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Is Goodreads the Future (or Past) of Reading

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

If you’re a reader, you’ve probably heard of Goodreads

For those who are new to reading, Goodreads is both an app and website that allows you to track your reading and keep up to date with the latest in the literary world. 

For years, there has been much debate about whether Goodreads is still the best social platform for readers with the rise of other options such as The StoryGraph.

Today, we will be discussing the features of Goodreads as well as its pros and cons, so you can decide for yourself if Goodreads is the right platform for you to track your reading. 

Features

1. Track Your Reading 

The most well-known function of Goodreads is the ability to track your reading. You can label books as “read” or “want to read,” write reviews and leave star ratings. 

2. Join Communities 

The best way to find new friends on Goodreads is by joining book clubs and groups. Even Oprah has a Goodreads group for her book club.  

3. Check Out Ratings and Reviews 

If you can’t ever decide what to read next, use other members’ ratings and reviews to narrow down your options. You can also write reviews of your own!

4. Peruse Lists 

Do you want very specific book recommendations? Look no further than “Listopia” which features booklists about everything under the sun. 

5. Follow Authors and Friends 

Just like other forms of social media, you can friend people on Goodreads! In addition, you can follow your favorite authors and influencers to keep up to date on their recent reads and future projects! 

6. Enter Giveaways 

A lesser-known function of Goodreads is the ability to enter giveaways often held by publishing companies or authors as promotion for their new work. It’s an easy (and cheap) way to build your bookshelf if you have luck on your side!

7. Vote in the Goodreads Choice Awards 

The Goodreads Choice Awards happen at the end of every year when each member of Goodreads can vote on their favorite book in multiple categories such as Romance and Young Adult. 

Pros and Cons

Pros 

Connections With Other Readers

It’s very easy to build a network with all your bookish friends through Goodreads. But even better, you can make new connections through the site’s many social features. 

Customize Your Bookshelves  

When tracking your reading, you have the ability to create your own “bookshelves.” In other words, you can organize books into any categories you’re creative enough to create. 

Cons

No Half Stars 

A common complaint of Goodreads users everywhere: the website does not allow for half-star ratings, meaning you can only rate something one through five. While this isn’t the end of the world, it does limit how meticulous you can be. 

Unreliable Ratings

Another con about the rating system: you can rate a book before it comes out or even has a title! This allows for biased ratings not based on the quality of the book, but rather opinions of the author or series.  

Now you know the good and the bad of Goodreads. So go forth and track your reading! 

Jenna Bal

Kent State '24

Jenna Bal is a sophomore journalism major with a minors in English and web development. This is her second semester writing for HerCampus and the Burr. When she’s home in Toledo, Jenna enjoys working as a barista and spending time with her younger sisters. Her hobbies include reading, hiking, and journaling, and her favorite read is Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. After graduation, she hopes to write for a magazine and eventually pursue her master’s degree in library sciences.
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