Is Goodreads Good for Reading?

I find the best way to track my reading is with Goodreads.  Keeping a log is only something I started doing in the last few years.  Before that, I can only assume that it was less important to me to keep up with what I was reading.  However, I’ve been wondering recently whether tracking books actually takes something away from the experience of reading.  With an endless TBR on Goodreads, with start and finish dates, with yearly goals – is turning reading into a numbers game ruining the fun?

For me, there are obvious benefits to Goodreads.  Since I have used it, I have found that I have been engaging more with the material I am reading.  With access to quotes, author profiles, and most helpfully, reader’s reviews, it has allowed me to tie up loose ends of plots, get second opinions, and offer more books a more permanent place in my memory.  Finishing a book I love (or even one I didn’t like so much), and then being able to engage with a community of readers all suffering from the same book hangover, or the same distaste of certain parts, makes reading a book so much more exciting.

On the other hand, I feel there is more pressure to read now I have a public profile to upkeep.  Nothing takes the fun out of reading like the feeling that you have to read rather than you want to read.  This is something I have tried to adjust this year by giving myself less reading goals and challenges.

Has anyone else found this problem?  Is tracking your reading beneficial or is it burdensome?

goodreads progressNevertheless, for another year at least I will be participating in the Goodreads Reading Challenge.  Last year I read 50 books, and I’ve chosen to do the same this year.  This will be the first year since I started school that I won’t have studying to do, after the completion of my degree last year.  (That is, until I cave in and apply for a Masters).  Anyway, without any set books to read, I have a whole year ahead of me of reading for leisure.  I wonder if I’ll read less without deadlines; we shall have to wait and see.

What are your reading goals for the year?  What are your thoughts on using Goodreads, or any similar sites, for tracking your reading progress?


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  1. 9th January 2016 / 10:23 pm

    My reading goal is 75 this year; I wanted to challenge myself more. I love using Goodreads. I also find that having a number of books to aim for doesn’t force me to feel like I have to read as I always want to read. However, the last week of two of the year is often spent trying to cram more books onto my list of books read in that year and this happens whether I’ve reached my goal or not.

    • 11th January 2016 / 10:55 am

      Woah, 75! Good luck 🙂 How many did you read last year? I was debating going higher this year but I am actually a much slower reader than I like to admit, so 50 is probably about right at the moment! I’m glad setting reading goals works for you. I must admit, 2015 was one of the most organised reading years I’ve ever had thanks to Goodreads, and it has felt pretty good to read some books I’ve been talking about for years. Thanks for the comment!

      • 11th January 2016 / 11:04 am

        Haha I know, a lot. I read 57 last year so this is definitely a step up! I agree, it was the first year I used Goodreads and I’m so glad I joined, haha!

  2. 10th January 2016 / 9:08 am

    I used good reads too and like you I’ve set a goal for fifty books this year. I tend to be ones of those people who is reading eight different books at once and this year especially having good reads has encourage me to actually finish one book at a time and get a whole book read rather than hopping from one to another.

    • 11th January 2016 / 11:13 am

      I have to agree with you 🙂 I tend to read multiple books at once too! Goodreads has been a great help in managing my reading, as I can be quite fickle with books and drift between a number of them at once. Good luck with your goal of 50 – we can do it!

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