Author Topic: Goodreads  (Read 14083 times)

Offline Rolnikov

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Goodreads
« on: October 04, 2008, 10:41:26 PM »
Any other Goodreaders here at the BFS? Or anyone using something similar like Shelfari or LibraryThing?

I love keeping track of which books I've read. I did it for years as a teenager, then got out of the habit, and now with Goodreads it's back in full force. I'm really looking forward to digging out my old notebooks and filling in the exact dates I read all my old books... It might not sound like much, but for me that'll be one of the most enjoyable days of my life. Not quite up there with the birth of my children, but certainly round about the same level as visiting the Eiffel Tower.  :D

What prompted me to start a thread was that you can now update your progress on books, and they'll be keeping track of the data people enter. It's made me think of how online feedback via things like Steam and Xbox Live has revolutionised computer game design in recent years: it turned out that huge numbers of people were never getting past the early levels of games, and that's led to a decrease in unfair difficulty spikes, for example.

I could imagine this having a similar influence on books... Imagine anthologists being able to see which story stumped their readers, or publishers being able to see which books went largely unfinished. Of course, the influence could be negative for authors: you could imagine authors being put under pressure to remove "difficult" sequences from reissues, translations, etc.

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Re: Goodreads
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2008, 12:50:12 AM »
I have a LibraryThing account, but neglected to keep it updated.

Doesn't the sheer vastness of the task (of cataloguing all that you've read) put you off?

Offline Rolnikov

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Re: Goodreads
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2008, 08:54:31 AM »
I already had all the old books I'd read in an Excel file, so I was able to just upload them in one go. For all my new books I had an insane couple of weeks where I worked through all my shelves every evening. It gets very addictive once you get started.

Keeping track of what I get now might be a chore if I didn't enjoy it, but for me it's sheer bliss. The best part of Fantasycon was getting home and adding all my new books...

Offline Jec

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Re: Goodreads
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2008, 11:34:22 AM »
I would not/could not catalogue all the books I have read!  Nor would I want to  :)  Life, on the whole, is far too short, M'Dear  :D

But if you really feel the need to catalogue stuff you can be an angel and come and list ours -  and if you include the massed boxes of duplicate copies and 60s through 80s zines in the store shed - you will be doubly welcome ::)

(though we have offloaded a fair stack of those at past Fcons to be fair  ;D )

But seriously? Yes, I too would be horrified to think of authors being 'intimidated' into writing 'down' to an audience...

Good fiction should never be allowed to fall foul of some ghastly Xfactor-styled homogenisation  8)

sink_plunger

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Re: Goodreads
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2008, 11:41:36 AM »
This is interesting.  I've recently started keeping a record of which books I've read (date started and finished, author, publisher, etc.), but in a simple spreadsheet on my laptop.  I hadn't realised there were online resources to do the same thing - I may well take a look.  To be honest though, I've had so little time to read lately that it's quite embarrassing to look back at my achievements.

Offline Rolnikov

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Re: Goodreads
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2008, 01:09:14 PM »
I've been a bit surprised to find, once I started to keep track, that I only seem to finish about two novels a month nowadays. I think it's partly down to working at home. Plus I spend a good part of the day reading for work and a lot of my leisure time reading submissions for TQF and Dark Horizons, so when I'm done with that I usually fancy a change.

I've also found that I've got about 1200 books that I haven't read or finished, which was bugging me for a while. I took a vow to not buy any new books till I got that number down, but predictably it didn't last very long.

One other thing that turned up was that I haven't read any Conan by Robert E. Howard... I'd always thought I had. They're all on the shelf, but when I added them to Goodreads I realised I'd only actually read the ones by people like Robert Jordan. Now the question is whether to read the paperbacks I already have, or to buy the newer, original text versions, like the volume Stephen Jones edited.

Offline Pigasus

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Re: Goodreads
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2008, 02:52:06 PM »
I have a LibraryThing account, but neglected to keep it updated.

Doesn't the sheer vastness of the task (of cataloguing all that you've read) put you off?

Me, too.. and yes it does.

I keep Excel-track of books I review - but have forgotten details of so much other stuff, read over the last 30 years, it's quite impossible to create a 'complete' list.   
 :(   

Offline D. J. R. Allkins

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Re: Goodreads
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2008, 07:27:16 PM »
Sounds like a great way to take some of the fun out of reading

Offline Rolnikov

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Re: Goodreads
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2008, 01:34:00 PM »
Xbox 360 achievements divide people the same way. Some people love them, because they encourage you to get stuck into games, play them all the way through and get the most out of them. Others hate them for turning games into work and drudgery.

Maybe it's because I'm a gamer that Goodreads appeals so much - it turns reading into a game. You could even think of the charts of most prolific readers and reviewers as high score tables. That's probably not going to appeal to many of you as much as it does to me...

But don't be put off Goodreads just because the way I use it sounds dull. Most people just use it to rate and review their books as they go along, rather than trying to catalogue everything. And the way your friends' reviews are emailed to you each day (if you want them to be) is really nice - it's one of the highlights of every afternoon for me.

Offline Peter Coleborn

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Re: Goodreads
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2008, 02:54:33 PM »

 - it's one of the highlights of every afternoon for me.


I think you need to settle down with a nice cup of hot chocolate and a couple of digestive biscuits

 ;)

Offline Mark_Yon

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Re: Goodreads
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2008, 09:37:47 PM »
I know quite a few people who use it and Library Thing; I'm even signed up for it. The problem is that I could spend time cataloging everything, or actually reading, when the time for reading is precious as it is.

For some - looks like you, Stephen! - it's a lot of fun.

More power to you, but personally I prefer to read.

Mark
aka Hobbit, SFFWorld

Offline Rolnikov

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Re: Goodreads
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2013, 09:14:57 AM »
All seven issues so far of the BFS Journal are now set up on Goodreads, ready to be added to your reading lists, rated and reviewed: http://www.goodreads.com/series/96586-bfs-journal

Offline Dave Brzeski

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Re: Goodreads
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2013, 12:22:27 PM »
I opened a goodreads account some time back, but I don't think I've ever been back there since.

Offline Phillip Spencer

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Re: Goodreads
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2013, 01:23:49 PM »
I opened a goodreads account some time back, but I don't think I've ever been back there since.

Likewise for me. It seemed to take too much time for the limited value I got from it.

I recently tried a new service, Bookish - http://www.bookish.com/home - which had been touted in a blog I follow as having the potential to give Goodreads a run for its money. It may be too new at the moment, as genre fiction did not seem well represented and the focus appeared to be on selling books (priced in USD) rather than recommendations.

An example: I can buy Iain M Banks "Consider Phlebus" but cannot enter it as a book enjoyed to get similar recommendations. Admittedly, it does say "recommendations" is Beta, but typing "Ian Fleming" pulls up a prompt for biography of the author, not a single Bond book. "Iain" only pulls up a prompt for "Iain Crichton Smith" not any of the Banks books they list for sale.

Another example: No recommendations for Christopher Priest but the main search brings up a mixed muddle for sale of the UK author's books (but, surprisingly, not "The Glamour") and those of Christopher J Priest (graphic novels) and a bunch of African-American writings.

 At that point, I gave up.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2013, 03:22:34 PM by Phillip Spencer »

Offline Rolnikov

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Re: Goodreads
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2013, 01:15:21 PM »
I've set up the latest BFS titles on Goodreads, so here are links in case any members would like to add them to your reading lists:

BFS Journal #9: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18456191-bfs-journal-9
The Burning Circus: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18749871-the-burning-circus
Unexpected Journeys: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18749889-unexpected-journeys

Not a BFS book, but quite a few of you may have it:

Flotsam Fantastique: The Souvenir Book of World Fantasy Convention 2013: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18749853-flotsam-fantastique