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.