To Goodread or Not

September 15, 2011

I’ve flirted with Library Thing, and the I’m Reading app on Facebook, but when it all comes down to it; no one wants to have to deal with another online resource. Why would I want to remember one more user name, or have to deal with another password? For a long time, I felt this way about Goodreads.  I knew I was supposed to use it—I mean, I was a librarian for Pete’s sake!  Yet, I resisted.  I think the magic moment happened when I was trying to figure out what to read next, and I discovered their lists. You know that feeling of floating through a bookstore, browsing section by section with a latte in your hand, just excited to find that next big read that will keep you up all night? Well that’s the same feeling that I got when I began to browse through Listopia. Unlike Amazon lists, content is voted on by any Goodreads users, and because of that, often has some great recommendations. Some unique lists are Best Page-Turners with Redeeming Social ValueBooks that Follow an Object Through Time,  and Books that Everyone Should Read at least OnceOf course there are great traditional lists like Food Related Non-Fiction and Best Romantic Suspense.  

Once I dove in, I realized that I loved the community. I was finally able to keep my books in one place since I was able to create shelves of “currently reading,” “read,” and “to- read” books.   I could also develop more customized shelves such as “didn’t finish.” I could easily view books  in a series (oh-how-I-love-that!), and read others’ reviews. I could follow my favorite authors and even see what they were reading. In addition, Goodreads had trivia, book discussion groups, quotes and more.

After thinking about it, I realized what made Goodreads so great was that it hit on that emotional love of books. Goodreads gets why people read, and because of that,  it connects readers to one another.  Kinda sounds like a library, doesn’t it?

And as timely as this is, yesterday it was announced that Goodreads has launched a recommendation engine.

Connect with Evanston Public Library on Goodreads at

-Juliette S.


Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.

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