Goodreads Blog
blog posts (showing 341-350 of 433)
Ever thine, ever mine, ever ours
Posted by Jessica on June 03, 2008 603238

Amid all the insultingly obvious product placement in the new Sex & The City movie (I laughed, I cried, I abso-f***ing-lutely loved it), I was thrilled to see Carrie Bradshaw reading and cherishing a book. A real book! For a heroine who writes for a living, Carrie seems to spend more time out on the town than in bed reading. So this was a welcome sight.

But is it a real book? A quick Google search reveals that no one is exactly sure what book she's reading. Here are the top two candidates:

1) Love Letters of Great Men and Women
2) 50 Greatest Love Letters of All Time

Either way, you're sure to get a huge sampling of passionate reading. Who needs Mr. Big when you can read about the loves of Benjamin Franklin, Michelangelo Buonarroti, and even Jack Kerouac?

Other intriguing love letter anthologies found on Goodreads:
1) Other People's Love Letters: 150 Letters You Were Never Meant to See
2) Four Letter Word (collection of fictional letters from great writers like Audrey Niffenegger, Margaret Atwood, and Jonathan Lethem)
3) Love Letters: An Anthology

Write your reviews and tell us which one is the juiciest!
Goodreads at BookExpo
Posted by Otis on May 27, 2008 1

BookExpo is in our backyard this year - Los Angeles! The Goodreads team will be running around at the conference on thursday & friday. If you'd like to schedule something to meet us please drop an email to

We're also organizing an informal meet-up after the festivities on Friday. Please join us for some drinks - details here!

new book montage widget
Posted by Otis on May 26, 2008 1

Decided to have some fun with widgets today. Inspired from one of the top Facebook apps, I made a new 'book montage' widget. It's a javascript widget, so it will only work on blogs that allow javascript widgets. Like our flash widget, its full configurable in terms of which books you show, and how many. The other cool part is its variable width, so it will fit anywhere!

Check it out in action below — or get started configuring your own!

Order your to-read shelf!
Posted by Otis on May 13, 2008 1

We've made some improvements to the recently launched order your to-read shelf feature.

In addition to being able to move items up and down, you can now use the edit view to enter the exact number you'd like to reorder the list to! This interface has worked well for Netflix so we thought - why reinvent the wheel?

On a side note I think the ability to order my shelves (you can make any shelf orderable in 'edit shelves') is the coolest feature we've launched this year. From a usability perspective what was happening was that as people added more and more books to their to-read list it became so large as to be useless - people were being forced to make separate 'to-read-soon' lists. I believe the ordering will fix this issue - and set the stage for many other things!

Here's a screenshot:

Goodreads Indonesia gathering
Posted by Otis on May 11, 2008 1

Evidently some of our nearly fifty thousand Indonesian members organized a gathering. A picture is worth a thousand words, so all I'll say is that this makes my heart feel all warm and fuzzy :)

What do you want on your homepage?
Posted by Otis on May 08, 2008 1

Now you can get get recent updates from your groups on your Goodreads homepage! While many members love the updates from the friends, many people have mentioned that their groups are updated more frequently, and they'd love a better way to keep tabs on it.

There are now 4 tabs on the homepage, allowing members to see updates from their friends, top friends, groups, or just view books or reviews from thteir friends.

One search to rule them all
Posted by Otis on May 08, 2008 1

We launched a great new feature a few weeks ago that hasn't been mentioned yet on this blog. You can now search across all searchable items from the main search page (accessible in the header). Previously the main search page only searched books, and it was up to the user to navigate to the index pages for groups, quotes, events, stories, and people to search them.

Having six different search pages in six different areas just didn't make a lot of sense! It made a lot of the great content basically invisible for lots of members. We really hope hope the new search page leads lots of new members to find all the great content that exists in the various sub-areas of the site.

Here's a screenshot of the new page:

Manually ordering your shelves
Posted by Michael on April 29, 2008 73

You can now manually sort your to-read book shelf.

You can also make other shelves (besides the read list) sortable.

Interview on BNET's Dog & Pony show
Posted by Otis on April 28, 2008 1

Does JK Rowling own Harry Potter?
Posted by Otis on April 16, 2008 1

In a recent article in the New York Times titled Rowling to Testify in Trial Over Potter Lexicon, it was announced that JK Rowling is suing a small publishing house (RDR Books) that was planning to publish a Harry Potter Encyclopedia. The book was to be based on the content from the website The Harry Potter Lexicon, by a Mr. Vander Ark. Now this doesn't sound right at all - has JK lost it?

Fan fiction is a huge genre. I went through a whole phase in middle school of reading dozens of books that continued the Star Wars series. There is even a Star Wars Encyclopedia. Did all those books have to kick back to George Lucas? I don't know - but I wouldn't guess Lucas cared either way - the more fans got into it the more movies he would sell.

So if fan fiction is a huge genre, it appears JK Rowling can't own Harry Potter. She attempts to explain on her website:

"From what I understand, the proposed book is not criticism or review of Harry Potter's world, which would be entirely legitimate – neither I nor anybody connected with Harry Potter has ever tried to prevent such works being published. It is, we believe, a print version of the website, except now the information that was freely available to everybody is to become a commercial enterprise.

It is not reasonable, or legal, for anybody, fan or otherwise, to take an author's hard work, re-organize their characters and plots, and sell them for their own commercial gain. However much an individual claims to love somebody else's work, it does not become theirs to sell."

Ah-ha. The lexicon, claims Rowling, has no original content. So perhaps Rowling *does* own Harry Potter - the Harry Potter described in her books. If fanfic fans want to build on that Harry Potter, and create something original, then there are no problems. So all you fans of Harry Potter that want to write some stories, breathe easy, JK won't be coming for you!