works for Boeing, so he's been working full-time plus overtime during this whole thing. He started taking classes at MCC this semester and had to finish online. He's liked it, though, and has decided to take all online classes next year. H is definitely hoping for in-person classes come Fall! She can't wait to be out of here :) Hope you guys are well as well.

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  24. As a person who spends a massive chunk if not majority of her internet time on Goodreads, this post speaks to me. I don't use #7, but I totally agree with all the others. It's definitely easier/more fun to keep track of things on Goodreads than a spreadsheet, not least because there is SO MUCH (easily sortable) data to play with. Plus it's visually more interesting, with the book cover thumbnails and all.

    Another thing I really love about Goodreads is how they alert you if a book has a sequel or a companion book (or an e-pub novella in between books), especially if it's not immediately obvious that said books are connected. I've made some great discoveries on both new and old stories that way -- the best one was a sequel to a childhood favorite I would NEVER have known existed because the first one (Quest for Courage) was published by Scholastic, but its sequel only ever had a tiny indie press run. Interlibrary Loan to the rescue on that one.

    And "compare books" is the BEST. Even if I don't get a new friend out of it, I love picking a random user and then clicking on whatever books we have in common to reread my own reviews of them. I feel like that helps keep more titles fresh in my memory.

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    1. GR is super addicting! There are just so many fun things you can do on it. I'm glad I'm not the only one who's a *little* obsessed with it :)

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting!

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  25. I love your take on this week's topic! Goodreads is something I've known about but have only really been using the last couple of years. I'm still not completely accustomed to the site, and I don't find myself using many of the features it has to offer. Mostly just the ratings and reviews. And of course the reading challenges. I keep meaning to do all the organizing and bookshelf stuff on there, but I just haven't gotten around to it. It seems a useful feature to so many though, so maybe it's time I get on that! GR has its downsides (no half star ratings is a big one on my end), but there's so much to love about it, and it is definitely much easier/more useful than using something like Google Docs.

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    1. Yeah, I still use a Google spreadsheet to track the ARCs I get in the mail, so I know where the book is on my shelves, when I reviewed it, what grade I gave it, etc. I find a spreadsheet helpful for that, but I track everything else on GR. It's visually pleasing and just works well for me, although I agree that it has its downsides. No website is perfect, unfortunately :)

      Thanks for coming by!

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  26. I love Goodreads! It's super useful and I've discovered so many great books through it. There are a few reviewers who seem to have similar tastes, so when they like (or dislike) a book, I know whether it might be something for me.

    And I created a bookshelf of "most wanted" books, which my boyfriend checks when he wants to buy me a present. That way I'll get a book I'm interested in, but it'll still be a bit of a surprise which one :D

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    1. Oooh, a "Most Wanted" book list is an awesome idea! People often give me book gift cards for gifts, but not actual books because they know I own so many. A "Most Wanted" book list would solve that problem. Great idea!

      Thanks for stopping by, An!

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  27. I had no idea you could organise your to read list in a specific order!

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    1. Yep! There are lots of ways to sort your bookshelves, but I haven't tried any of the others. I just want them in want-to-read order. That's the most helpful for me.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Marg!

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  28. I also love lists and I just realized that I don't use Goodreads as mch as I should. Will have to change that.

    Thanks for visiting my TTT earlier.

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    1. Like I've said, I haven't really used it extensively until the last few years. Since then, I use it almost every day because it has such fun and helpful features. I love it!

      Thanks for stopping by, Marianne!

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  29. Half stars should be a thing! :D

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    1. Totally! Why aren't they? Is there some legit mathematical/statistical reason they aren't or does GR just like torturing me??

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Lark!

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  30. I love that you wrote this love letter to Goodreads. There's so much to love about it!

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    1. I know, right? I love it sooooo much :)

      Thanks for coming by, Crystal!

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  31. I like Goodreads as well. I love lists in general and seeing a list of the books I've read makes me happy. I also check it for the rating that others give books that I want to read.

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    1. Same! Also, I have a really bad memory, so it helps me remember what I've read and how I felt about a certain book. If someone asks me about a book and I can't remember anything about it, I can refer them to my blog or my GR account :)

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Helen!

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  32. I've just started using Goodreads and wish I started earlier - I agree with you about the half stars though, should definitely be a thing!

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    1. I know! I'm sure there's some reason there aren't half stars, but it drives me crazy.

      Thanks for stopping by, Catherine!

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  33. I stopped using Goodreads for a while because they wouldn't fix a bug that was really annoying for me (my books won't sort correctly), but I found myself drawn back in for the reviews!

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    1. I had the same problem with my main bookshelf because, for some reason, if you have more than 5000 books in a shelf it will no longer let you sort them. I worked around it by creating more shelves, but it took me a little while to figure out what was going on!

      Thanks for coming by, Nikki!

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  34. I love Goodreads! I also love making lists, so the site is perfect for me! I admit that I go a bit overboard with the shelves. I think I have almost 400 different shelves now because I just love categorizing all my books.

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    1. 400?? Wow! That's a lot of bookshelves, but I agree, it's fun to sort them. GR makes that super easy - and addicting!

      Thanks for stopping by, Jessica!

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  35. Oh great topic! I love Goodreads though I struggle with figuring out how best to use it. It is nice to be able to just quickly add a book to my TBR on my phone and soon I'm going to take a couple of hours and get my profile all sorted.

    We are opening up a bit more here too but other then getting my son's haircut (it was BAD) and a few other things we are staying home as much as possible. It just doesn't seem worth it until we know a bit more what's going on.

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    1. I agree. I think proceeding with caution is a good idea. My 15yo's hair is OUT OF CONTROL, but he insists it's not THAT bad and doesn't want to get it cut. LOL.

      One of my favorite things about GR is the ability to easily add books to my lists from my computer or my phone and then to have the app on hand wherever I may be. That feature has come in handy for me multiple times.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Katherine!

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  36. Your post has all of the reasons why I use Goodreads. LOVE it!

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    1. There are so many reasons, aren't there? I love it when websites are so useful for me :)

      Thanks for stopping by, Lectrice!

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  37. Goodreads is where I go when I'm on a fence about a book I'm not sure I like...usually I can get a good feel for it from reading a few reviews!

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    1. Very true! I try not to read reviews before I read a book because I don't want my opinions to be tainted, but I agree that they are a good way to get a feel for a book overall. When I read reviews after I've read the book, I also find it super interesting to see how other people's opinions about the book jived or didn't jive with mine.

      Thanks for coming by, Donna!

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  38. Oh nice! And oh how I love Goodreads! think it is a very friendly community and does not have all the prentending and bragging like other social media sites.

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    1. True! In general, it seems to have a very positive vibe.

      Thanks foc stopping by, Anastasia!

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  39. This is such a great post and I agree with everything you said about Goodreads. I've been using it since 2008 and really love pretty much everything about it.

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    1. It took me a little while to hop on the GR bandwagon, but now I use it almost every day. I love it for SO many reasons :)

      Thanks for coming by, Suzanne!

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  40. Yes, I love GR! I remember when I discovered that it was a THING, I was BEYOND excited. :)

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    1. Ha ha. Its designer must be a bookworm in order to have created something so awesome for fellow book lovers!

      Thanks for stopping by, Tonyalee!

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