Tag Archives: goodreads

Halfway Through the Goodreads 2019 Challenge

Today I finished my 50th book of 2019, a few weeks ahead of pace. The book was On Democracy by E. B. White. It is an aptly-timed collection of White’s essays and comments on democracy and freedom, put together by his granddaughter, and with an introduction by Jon Meacham.

Last year, I read 130 books. I aimed for 100 books this year because I’d planned to read a few books which I knew to be particularly long. At this point I am 5 books ahead of pace, and I plan to gain some more ground before the end of the month with several books that I mentioned the other day. That will allow me to tackle some of the longer books in the second half of the year, including over the summer.

2019 Goodreads Challenge

Goodreads and concession stand networking

I’ve been a member of Goodreads since March 2008, over four years. I found out about the social networking site from a friend who knew of my predilection for books. Indeed, he told me about the site in the parking lot of the Magic Kingdom at Disney World. I joined shortly thereafter.

I use the site as a kind of secondary site for keeping track of the books I’ve read. My authoritative list is here, but Goodreads allows me to easily share what I am reading with friends, both on and off the site. For instance, if I start “reading” a book on Goodreads, it will also be reflected on Facebook and Twitter. I will occasionally post reviews of books that I enjoyed on Goodreads, and I’ll rate books that I’ve read there as well.

When I started selling stories, it was suggested that I get a Goodreads author page, which I did, but which I rarely update.

At the present moment, I have “read” 383 books on Goodreads and have a total of 540 that I’ve either read/rated or marked as “to-read.” I also have just under 100 friends on the social network.

I think Goodreads is a great social-networking site for people who like to read and like to share what they read with their friends. That is what makes it a useful and fun tool. But I’ve noticed a trend lately and I’m not sure that I like it. I’ll get friend requests from someone that I don’t know and when I look at their profiles, more often than not, they have 0 books “read” and 1,598 friends. Now, given what I imagine to be the purpose of the site, I’d expect to the see the opposite: someone who has read 1,598 books and has 0 friends (well, maybe 1 or 2). After all, if you’ve read that many books, you probably have little time for anything else. On the other hand, if you have read 0 book, maybe you really do have time for 1,598 friends. But then, why are you on Goodreads? Wouldn’t Facebook or Twitter or Google+ be a more appropriate social network? Joining Goodreads and having 0 books (or 2 or 3 books, all of which are books that you have authored) just seems odd to me.

My guess is that more independent authors are seeing Goodreads not as a social networking site for people who, you know, actually like to read good books, but instead as a place to market their latest novel. That’s not why I joined Goodreads. I’ve continued to accept friend requests from folks who have read 0 books (or any books in their list are strictly their own) but going forward, I think I am going to stop. I’m perfectly happy to read reviews of the books you’ve read and see what tastes we have in common and perhaps even take a chance on some of the books you’ve recommended. But you can’t do that with 0 books. I’m not interested in being marketed to. I understand that I may be in the minority in this, but it seems to me that the purpose of Goodreads is being twisted from a social network of bibliophiles into a megaphone for authors to ply their wares.

It’s too bad, really. Goodreads is a lot of fun when you don’t have the concession stand shouts of “Get your Why-Aye Vampire Romance Mystery novel here!”

Goodreads, LibraryThing and my official reading list

I’ve gotten an unusual number of friend requests on Goodreads recently and so I thought I’d take a moment to clarify a few things about my various book and reading lists in the social networks arena.

Yes, I am on Goodreads, and the list of books that I have read can be found there. I am also a Goodreads author. However, I am generally behind in updating Goodreads and so there are some gaps. Still, most of what I have read can be found there and so it might be useful, especially if you are using some of its “similar to” functionality. I’ll try to be better about keeping it up-to-date. If you are on Goodreads, feel free to friend me there.

Yes, I am also on LibraryThing, but my library is more than a year out-of-date at this point, and I don’t foresee any time in the immediate future where I will be able to remedy that. Keep that in mind if you are browsing my books there.

Here is the official list of books I’ve read since 1996. This list is always up-to-date within a day or two of completing a book. There are some things you should know about this list:

  • Only books which I actually finish end up on this list. There are many book in which I don’t finish and if I don’t finish them, they don’t get a number and don’t go on the list.
  • If I read a book more than once it will appear on the list more than once and get a second (or third, or fourth) number. This is because the list is a historical reference for me, not just a listing of the unique books that I have read.
  • Short stories, and magazine reading does not go on the list, EXCEPT:
  • Recently, I have been adding issues of Astounding Science Fiction that I have been reading for my Vacation in the Golden Age to the list. This is because I read the entire issue cover-to-cover and because each issue is about as long as a typical novel. Besides, its my list and my rules.
  • Bold items on the list are particular favorites of mine.
  • Blue items on the list are books that I read in e-book format, most often either on my Kindle, or the Kindle app for the iPad.
In any case, if you are looking for the official list of what I have read, this is the list you should be looking at.