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Suggestions & Questions > New "add to to-read list" click box when entering giveaways

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Previously, there was a note on the giveaway page encouraging us to add books to our to-read lists. Now I see that a click box has been added to the entry page, and it defaults to add the book to the to-read list.

I am not sure how I feel about this, and am curious about other people's thoughts. I have been unclicking the box because I don't want to have a gigantic and unwieldy to-read list. A giant list isn't really useful to me and I try to limit mine to books that I actually want to read sometime soon, mostly books that I already own. I think of it as sort of a to-do list. The books that I request on the giveaways page would fall into a different category for me, more of a "books that sound interesting" list. So I am feeling a little bit pressured to add books to my to-read list before I am actually ready to put them there.

What is the purpose of encouraging us to add these books to our to-reads? Is it just as a compliment/courtesy to the author? Does it increase chances of winning the giveaway?


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

In my case, no book goes on my to-read list until I own it. (This also nullifies the usefulness of the new book release emails.) I have a wishlist shelf for books I want to buy, but as I use it as a shopping guide, I wouldn't shelve it there either if I'm entering a giveaway, at least not until I officially don't win a copy.

I really don't like that the box on the entry page is checked by default. My to-read shelf is only a subset of books that I actually own, and I don't want to risk later confusing myself by forgetting to uncheck that box.

This is just one of the many reasons I rarely enter giveaways.


message 3: by Kristine (new)

Kristine (Kristine_A) | 142 comments annoying. my guess is that authors weren't getting enough bump in people adding and reading their book from giving away books as they had hoped. go figure. in the long run a default, giant to-read list isn't helpful to authors either if readers can't actually track the difference between what they plan on reading no matter what and what they might give a chance.


message 4: by Hayes (last edited Sep 11, 2012 10:15AM) (new)

Hayes (Hayes13) I agree: annoying.

I have an exclusive shelf specifically for giveaways-firstreads. I don't put books on to read shelf until I know that I want to spend money on it or own it.


message 5: by Anke (new)

Anke | 400 comments Christa wrote: "In my case, no book goes on my to-read list until I own it. (This also nullifies the usefulness of the new book release emails.) I have a wishlist shelf for books I want to buy, but as I use it as ..."

I'm organizing my books the same way - TBR are all books I already own, wishlist are the books I'm either thinking about or waiting for the release. I entered several giveaways, but I only add the books after I won it or after buying it. If that diminishes my chances, so be it.


message 6: by Donna (new)

Donna | 5 comments I'm not fond of it either. If it is a way of weeding out entries then I guess I'll just stop entering giveaways.


message 7: by Deborah (new)

Deborah | 1462 comments I wouldn't mind the checkbox, if it didn't default to checked.

I prefer not to add books directly to my to-read shelf.


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

Kristine wrote: "annoying. my guess is that authors weren't getting enough bump in people adding and reading their book from giving away books as they had hoped."

My thoughts exactly. It baffles me, though. I think there's a huge chasm between how authors think people use shelves and how they actually do use them. The reason I love Goodreads is because get to use them in whatever way works for me, so any little detail that seems to try to get me to use them a different way is (at best) useless to me or (at worst) annoying.


message 9: by Donna (new)

Donna | 966 comments Deborah wrote: "I wouldn't mind the checkbox, if it didn't default to checked.

I prefer not to add books directly to my to-read shelf."


I agree with this. As another person who doesn't use the to-read shelf as a stockpile of every book I'm interested in, it would be much nicer if I could opt-in to adding the book rather than having to remember to uncheck it.


message 10: by mlady_rebecca (new)

mlady_rebecca | 2048 comments Considering there has always been an obligation to add the book to your to-read shelf, I find the addition helpful.

And, yes, one of the reasons authors do giveaways is to get a strong to-read interest in the book.


message 11: by ❂ Jennifer (new)

❂ Jennifer  (jennevans) | 978 comments Christa wrote: "My thoughts exactly. It baffles me, though. I think there's a huge chasm between how authors think people use shelves and how they actually do use them. ..."

I'm beginning to think the chasm is between GR and it's users. Don't get me wrong, I *love* GR and can see the logic in most of the things they do - but there have been threads lately that make me wonder if GR is in touch with how it's members are really using the site.

I'm another that only uses to-read for books I own, with another shelf for books I plan to buy.


message 12: by scherzo♫ (new)

scherzo♫ (pjreads) | 737 comments The Terms & Conditions do not require that the book be added to your to-read shelf.


message 13: by ❂ Jennifer (new)

❂ Jennifer  (jennevans) | 978 comments pjreads ♫ wrote: "The Terms & Conditions do not require that the book be added to your to-read shelf."

No, but previous discussions about the algorithm 'secret sauce' implied that adding the book increased the likelihood of winning (IIRC).


message 14: by scherzo♫ (new)

scherzo♫ (pjreads) | 737 comments I've won giveaways without adding the book to my to-read list.


message 15: by Sheila (new)

Sheila  | 575 comments Maybe the automatic "add to your shelf" thing is a way to up the numbers of books "shelved" on Goodreads, for their stat of:

What Is Goodreads?
Goodreads is the largest site for readers and book recommendations in the world. We have more than 10,000,000 members who have added more than 370,000,000 books to their shelves.


Because if you look at those stats, for 10 million members to have shelved 370 million books, that is only 37 books per member. Not many. But if they get more of the active users to add huge numbers of books to their shelves, then they can increase that stat.

And apparently some people are shelving huge numbers of books as "to read". I just checked out a muffin cookbook that is currently up for giveaway, and check the shelving for that book. Of the 202 people who have shelved this giveaway as "to read" there is one person with (I kid you not) 41,912 books on their "to read" shelf and another with 13,501. And this is just on a small, not many shelvings cookbook. I imagine there are many other members with huge "to read" shelvings also. In fact, I wonder what the highest number of "to read" shelvings for one person is?

But getting increased "to read" shelvings certainly would help the Goodreads stats, which would help them in getting advertisers, which would help them make a profit, which might help them fix some of the things that need fixing. :o)

As for me, I will not shelve it as "to read" unless I actually have a copy in my hands TO READ. So, I will not shelve giveaway entries.


message 16: by [deleted user] (last edited Sep 11, 2012 09:16PM) (new)

Sheila wrote: "In fact, I wonder what the highest number of "to read" shelvings for one person is? "

75,642 to-read is the current winner in the US.

I won't link to the profile, but Explore > People > Top Users, then switch the list to "all time". While that list of people includes all shelvings, many of them have the majority on the to-read.

I cleaned mine up because I had over 1,000 spread out over a series of to-read shelves. Yes, all of which I own either in e- or paper format. Then I realized that it takes just as long to find them and add to currently reading regardless, so I cut back to what's there now and add others as I start reading them.


Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder* (ErinPaperbackstash) | 2066 comments I agree with everyone posting here -- wishlist is for books you WANT but don't have, To-Read is books you have that are waiting to be read. I never put a giveaway entry on my TBR shelf either, that would make little sense to me!


message 18: by Kala (new)

Kala | 6 comments I just hope they don't give preference to people who put it on their to-read shelf. I enter a lot of giveaways and would hate to be at a disadvantage because I don't want my to-read shelf cluttered up :(


message 19: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 3397 comments Well, it is annoying, but there's a work-around. Change your shelf name of owned books from 'to-read' to 'to-read and owned' or something like that. Make it exclusive. Leave the plain 'to-read' shelf for giveaways and other stuff that you might read someday if you're granted the miracle of enough time.

Speaking of how users shelve books, I have several exclusive 'to-read' shelves:

to-read (this actually could use cleaning up ;)
to-read library (several copies in system, no worries)
wishlist library (want to read soon, maybe near to OOP)
incompletely investigated (don't know if it's at the libary)
new, investigate later (too early to check if it will be at library)
wishlist (actually want to buy)


message 20: by Derek (new)

Derek (derek_broughton) | 591 comments mlady_rebecca wrote: "Considering there has always been an obligation to add the book to your to-read shelf, I find the addition helpful.

And, yes, one of the reasons authors do giveaways is to get a strong to-read int..."


Excuse me? There absolutely has not been an "obligation". In fact, it's made pretty clear that you're under no obligation whatsoever. I find this "opt-in" pretty obnoxious.

I really don't get why on earth anybody would subvert the basic process of the GR system by using "To-read" only for books they own (though I know there are a LOT of people doing this) because GR's whole process assumes that "to-read" is just where a book goes when you first get interested in it (oops - I proceeded to suggest what Cheryl already said - you're brilliant Cheryl :) ), but entering a GR giveaway is NOT a guarantee of real interest. In my case, I enter because I think I _might_ be interested, and if I actually win a copy, and it's well written, THEN the author's next book will be on my "to-read".

In any case, I won't be shelving any books from the Giveaways pages, and this is just pushing me to write a script to enter giveaways more efficiently (IE, one click). I expect that's a violation of the rules, and it's certainly a violation of the spirit, but afaiac pushing me to shelve the book at all was a violation of our tacit agreements too.


message 21: by ❂ Jennifer (new)

❂ Jennifer  (jennevans) | 978 comments Derek wrote: "I really don't get why on earth anybody would subvert the basic process of the GR system by using "To-read" only for books they own (though I know there are a LOT of people doing this)..."

Not meaning at all to be argumentative here, but how in heaven's name is it subverting the GR process to put only books I own and am planning TO-READ on my to-read shelf? GR makes it pretty clear the the process is such that shelves are meant for an individual to organise their books any way they see fit. I have too many books I plan to read - so I organise it by splitting out the books I own and therefore plan on reading in the immediate future, and books I plan to read but need to purchase. Since the books I own are the more immediate to reads they go on the To-Read shelf.

How is that subversive? (Asked with sincere curiosity - I swear!)


message 22: by Anthony (new)

Anthony (ScatteredThoughts) | 4 comments I do not like having the "to read" option checked by default for the giveaways.

When I buy a lottery ticket I don't put a note for "to spend" in my wallet. :P


message 23: by Deborah (new)

Deborah | 1462 comments It's very annoying when you already have the book on another shelf.

I still think they should notify you when a book on your shelves (without a read date) is being given away.


message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

I also use to-read for books in hand, and a different shelf for books I want to acquire. I don't mind having the check box there, but the default just means one more click, which may not be much, but I've got several friends and colleagues requiring surgery for computer-related repetitive motion injuries--those clicks add up.


message 25: by Brenda (new)

Brenda | 275 comments It's not hard to 'un-tick' the box!


message 26: by Kala (new)

Kala | 6 comments Brenda wrote: "It's not hard to 'un-tick' the box!"

So long as they aren't giving preference to people who checked the box, I don't mind unchecking it.


message 27: by Danie (new)

Danie (daniexj) | 36 comments Kala wrote: "So long as they aren't giving preference to people who checked the box, I don't mind unchecking it."

That is the question, isn't it.


message 28: by Derek (new)

Derek (derek_broughton) | 591 comments Osho wrote: "I've got several friends and colleagues requiring surgery for computer-related repetitive motion injuries--those clicks add up."

❂ Jennifer wrote: "Not meaning at all to be argumentative here, but how in heaven's name is it subverting the GR process to put only books I own and am planning TO-READ on my to-read shelf? GR makes it pretty clear the the process is such that shelves are meant for an individual to organise their books any way they see fit. "

Perhaps "subvert" was a loaded word, but the problem is that while GR encourages you to create all the shelves you want, and shelve books as you want, all the default Exclusive shelves have meaning to Goodreads, so you're far better off creating new shelves for anything you want to use differently, than to fight against the system.

Osho wrote: "I've got several friends and colleagues requiring surgery for computer-related repetitive motion injuries--those clicks add up."

So true. No, it's not hard to uncheck the box, but it's unnecessary, and it's mean-spirited, and every time you forget to uncheck it, it does get notably harder to track a book down and remove it from your to-read shelf.


message 29: by Deborah (new)

Deborah | 1462 comments Danie wrote: "Kala wrote: "So long as they aren't giving preference to people who checked the box, I don't mind unchecking it."

That is the question, isn't it."


It doesn't seem to be. I've unchecked it every time and I won last night.


message 30: by [deleted user] (last edited Sep 14, 2012 09:15AM) (new)

Derek wrote: "Perhaps "subvert" was a loaded word, but the problem is that while GR encourages you to create all the shelves you want, and shelve books as you want, all the default Exclusive shelves have meaning to Goodreads, so you're far better off creating new shelves for anything you want to use differently, than to fight against the system."

Okay, I sort of get this, but I think it depends on one's mindset when first coming to GR. Especially since the now-defunct bookswap was based on wishlist shelving, if I recall. I've always had a ton of books that I hadn't read yet but owned and was going to read, so in my mind, they logically went on to-read.

I never really felt a push from the site to do otherwise, until now when a little detail like this one being discussed (and the new release email feature) come up. I've been using the site for two years, and this is the first time I've felt any "do it this way to use this feature" pressure where my to-read shelf is concerned.

For me, it feels disingenuous, like I'm supposed to commit to reading the book at that moment just so they get a shelving boost. Sure, if I win a book, yeah, I'll shelve it and read it. Until I actually have a book, it's up in the air and I refuse to pretend otherwise.


message 31: by MrsJoseph (new)

MrsJoseph | 3371 comments It doesn't really bother me...and it used to be an extra step to add a giveaway entry to your "to read" list.

IIRC, people asked for this addition because they hated the extra step.

I also have several exclusive "to read" shelves:

To Read - used as an "I might be interested"
To read owned - I have purchased
TBR first look contests - entered a giveaway



message 32: by Brenda (new)

Brenda | 275 comments Derek wrote: "So true. No, it's not hard to uncheck the box, but it's unnecessary, and it's mean-spirited, and every time you forget to uncheck it, it does get notably harder to track a book down and remove it from your to-read shelf. ..."


It's generally the last one (on my TBR list anyway).


message 33: by Derek (new)

Derek (derek_broughton) | 591 comments Christa wrote: "For me, it feels disingenuous, like I'm supposed to commit to reading the book at that moment just so they get a shelving boost. Sure, if I win a book, yeah, I'll shelve it and read it. Until I actually have a book, it's up in the air and I refuse to pretend otherwise. "

Which is exactly how I feel.

MrsJoseph wrote: "IIRC, people asked for this addition because they hated the extra step."

Maybe they did, but that's the sort of thing you should never change in any application without giving people the choice of which way they'd like it. If GR had just sent out a notice "now you can choose to have giveaways you enter automatically added to your to-read shelf", nobody would be complaining.


message 34: by mlady_rebecca (new)

mlady_rebecca | 2048 comments Goodreads doesn't require people to put Giveaways on their to-read list, but they strongly encourage it. The new feature simply reinforces the behavior they've strongly requested by making it easier to comply than it is to skip that step. You can still work around the new feature, but the most convenient path favors those who follow the "requested but not required" rules.


message 35: by Moira (new)

Moira Russell (the_red_shoes) | 390 comments ❂ Jennifer wrote: "No, but previous discussions about the algorithm 'secret sauce' implied that adding the book increased the likelihood of winning (IIRC). "

What on earth is the "secret sauce" discussion?

And yes, the first time I entered a giveaway I was unhappy to find it on my to-read list, because that's only for books I own, and I wondered if I was less likely to win the book if it wasn't on that list. (Then again I've only won about one of thirty giveaways I entered, anyway.)


message 36: by Derek (new)

Derek (derek_broughton) | 591 comments mlady_rebecca wrote: "You can still work around the new feature, but the most convenient path favors those who follow the "requested but not required" rules. "

I don't disagree with their right to do this, or even their reasons for doing so, I just think it's bad planning. The more you annoy someone (and there's no doubt this has annoyed some), the more likely they are to do something like write a Greasemonkey script that will automate their entries - against the contest entry rules, but impossible to stop.

Moira wrote: " (Then again I've only won about one of thirty giveaways I entered, anyway.) "

"Only?" That's an incredibly high ratio. I must have entered thousands by now, and won 3 or 4 - and none since my first few hundred entries. I suspect part of the "secret sauce" is a better chance to win, the fewer entries you've made.


message 37: by Deborah (new)

Deborah | 1462 comments You can easily see how many you've entered by selecting giveaways you've entered and scrolling to the bottom to see how many pages. There are 30 giveaways listed on each page. Go to the last page to get an exact count. To see how many you've won, select won as the sort and count them from the top.


message 38: by Danie (new)

Danie (daniexj) | 36 comments 30? I've won 5 I think.... Have you entered thousands of drawings or something Moira? (I've only entered about 200. Still, not a great percentage of wins, and I never seem to win the stuff I really want.) 30. Holy crap.

And Moira, but 'secret sauce' we mean the man behind the curtain (or program or algorithms or whatever behind the curtain in this case). What's in Idgie and Ruth's secret sauce.... ;)


message 39: by Deborah (new)

Deborah | 1462 comments Danie wrote: "30? I've won 5 I think.... Have you entered thousands of drawings or something Moira? (I've only entered about 200. Still, not a great percentage of wins, and I never seem to win the stuff I really..."

30 listed on each page. Multiple 30 by the number of full pages and add the number on the last page.

I was just explaining how to find out how many you've entered instead of guessing.

I've entered 1118.


message 40: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 8934 comments If I enter a giveaway and the book isn't already on my shelves, I simply click on the book from the giveaway page and I add it to its applicable shelves. It doesn't feel like a difficult step to me.


message 41: by Danie (last edited Sep 18, 2012 11:35AM) (new)

Danie (daniexj) | 36 comments Deborah wrote: "30 listed on each page. Multiple 30 by the number of full pages and add the number on the last page.

I was just explaining how to find out how many you've entered instead of guessing.

I've entered 1118. "

Ah, wasn't responding to you, but to Moira,. She's said that she'd won one in 30 giveaways. I know that it's 30 on a page.

Trust me, I know exactly how many I've entered vs. won, I just have it in a spreadsheet that I didn't have in front of me.

Anyway, to get back on topic. When I win a book, that's when it goes on my To Read shelf (although recently I'm trying it out as a shelf for what I have on hold at the library too, we'll see if it gets too cluttered with that stuff on it).


message 42: by amber (last edited Sep 20, 2012 10:35AM) (new)

amber (thelittlematchgirl) | 126 comments I don't think winning one out of thirty giveaways is all that odd. I won something within the first ten giveaways I entered.


message 43: by Debbie's Spurts (D.A.) (last edited Sep 20, 2012 04:03AM) (new)

Debbie's Spurts (D.A.) | 9 comments mlady_rebecca wrote: "Considering there has always been an obligation to add the book to your to-read shelf, I find the addition helpful.

And, yes, one of the reasons authors do giveaways is to get a strong to-read int..."


Obligation? I really missed that in Terms of Service or in the giveaway rules. Seems like more useful to authors to have books on currently-reading or read shelves. Actually, not sure I've heard any, obligated or not, wording about that. There was a reminder to not forget to add book to your shelves.

There is wording to add your wins to a first reads shelf (not a rule or obligation for giveaway and not completely sure what that accomplishes unless it's to check for reviews not disclaiming was won on giveaway—but a small thing to do and not a shelf I'd use for anything else so I have always done so).

I feel obligated to do the author the courtesy of reading and reviewing a book I did win (that's why I thought authors put books, particularly as yet unreviewed ARCs in giveaway). Some eye trouble with hardcopies vs. ebook enlarged text has me guilty over delays in reviews, so I have not been entering giveaways recently to judge if the to-read shelf is a factor in winning.

If I am interested enough to enter giveaway, I will shelve as appropriate to me. Maybe a "to read have not bought yet" "sample to read" "to read only preorder".

My to-read shelf is full of who knows what. Been on tablets and iPads recently that when I touch to add to my books that's the choice I am stuck with until I refresh page and edit shelves, do a bunch and then edit to-read shelf under "my books" or (usually) wait until back at laptop/desktop and hopefully remember to hit "my books" and cleanup the to-read shelf.

Does anyone pick their next read based on how many goodreads members shelved as to-read? Does that shelf figure in making a book the most popular or some other calculation? Just curious why goodreads or authors even care about the statistic.

I do not show marking a book to-read automatically in my update feed; I do see friend updates who do so guess that's a form of advertising or getting the word out—I pay more attention to friend comments while currently reading and their rating/reviewing once shelved as read. (I also unfriended someone who apparently only added to-reads at a rate of dozens every hour to the point theirs was only thing I did see on my feed—well before the new opt-out checkbox and they were not just adding giveaway books).


message 44: by Deborah (new)

Deborah | 1462 comments It's used when they select the books in each genre for the monthly new releases email. They have to use most shelved because there isn't enough people who have read the books that haven't been released. I often recognize some of those books as having been recent giveaway books, particularly in non-fiction.

Also on the popular by date lists.


message 45: by mlady_rebecca (new)

mlady_rebecca | 2048 comments Deborah (Debbie Rice) wrote: "Does anyone pick their next read based on how many goodreads members shelved as to-read? Does that shelf figure in making a book the most popular or some other calculation? Just curious why goodreads or authors even care about the statistic. "

For one, a book isn't included in the Recommendation engine until it has been shelved a minimum number of times.

I imagine small press authors want the to-read add just to be noticed.


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