September 19, 2008

GoodReads – Read With Friends


GoodReads gives you the chance to get together online with people who are reading the same books you are. It’s social networking for book lovers. Like other social networking sites, on GoodReads you can create and edit a profile to show your interests, add friends, send them messages, join groups and participate in discussions. There are some active groups on the site, and there are also other fun features such as book trivia questions and voting for favorite books. Most of the features on the site are accessible without signing up. You can follow group discussions, read reviews and check out your favorite authors. However, if you want to take part in the social side you will need to join the site.

Adding books is simple. If you are a member of another books site, you can export your book list in Excel CSVformat and import it into GoodReads – which works quite well. Anytime you check out a new book on GoodReads, you have the option to add it to the list of books you have read, are reading or are about to read. The latest additions, with your reviews and comments, appear on your public profile for others to see. GoodReads takes the guesswork out of finding new books to read and gaining greater enjoyment in the whole process.

Practical Uses

  • Link up with people who are just as passionate about fantasy novels as you are
  • Form an online reading group focused on great literary works with people from all over the world
  • Get your life more organized by keeping track of all the books you have read and plan to read
  • Use GoodReads to share your own writing with interested readers

Insider Tips

  • Add new shelves for topics of particular interest to make it easy to keep track of your books
  • Browse the most popular shelves to find new books to read or add
  • You can view popular quotes from some of the world’s greatest writers by clicking on the ‘quotes’ link

What We Liked

  • GoodReads has a clear interface that puts all the focus on the books. It is easy to see which books are most popular with GoodReads users
  • The site has solid search features; essential if you have read a lot of books
  • You can include private notes about a book when you edit the information

What We Didn’t Like

  • Importing books from other sites does not bring over any personal reviews or comments
  • Writing book reviews seemed a bit more cumbersome compared to competing sites


Company Info

  • Launched: December 2006
  • Privately Held
  • Headquarters: Santa Monica, CA
  • Founded by: Otis Chandler
  • Website:


  • Free (ad supported)


  • 4 out of 5 (great)


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