The Extra Cool Group! (of people Michael is experimenting on) discussion

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Pertaining to the project > Has GoodReads changed the way you read?

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message 1: by Jimmy (new)

Jimmy (jimmylorunning) | 133 comments For example... I sometimes will think about how I want to review a book as I'm reading. I never used to do that before Goodreads. Also, does it change what book you will read next just because some of your friends are really looking forward to your opinions on a certain book? How else has it changed your reading habits? etc.


message 2: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) GR has definitely changed the way I read by broadening my experience. Because friend's opinions have steered me to so many good books, I'm more likely to read books I never would have picked up before based on the summaries. I'm more likely to read outside my normal genres, too. I've never read ARCs or much self-published stuff before, either. Now I do fairly often.


message 3: by Scribble (new)

Scribble Orca (scribbleorca) | 123 comments Yes. I've stopped reading.


message 4: by Brainycat (new)

Brainycat GR hasn't changed the way I read, but it has changed what I read. Like Jim said, I'm exposed to many more quality books than I could ever find by myself.

I don't think about my review until after I'm done with the book. I read for my own pleasure and edification; sharing my thoughts about the experience is how I contribute to the community. The two are totally separate endeavors, IMHO.


message 5: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Definitely! I've read many books based on friends' reviews or comments in groups. A friend's review of True Grit made me borrow the book from the library the same day I read it and then watch the movie shortly after. It's a truly wonderful story and not my normal genre at all.

And another friend's review of Meat is likely to make me break my promise not to buy any new books before next year.


message 6: by MJ (new)

MJ Nicholls (mjnicholls) More recommendations from über-readers. Encourages close reading: proper analysis of a text's subtleties and nuances. It's too cliquey to get a good debate going but I love passing and taking book tips.


message 7: by Paul (new)

Paul Bryant There are some books which intrude upon one's consciousness due to the goodreads vibrations - e.g. The Jewish messiah, which I read, and The Lonely Polygamist, which is on my shelf. I would never have bothered with either ordinarily. But I guess there is no "ordinarily" now, only goodreads...
Also there are some books I have read so that i can write a witty review, which sometimes works and sometimes...doesn't. I am convinced a lot of people here do this, I am not alone.
Also goodreads has changed the way I don't read books, because now I can tell you all exactly why I won't read them (on my shelf called "not to read ever").


message 8: by Djrmel (new)

Djrmel | 4 comments The only way it has changed how I read is that I'll check out the reviews on Goodreads before I toss a book into the "could not bring myself to finish it" category. Occasionally I'll see something in the reviews or in a group discussion that convinces me to keep reading, so I am abandoning slightly fewer books.

Goodreads has most definitely changed what I read, along with the quantity of reading I do. So many books, so little time.....


message 9: by Msmurphybylaw (new)

Msmurphybylaw | 4 comments It has broadened my genre base, but I still read a lot of classics.
I can tell fairly quickly by others reviews if should even bother with a best seller or a popular new book that is out. I like that.


message 10: by Nate (new)

Nate (rockhyrax) As most have said, it's vastly broadened the scope of what kinds of books I can hear about and read. Mike E. a few posts up is one of a handful of readers whose recommendation alone is enough to lead me to new great authors and books (Renata Adler's Speedboat, the novel that Werckmeister Harmonies was based on (Melancholy of Resistance), and in the mail yesterday, Rikki Ducornet's Phosphor in Dreamland, which I'm excited to start).

As a result, my reading has exploded since June. Before, I'd been focused for a while on catching up on 20th century modernist and post-modernist edifices, but since then I've had the chance to mix in a much broader swath of books I hadn't even known existed 6 months ago. It is very very exciting.

Also, I find myself writing sub-reviews as I go, now, whenever I have thoughts to jot down. And I write down quotes on the way much more often, which often helps me internalize what I'm reading in a different manner than before.


message 11: by Michael, Sonic the Hegemon (new)

Michael | 183 comments Mod
I feel like Goodreads is a Ferrari compared to the horse-and-chariot of conversations about books with most people IRL. On here, I know people who read books in the new weird genre, something nobody I know in real life (other than people I've introduced to the genre) knows about. Hell, IRL, I can't even find anyone who has HEARD OF Cormac McCarthy's The Road. On here, at least a dozen of my friends have read that and a bunch of my other favorites. So, I can have a completely different level of conversation about books on Goodreads.


message 12: by Christy (new)

Christy (christymtidwell) | 18 comments Michael wrote: "I feel like Goodreads is a Ferrari compared to the horse-and-chariot of conversations about books with most people IRL. On here, I know people who read books in the new weird genre, something nobo..."

That's really interesting. I guess I'm privileged to have a bunch of real life book nerd friends and also to be an English teacher and grad student - I'm surrounded by people who are ready, willing, and (usually) able to discuss books of all sorts.


message 13: by Jimmy (new)

Jimmy (jimmylorunning) | 133 comments Yeah me too, I know plenty of people in real life who have read Cormac McCarthy. The problem is, I'm more interested in discussing Elena Garro...


message 14: by Mohammed (new)

Mohammed  Burhan Abdi Osman (mohammedaosman) | 14 comments Of course the more friends you have whose taste you know and respect the more variation you have when you read.

Reviews wise it didnt change anything and i always review a novel only when i finish in my own mind. Sometimes i write them down in Gooreads.

Also i tend to be more effective when i know i have a book on currently reading. Its a constant reminder since GR is the site i check most often.


message 15: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) I've been an avid reader since I was a kid, but GR has prompted me to read even more because of the enthusiastic suggestions or because I can't wait to finish and join a discussion thread.

I never even know if I'll be in the mood to write a review, so I don't read a book with a review in mind. Sometimes I'll love a book and just rate it, other times I'll hate a book and feel the need to write a review. It just depends on how I'm feeling.

I work in a library and many coworkers either don't read or don't tend to share what they read, so GR is a godsend for me since I've always loved reading (or watching movies) and discussing them.

GR is the place I can come to to seek out non-mainstream books.


message 16: by Mohammed (new)

Mohammed  Burhan Abdi Osman (mohammedaosman) | 14 comments Tressa wrote: "I've been an avid reader since I was a kid, but GR has prompted me to read even more because of the enthusiastic suggestions or because I can't wait to finish and join a discussion thread.

I neve..."


I havent always loved reading but when i fell for it i saw most of my friends in my everyday life didnt read unless they had for school. GR is godsend to me because there are many people like me who are passionate about reading. Alot of people to talk about reading. Otherwise it would boring for me.


message 17: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn (kathry) I am in the same boat as those of you with limited people IRL who are familiar with any books you have read. No one in my town who I know has heard of McCarthy and I find that frustrating. I have learned to almost never talk about books IRL, except with my mom thank God. At work, if I say I stayed home and read, people mostly look at me with pity. You should see the looks I give them after overhearing an hour long conversation about The Real Housewives of blah blah blah.

Goodreads helps me to breath and feel human, something I never would have thought to say about an online social site. I mostly hate computers, except when they help me read or buy more books.

Yes, Goodreads has changed how and what I read. My tastes are completely different. I used to mostly read fantasy and sci-fi. I rarely do now. It's mostly UF and horror these days.

And as was already mentioned, I will buy a book solely due to the comments/reviews/ratings of friends on this site. With a select number of friends, I will buy a book without knowing the genre or anything about the plot. Sometimes surprises are great. I have read Snowcrash, Perdido Street Station, Thw Willows, and The Road all due to similar scenarios and each of these books have permanent residence on my favorites shelf.

When I read now I may mark or save a certain passage, so I have a quote or will clearly remember how I felt at that moment. At times I have marked huge sections, too many pages/chapters, and it's too much to mention. Those are often reviews I give up on, books I love intensely and am unable to briefly summarize why. Case in point, favorite books without reviews.

And thanks Nancy, I think you should break your rule and buy the book! Definite rec for you!


Jackie "the Librarian" G N wrote: "Yes. I've stopped reading."

Hahahahaha!!! G N, Goodreads has been deleterious to my reading habits as well.


message 19: by J.G. Keely (new)

J.G. Keely (keely) | 25 comments I sometimes will think about how I want to review a book as I'm reading. I never used to do that before Goodreads.

Mmm, interesting. Perhaps it's because I'm a lit major, but I was always thinking about a book as I was reading it, trying to understand it, the author's thoughts and desires, the place and time the book were written, the qualities of the book, its relationship to other books I'd read.

For me, GR is just a place I can get those thoughts out of my head and keep track of them. It fulfills my desire to continue using my critical faculties.

I've always had a huge 'to-read' pile made up of suggestions from people I know or from my own research into genres and chains of influence. That hasn't really changed since I started GR.

I will sometimes push something to the top of the pile if I know a lot of people have read it or are planning to read it, hoping to spur discussion. And I got a free copy of Kraken from one of the contests, but other than that the only effect it has is that I can keep track of the books I want to read.

Though sometimes, when I've heard of a book but don't feel sure whether I want to read it, I'll look through the GR reviews and try to find an intelligent review from someone who loves it, and one from someone who hates it, and between them, I can usually get a good idea of whether or not the book would be a waste of my time.


message 20: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (moanalisa) Though sometimes, when I've heard of a book but don't feel sure whether I want to read it, I'll look through the GR reviews and try to find an intelligent review from someone who loves it, and one from someone who hates it, and between them, I can usually get a good idea of whether or not the book would be a waste of my time.

I do this too, Keely. If I see an even mixture of 1 and 5 star reviews, I'll look at what they hated/loved about it and weigh it all before making a decision. Sometimes what people hate about a book doesn't have anything to do with the story, if that makes any sense.


message 21: by Aloha (new)

Aloha It has changed big time. For one, I received tons of book recommendations, more than I can read. I end up buying them or getting them in eBook. They are quickly building up, the unreads. For another, if I want to give up on a book, a friend sometimes will encourage me to finish it because they want to hear what I have to say about it. This is also were reviewing comes in. I'm encouraged to write reviews because a friend wants to read my impression of the book. Unfortunately, with time constraint, the reviews still don't get written and the unreads are still piling up.


message 22: by Aloha (new)

Aloha I've also become pickier since I have so many recommendations to choose from. I am also less likely to finish a book if I don't like it because I'm leering at the unread pile of great books.


message 23: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) | 231 comments Jimmy wrote: "Yeah me too, I know plenty of people in real life who have read Cormac McCarthy. The problem is, I'm more interested in discussing Elena Garro..."

Elena Garro!
You're the first person I've 'met' on Goodreads who's heard of her!
I have several of her books, but only in Spanish. It's been a long time since I read her too. I also ahve a short story of hers in a collection I love (also in Spanish)...Discuss away!


message 24: by Jimmy (new)

Jimmy (jimmylorunning) | 133 comments Cool! I don't know Spanish, do you? I just read her in translation. I've only read Recollections of Things to Come. Have you read that?


message 25: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) | 231 comments No! I haven't read that! Want to.
I do know Spanish--studied it, and lived in Mexico for 4 years in the 80's (how I came across Gallo). I even teach beginning Spanish. But I still prefer to read (most things/most of the time) in English. An exception would be poetry and short stories. Novels are just so...long. anyway, got to run to class, more later!


message 26: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Klehr (goodreadscomkevink) | 10 comments I'm coming across books I want to read, but I'm hesitant to mark them as 'to-read' etc because in my life I find little time to read.

I'm just keeping a mental note of the books instead.


message 27: by Brainycat (new)

Brainycat GR's "To Read" shelf is my mental note :)


message 28: by Jimmy (new)

Jimmy (jimmylorunning) | 133 comments Me too. Does anybody use the NOTES field? I use it for almost all my To Read books, to keep track of where I first heard of it. Otherwise I will look at the stack of to-read books and have no idea why I should read any of them.


 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) GRs mainly has fine-tuned my reading somewhat: organizationally, posting reviews, categorizing, etc. It has helped me to expand my reading tastes. I am glad that I get to talk to other readers. Like others have mentioned, I don't know all that many readers in real life. I also meet a lot of genre snobs in real life, so it's nice to be a part of communities that read the kinds of books I enjoy.


message 30: by Jimmy (new)

Jimmy (jimmylorunning) | 133 comments What is a genre snob? Is it someone who will only read within one genre? Or someone who refuses to read a book if it is in a genre?


 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) My definition of a genre snob is a person who looks down on books like horror, fantasy, romance, westerns, etc. In other words 'genre' books.


message 32: by [deleted user] (new)

Like a lot of the others have said, Goodreads hasn't changed how I read but it has changed what I read.

I now actually have good recommendations for books to read instead of the shitty "popular" book recs I'd get from other sources(friends/family).


message 33: by Bill (new)

Bill (kernos) | 41 comments Kevin, my mental notes are vaporware. To remember, I put these in my wanted to buy category. My to be read is only for books I have already acquired.


message 34: by Jimmy (new)

Jimmy (jimmylorunning) | 133 comments Lady Danielle "The Book Huntress" wrote: "My definition of a genre snob is a person who looks down on books like horror, fantasy, romance, westerns, etc. In other words 'genre' books."

OK I'll admit, I'm a bit of a genre snob. Not that I look down on them, just that I don't prefer to read them unless I've heard somewhere that it breaks out of the mold of the genre in some interesting way.


message 35: by Stacey (new)

Stacey (staceyhh) | 11 comments Not the way I read, but it certainly has changed what I choose to read. I often use it for weeding out my TBR pile.


message 36: by Mohammed (last edited Dec 02, 2010 11:55AM) (new)

Mohammed  Burhan Abdi Osman (mohammedaosman) | 14 comments Jimmy wrote: "Me too. Does anybody use the NOTES field? I use it for almost all my To Read books, to keep track of where I first heard of it. Otherwise I will look at the stack of to-read books and have no id..."

Thats actually a very nice idea you gave me. I tend to forget some of my to read books i dont have at home. Why i added them,who recommended them etc

Usually i use notes only to tag books as library books so i know they arent my books.


message 37: by Scribble (new)

Scribble Orca (scribbleorca) | 123 comments Jackie "the Librarian" wrote: "Hahahahaha!!! G N, Goodreads has been deleterious to my reading habits as well."

And have you noticed your TR pile is starting to resemble the Tower of Babel, as well? H-e-e-e-l-p!


message 38: by Bill (new)

Bill (kernos) | 41 comments I think mine more resembles downtown Hong Kong. H-e-e-e-l-p indeed.


message 39: by Joyzi (new)

Joyzi (joit) | 20 comments Yeah I think I've read more because of Goodreads especially that I know what are the good and popular books


message 40: by Annalisa (last edited Dec 04, 2010 11:33AM) (new)

Annalisa (goodreadsannalisa) Yes, yes, and yes. Before GR, I had trouble finding things to read. I'd browse the library shelves, check out an armful of books that grabbed my attention, and maybe make it through one of them. I'd think about books, but without anyone to discuss them with (and let's be honest: book club discussions are rarely that intense) or the depth of literature to compare it against, there isn't the same growth. I didn't read like crazy until I had GR to make my to-read overwhelming. I find I give up later in a book than I used to because I want to make sure I can give an honest opinion in my review and I'll read things I may not otherwise because people have asked for my opinion.


message 41: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) | 231 comments I find I give up later in a book than I used to because I want to make sure I can give an honest opinion in my review and I'll read things I may not otherwise because people have asked for my opinion.

that seems like a very positive by-product of reading/reviewing on goodreads.


message 42: by Annalisa (last edited Dec 08, 2010 06:09PM) (new)

Annalisa (goodreadsannalisa) I agree, Jessica. I think the most positive by-product (although maybe not so much by as the purpose of) is the amount of books I want to read.


message 43: by Joyzi (new)

Joyzi (joit) | 20 comments Agree because of GR my TBR pile became gargantuan


message 44: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) Joyzi is *Team Adrian* wrote: "Agree because of GR my TBR pile became gargantuan"

Ditto. My goal for this year is to NOT buy any books & just read what I have. If I do that I might knock out my physical TBR pile, although there could be too many books for that in it. I generally only read 150 books or so a year...


message 45: by Pamela(AllHoney) (new)

Pamela(AllHoney) (pamelap) Yes, I think GR has influenced my reading habits. I tend to be influenced by certain reviews to either read or not read certain books. Also, I tend to spend more time here and less reading :)


message 46: by Karen ~ Divhine (new)

Karen ~ Divhine (karenjs) Pamela - I agree, I am also influenced by certain reviews and agree with most of them so it helps me in buying my books. However, my TBR stack is growing and yes, I spend more time here and less reading. :)


message 47: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Goodreads has changed the way I read a bit because I get to discuss it more with people who (mostly) enjoy the same books I do.

I am a very fast reader, so I started using the status update feature to consciously slow myself down. It also has the nice side effect of encouraging conversation on the book, especially if the update was a quote.

I find that a lot of people are more interested in discussing specific events or quotes that they've seen in an update rather than actually commenting on a review. And that's really why I'm here... I just want to talk about the books I read.


message 48: by Velvetink (new)

Velvetink | 35 comments I'm able to find more books (I never knew existed) on topics I'm actually interested in, rather than rely on browsing in bookstores so simplifying my shopping experience. It's inspired me to challenge myself each year (books read) and shamed me into improving my actual writing and spelling, despite once having the dubious occupation of proofreader in a national newspaper. Goodreads has also quelled my fears that I was the only person on the planet who thought like I did.


message 49: by Desperado (new)

Desperado (lethallovely) I don't think it's changed the way I read, but it's definitely changed how I go about reading. I used to hit the nearest bookstore, looking for authors I'm familiar with, then browsing for the rest of my purchases. Now, I have a printed list longer than my height of all the books on my TBR shelf. If I see a book not on my TBR shelf, I write the title down then hop on GR when I get home to read the reviews/ratings.

GR has made browsing damn near obsolete for me. I love that GR has opened me up to so many different authors & series & FRIENDS WHO READ-yay!-but I admit, I miss the spontaneity & being able to walk into a store with no destination. Now every purchase seems pre-planned.


message 50: by Velvetink (new)

Velvetink | 35 comments .I miss the spontaneity & being able to walk into a store with no destination. Now every purchase seems pre-planned.

I felt like that till I found a 2nd hand store that sells books by the bag load for $10. Now I take risks. ;D


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