An app, an online website, and Facebook for books! Goodreads is the place for any person who loves to read, review, and even just look through fancy new front covers of showcasing books. When you sign up for free, you have a chance to do many things with the books you have already completed. Each specific book has it’s own page to view. On this page, you can look at the overall ratings the book has received, some of the top reviews, and the ability to add it one of your own shelves. You have three basic shelves that Goodreads already has set up for you: read, currently-reading, and to-read. Let’s say that you wanted to add Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland to your “to-read” shelf. You would scroll down the side and simply add it to the shelf. Once you’ve collected several books in a shelf, you can pull out this app to remind yourself exactly what you would still like to read the next time you go shopping at Barnes & Noble.
Let’s say you have already read Stephen Kings Under the Dome and you thought it was the next bestseller for the next decade. Add it to your “read” shelf and review it. The reviewing process is very simple. When you add a book to this shelf, it immediately asks you how many stars would you rate this book. Under the rating it asks for a review. You can leave notes for someone who is interested in reading the book. It is very interesting to see the eclectic views of strangers on books that you’re interested in reading.
The “currently-reading” shelf is basically like Facebook status updates. You get a chance to share what page you are on in the book and even a quote from that section of the book to share with others. This function is most useful if you are starting a book club. My friend and I have been reading Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell in a book club. Since she attends a different college, we keep each other updated on where the other is with our progress reports.
The app that coincides with the webpage is also easy to navigate. The features are limited compared to the website, but it does the things most important such as status updates, rating books, and adding books to different shelves. It’s compatible on most mobile devices and is fairly simple to use. With its wide range of possibilities, the fun organizing of books you’ve previously read, and the chance to find new and interesting ones, Goodreads rates 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Nick Nelson, ’16, is an English writing major with a German minor at Concordia College. He has been involved with choir and musical endeavors on campus while also finding time to read and write strictly for leisure. Proud coffee addict, he looks forward to each day because it means waking up to black, dark roasts. Follow Nick on twitter at @NickNelson07.