I joined Goodreads 1 year ago. I almost didn’t use it and it kept annoying me with its daily notifications.
Updates from your friends they were called. I always deleted them instantly.
On April 28th this year (I remember the day like it was yesterday), I got really irritated by the fact that every day I received an email I didn’t read and decided to take action – actually open the message and find the unsubscribe link.
I filtered my Gmail with Goodreads and there they were, all these emails that littered my inbox. Taking a closer look, I was surprised by the fact that three of the emails from the last week had subject Updates from Stela. I opened them – and in each of them there was a different book that my friend Stela marked as Finished. “Hmm”, I thought – “3 books in a week?” At that time, it took me usually around 2 months to finish a book.
I wanted to find out more about it, so I checked out Stela’s Goodreads profile.
7 books read in April. 13 books read in March.
I asked Stela for some tips (how did she do that?) and searched on the topic of “Fast reading” a little bit more (I particularly liked Mark Manson’s article How to read faster and retain more).
Key finding: It was high time to increase my book per month ratio!
Goodreads proved itself useful by showing me what the possibilities were – and I fell in love with it since then.
It keeps me inspired
I realized that I have quite a few strong readers in my Goodreads network, each of them focused on different topics. While Stela reads tons of books on management and analytics (among others, enriched my to-read list with Managerial Analytics), my friend Petr is a great source of books on presentation skills (I’ll definitely go for Presentation Patterns). It’s also great to read fiction from time to time, and luckily for me, my friend Anna has more than hundred novels in her “Read” list (I’ll take a look at it right after I’m done with the 2000 remaining pages of Song of Ice and Fire).
And of course there are many more, who together create a constant stream of “What to read” ideas for me.
It allows me to track my progress
I love to have my progress tracked. When I was learning Italian, I typed the vocabulary I learned in an Excel spreadsheet, so that each word was on one row – and on each row I would mark how well I mastered the word in Italian. I’ve built a simple calculation over that spreadsheet that displayed a nice pie-chart showing the percentage of the words from that particular lesson I’ve mastered.
Changing books status from Currently reading to Read gives me similar pleasure, as well as taking a look at the list of finished books (maybe I’ll still think of a way how to incorporate that in an Excel chart too).
It helps me connect with like-minded people (or bookworms)
Goodreads is a great way how to stay in touch with people with whom I share interest to expand horizons, get educated, or simply put, to read books.
Plus, the “Book recommendations” feature is a neat way how to give a personal tip to someone for whom I think it might be appropriate. It’s a good conversation starter – and often results in receiving another book recommendation in exchange.
For the past two months, I keep my reading pace at 1 book per week (I know, it’s still far below Stela; but Stela is a book-addict).
If you feel like trying a new cool tool which might enhance your reading experience…
Join us on Goodreads!