Featured App: Goodreads for Book Lovers

December 17, 2020

Skt News Article December 2020 Featured Image Goodreads2

One of the best free apps for book lovers, Goodreads is a social networking site designed for bookworms, avid readers – and authors. It was created with the mission of helping people find and share the books they love. Today it’s the world’s largest site for book reviews and recommendations – now owned by AmazonWe especially like the message from its co-founder, Otis Chandler, who launched Goodreads in January of 2007: 

When I was in second grade, I discovered the Hardy Boys series. Ever since, I’ve loved to read — both for fun and to improve my mind. And I’m always looking for the next great book. 

One afternoon while I was scanning a friend’s bookshelf for ideas, it struck me: when I want to know what books to read, I’d rather turn to a friend than any random person or bestseller list. 

So, I decided to build a website – a place where I could see my friends’ bookshelves and learn about what they thought of all their books. Elizabeth, my co-founder (and now my wife) wrote the site copy and I wrote the code. We started in my living room, motivated by the belief that there was a better way to discover and discuss good books, and that we could build it. 

Goodreads is that site. It is a place where you can see what your friends are reading and vice versa. You can create “bookshelves” to organize what you’ve read (or want to read). You can comment on each other’s reviews. You can find your next favorite book. And on this journey with your friends you can explore new territory, gather information, and expand your mind.  

Knowledge is power, and power is best shared among readers. 

Here are just some of the things you can do with the Goodreads app (using any iOS or Android device) or at your desktop: 

  • See what books your friends are reading. 
  • Keep track of the books you’re reading, have read, and want to read (on virtual shelves!). 
  • Check out your personalized book recommendations, tailored to your literary tastes. 
  • Find out if a book is a good fit for you from the community’s reviews. 
  • Scan books on-thego. 
  • Explore book lists and new genres. 
  • Give and get book recommendations. 
  • Be inspired to read more. 

On December 8 of this year, Goodreads’ 12th Annual Choice Awards announced its Best Books of 2020 winners – the only major book awards decided by readers. There were 5,674,480 votes cast! A few of the categories are Best Fiction, Best Romance, Best Science Fiction, Best Mystery & Thriller, Best Nonfiction, Best Humor, Best Historical Fiction, and Best Picture Books. A great resource in itself, this announcement was picked up by NBC News and USA Today. 

We realllike the site’s “Search and Browse Books” and “Quotes sections. And, it’s a great resource for book club organizers. 

Actually, about the only thing you can’t do on Goodreads is READ a book! But, they’ve provided some helpful resources: 

  • eBook Samples – Goodreads actually does have a small selection of free, readable ebooks. 
  • Free Kindle Books on Amazon
  • Goodreads Giveaways – Goodreads has a giveaway program on the site that allows authors and publishers to give away copies of their books. To enter for a chance to win, you can visit the Giveaways page on the desktop site. If you’d like to enter to win Kindle giveaways, you’ll first need to link your Goodreads and Amazon accounts, here.  
  • Books in the Public Domain – After many years of publication, some books fall into the public domain. If you’re a fan of classics, you can read many of these for free online. A great source is Project Gutenberg. 
  • Your Local Library – Finally, just like SKT, Goodreads is a big fan of our local libraries! Nowadays many libraries also support the borrowing of ebooks, meaning you don’t have to leave the house to browse or check out books. CloudLibraryis a good way to facilitate ebook loans at your local library; or check out Digital Book eLending at the Kansas State Library.  

As Frank Zappa famously lamented, “So many books, so little time.” Make the best use of your precious reading time by utilizing this great app – Goodreads.