Thursday, May 15, 2008

Goodreads update

A few months ago I wrote a post about Goodreads, a social networking site for booklovers that I had just joined.

I've been using Goodreads for a few months, and it's really been surprisingly useful and fun. A lot of my Goodreads friends are kidlit bloggers who I admire and respect and it's great to see their ratings and reviews of books. The reviews are generally a cut above the reviews on Amazon, while still letting you see a wide variety of opinions. And I've been having a lot of fun with the "compare books" feature, where you can see what book ratings a friend has in common with you.

Plus, it's helped me keep in touch with friends and trade recommendations with them. About a month ago, I was at an event with a friend I hadn't seen in a few years. But we both knew everything the other person was reading, thanks to Goodreads. It felt like we'd been having a long conversation over many months about our favorite (and not so favorite) books.

As I've mentioned before, I read lots of picture books in F&G (fold and gather) format to prepare for meetings with publisher reps. The final books won't be published for several months. For example, the books I read tonight will be coming out in September through December. I'd love to hear other opinions on these books, but I haven't found a good forum yet to discuss advance copies.

So, now I'm trying an experiment. I've added to my Goodreads list all the F&G's I've read in the last few weeks. There will be more to come as I have more meetings. It's very odd to review and rate books that no one has commented on yet, but it also lets me be completely honest, precisely because I don't know what everyone else thinks yet.

I'm also hoping this will help me remember all the books months later when they're released. If you read advance copies because you're a book buyer, a reviewer or an extremely lucky person, I'd love to hear your opinion about any not-yet published books. If you're curious about which books I'm talking about, look at the Goodreads box in the sidebar or click on my Goodreads profile to see very brief reviews.

Have you been using Goodreads? Based on the huge amount of reviews I see whenever I log in, it looks like a lot of you are. What do you think about it? Do you check in frequently to see what your friends are reading? Does it help you get recommendations? See the new poll on the sidebar, which doesn't really ask any of those questions.

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