Goodreads and Favourite Books

I’ve been in a quandary about Goodreads.  I have a minimal presence there, and despite that, I have a relatively high proportion of web traffic to my site originating from there.  Goodreads is where readers are… I’d like to be where readers are, make some connections, and not to promote — I really don’t enjoy promotion.  But, the Goodreads platform provides me with a couple of dilemmas (related to my own personal neuroses).

First, I’m uncomfortable rating other authors’ books.  I don’t mean this as judgment or some sweeping ethical statement.  I know there are lots of authors on there who rate books, and I think it’s absolutely fine.  But the thought of giving someone a one star rating twists my stomach — although, strangely, I feel free to bash bad movies with abandon.   I never claimed the neuroses were consistent 🙂

Secondly, when I first joined, I dove right into one of the chats.  I was uncomfortable with the tone of the discussion, especially as they were taking some author to task for his/her response to something else.  Granted, I may have accidentally landed in an atypical flame, or it’s possible the antagonism was perfectly justified, but since I dislike confrontation, I backed away and… well… never returned to the chat section.

Still, I think I need to make it a goal to interact there more.  If nothing else, it’s probably a more stable social networking platform than Facebook 😉 So, I’ve decided I’m going to load up my favourite books, unrated.  My favourite books are not necessarily 5 star reads, and conversely, books I might rate 5 stars will not necessarily become favourites.  For me, favourites are ones I can read again and again, either getting something new out of them each time, or prompting the same emotions that compelled me to reread in the first place.  I rarely read books for the surprise ending, I read books for the story.  A good story is a good story and knowing the ending doesn’t change that.

This weekend (I hope) I’m going to start loading up books.  I need to jump back into some of the chats, and try again, but one hurdle at a time!  And if you’re on Goodreads, send me a friend request!  Even if I don’t end up using Goodreads the way others are, I do enjoy seeing what others are reading.

KC Burn



  1. Jason · · Reply

    I will be sending a friend request for sure. 🙂

    I am also non-confrontational and like to keep it happy. Of course, whenever you get that many people together (we have around 2500 members in the goodreads m/m group), there are going to be all types.

    You know, you call add a book as ‘read’ without giving a rating. You can write a review so you can remember what you liked about books or what didn’t work for you.


    1. Thanks Jason! I appreciate the friendship & advice. I may have to consider adding all books as read, with a fewlabeled as favs, instead of rating them. And this is the first time I’ve tried replying to a blog entry on my phone so if it all goes awry, blame the tech 🙂 I did just download the new Goodreads app for android, so that will be fun to play with… eventually.

  2. Done!

    And I do the same thing, add books without rating them or nothing less than a 3. If there is no rating it may be because I remember the book but don’t, exactly, recall how I felt about it 🙂 Ah the advantage/disadvantage of age.

    1. Thanks Cathy! And I considered the 3 or higher route as well and decided against it for now, although I might change my mind… it’s entirely possible I put WAAAAAY too much thought into this.

  3. I LOVE Goodreads. I originally joined it as a promotional tool, but found I enjoyed it too much to use it just for that. I keep a very low profile as an author; as a reader I’m all over that place. I rarely give a book less than three stars. If I’m not enjoying it I just don’t finish it, and I don’t think it’s fair to rate a book I didn’t finish.

    I think we’re already friends there, KC. I get your blog posts in my feed, at least. I’ll double check.

    My five star ratings are the books I cannot put down and books I return to again and again. They’re not always the same ones.

    1. Hi Diane! I don’t know if I welcomed you to the blog, or not (I managed to lose track of a number of things the past few weeks) but I’m glad you’re here!

      Up until now, I’ve been treating Goodreads as a beautiful but dangerous animal – I’m fascinated yet wary all at the same time. I’m not a ‘dive right in’ sort of person, but I think I’ll slowly start spending more time there. I also feel guilty I have people friending me and it looks like I haven’t read any books! So, that’s one of several tasks for this weekend. 🙂

  4. Friended you on Goodreads… I haven’t figured out how to make the best of it either!
    As rule, I don’t add books I didn’t like, and in fact all the books I’ve put on are past favorites! 🙂
    Nice meeting you… let’s share books… and hopefully readers…! 🙂

    1. Thanks Barb! And I agree, let’s learn together! 🙂

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