BookshelfI have recently finished reading The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferris and have just added a short comment and rating for it on Goodreads. I do plan on writing a bit more of a thorough review in a post in the near future but that isn’t the point. When I logged in to my account on Goodreads I noticed that it says that I have 0 friends…

It is never nice to be told you have no friends so I thought I would try and do something about it.

That gave me the idea for this post. I would like all of you bookworms out there to join up and hopefully my number of friends will slowly creep upwards…

What’s The Site About?

OK so you may not have even heard of Goodreads before so why would you want to join up?

The site is basically a social network (think Facebook) based purely around books. Sort of like an online book club. You can add books you have read, are currently reading or plan to read in the future. When you have finished the book you can enter a review and give the book a rating.

This will then help others when looking for something new to read or help come across related authors for example. You can see which books are popular with friends and you get a feed of their activity—books they have read, ratings they have given and so on—again similar to Facebook.

To push the social aspect even further you can link your Facebook account and post your reviews automatically to your Facebook account.

Why Am I Using The Site

So I have mentioned the social side of the website, allowing you to get reviews on books that you are thinking about reading.

If you are an avid reader then there are also some personal benefits as you can easily keep track of all the books you have read. This allows you to quickly check on your smartphone if you have read a book before when you see an amazing offer too good to miss…

And yes before you ask, I have picked up a book that I have already read and in fact was still sitting on my shelf at home when I got back…

There is a great app for the iPhone that allows you to simply scan the barcode on the back of the book to get the books information and then you can add it to your list of books either as a book you have read or as a book you hope to read in the future.

This was the big draw for me. I have shelves full of old books that I have already read and no real intention of ever picking up again. My plan is to go through them all and add them to my list before getting rid of them all…

I am hoping to be able to sell at least some of them and then probably donate the rest to charity or something. I just want to reclaim the space taken up by so many unused books and hopefully make a few pennies along the way…

So your mission this week is to check out Goodreads and hopefully relieve me from my friendless existence…

Image: Pete O’Shea


Michael Ludgate

Seeing the lovely collection of Terry Pratchett (I only ever read CofM) makes me feel slightly less embarrassed about the Tom Clancy’s sitting with too much pride on my bookshelf.

Another interesting web-tool, having acquired a Kindle, it’ll come in useful soon.

I’m looking forward to contributing a review for probably the last non-technical book I’ll buy in tree edition – The Gulag Archipelago (unabridged) which I can’t strongly enough recommend for anyone with a desire to explore themselves and society, though a strong constitution is advisable.

    Pete O'Shea

    Shirley recently got a Kindle as well. The idea of being able to change the font size of a book is great especially if your eyesight isn’t great. I love the look of it and will surely have a go soon but I still have a fair few dead trees lying around that I haven’t read yet…

    Going forward I don’t plan on getting any more paper books and when I am nearing the end of my collection of books I will move over to a reading device such as the Kindle. I do like the look of the iPad as well but I don’t think that is ideal for reading a proper book.

    How are you finding the Kindle?

    P.S. I do love Terry Pratchett and have read all of the Discworld books…

Michael Ludgate

The Kindle is really great, I love being able to read sat outside. Other screens/phones are virtually useless, a normal book printed on bleached paper is too reflective in sunlight, the kindle just works (plus good visibility with sunglasses).

The experimental features: music/podcast/audiobook playback, text to speech and web browser expand the use of the device. After a few minuets you get over the weirdness of the robot voice and enjoy being read to (though it’ll spit out numbers, acronyms and the like). In theory it’ll show PDF, but if it’s a web resource saved into pdf, stuff that sticks outside of the normal next area causes the whole document to be resized to super tiny.

I’d expect Shirley has shown you some of the graphic screens , the unit displays after being off for a while, some of them are quite spectacular. Though I’ve not seen this utilised in anything I’ve read.

    Pete O'Shea

    Thanks Michael,

    I’ll mention the cover to Shirley as it looks pretty good. The standard leather ones seem a bit expensive…

    I haven’t really had a lot of hands-on experience with it yet as I am still reading an ordinary Stephen King book. Hope to have a play when I’ve finished my book…

Ze Queen

I also have a Goodreads account! I’m a bookworm and it’s nice site for me to keep track of all the books I’ve read! Haha!

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