Embracing Goodreads

So, I don’t know exactly when I joined Goodreads. But I hadn’t done much with it at all. It seemed like enough to try to keep up with my website.

But then I read Travis Jonker of 100 Scope Notesarticle on Goodreads. Thinking of Goodreads as a “neat and tidy online counterpart” to my physical bookshelves won me over. I’m going on Goodreads again.

Here’s the deal: All my adult life, I’ve fought a losing battle to have all my books on shelves instead of packed away in boxes. I achieved this goal when I lived in Germany, but that last house we lived in had a wall covered with a built-in bookcase. When I moved back to America, I thought I could remedy it by buying just two or three more bookcases… but then I started going to ALA conferences and getting advance reader copies.

Now I’m moving in a month (buying my first home! Yay!), and moving is when one must face what a book hoarder one is. I currently have books piled all over my bedroom. I told myself this was a perk of being single — no one else will mind the piles, right? (My son did say he was afraid he’d come home some time to find me barricaded in my room, unable to get out.) But before I can even pack up the books in the shelves, I will need to deal with the piles of books in front of them.

So — I ordered ten plastic “book boxes.” I decided I will bow to the inevitable and store some of my books in boxes, but I prefer plastic, dust-free containers, and see-through so it’s easy to tell what’s in them. Who knows, maybe I can get all my books in the bookcases plus book boxes.

But — and here’s where I’m getting to Goodreads — my plan was to catalog the book boxes on my computer. I was going to make a data base and fill it in with title information, so I could do a simple search if I wanted to find a book, and I’d know right away what box it was in.

Then I read Travis’s article. If I used Goodreads, I would not have to build a data base. And I will only have to put in the ISBN. And it will show me a picture of the cover, plus what other people think of the book. I can have a shelf for each box….

That’s looking like such a good option, I thought of another idea. I also have a spreadsheet of books I want to check out. Yes, I constantly have far more books checked out than I can possibly read. When I give in and admit I’m not going to get around to those books any time soon, I make myself feel better by putting them on a list of books to check out later. Mind you, this is a pretend list. The chances are slim that I will ever check the books out later — but I honestly want to.

My spreadsheet has several sheets for different categories of books, plus for authors new to me and authors I already like. But if I start putting those books on a Goodreads shelf instead, then there’s a better chance I’ll remember why I wanted to read it, with a picture of the cover and links to reviews. What’s more, I was delighted to realize when I was turning in books today, I can simply scan the ISBN barcode with the handy-dandy barcode scanner at my computer at work and get the book into my account.

Now, the one thing I’ve meant to do for ages but never did before is link my own reviews to my Goodreads account. Once upon a time I thought I’d go back and do past reviews, but now I can admit that will never happen. However, starting now, I can try, so I did put a link to the review I posted tonight into my account.

So, if any of my readers are on goodreads, I’d be happy to follow you there. Here’s a link to my profile. Little by little, I hope to post more there, and at least, as Travis said, have some virtual bookshelves that are neat and organized.

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