Goodreads: Social Cataloging System

What is Goodreads?

Goodreads is introduced as a social cataloging system where users can log in to the system easily by using their facebook, google accounts or create a separate account and organize all your books. Not only books, you can find your favourite authors, groups and events created by like minded people and join with them. You can even start a discussion about a book and share your thoughts with the other readers around the world. Goodreads simply encourage me to read by showing me the books my friends have read in my Recent Updates.

What is Goodreads good for?

1.  Ratings and Reviews and Recommendations

You can add the books you have read to Goodreads and rate them in 1 to 5 scale and also write reviews on the books. You can recommend books to your friends whom you have added in Goodreads by sending friend requests or can recommend book to specific groups generally.

After you rate 20 books Goodread will give you recommendations by considering your bookshelves. Goodread also provide widgets to be used in facebook and your blog. You can simply post a review you wrote about a book in facebook or in your blog with that.

2. Creating bookshelves and organize your books

You can see what your friends are reading and can add those books to your to-read book shelf by a click. You can create book shelves according to your personal preferences and Goodread provides read, currently-reading and to-read book shelves by default.I have created some bookshelves to organize my self-help and agile related books.

3. Availability

Goodreads is not only a web application now it has an android app and an iphone app. I used to read the reviews and check the book rating before I buy a book from a bookshop using the android app and download an ebook on a particular subject by checking it in the web app. So it caters variety of readers all over the world. Readers can create group as they like and organize events. They can connect with their favourite authors as well. Now Goodreads becoming a marking tool for books as well.

What is Goodreads not so good for?

1. Negative and bullying reviews targeted on a particular book or an author

Though the comments readers post on a particular book helps you to make the decision to read a book or not, it might also affect the book and the authors adversely. Some cases were reported that some people targeted a particular author and posted bullying reviews on some books. Users can also flag inappropriate reviews on Goodreads and that features is for privacy and to avoid spoilers.

2. Advance search

I personally don’t like the search functionality in Goodreads. They have a very simple search. They could have provided an advance search for the users who need it. The search box does n’t even validate the ISBN number to be 13 or 10 numbers. So I find it difficult to use.


Author: Harshani Nawarathna

Sri Lankan woman in Computing

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