After writing about my experience using the Quality Time app, I discovered just how much time I was wasting on social media platforms that weren’t adding a whole lot of value to my life. With time being our most precious asset, I set out to do a deeper dive into my social media usage to determine what kept bringing me back to social platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
Given the worldwide pandemic and necessary restrictions on social interaction, I’ve come to the realization that what I’m really yearning for is human connection. Unfortunately, on many social media platforms these days we are served overwhelming heaps of product marketing, misinformation, and posts meant to promote someone else's politically-charged agenda– with only a dash of actual human connection. This begs the question, are there healthier options on the menu?
Goodreads–A Healthier Alternative for Social Connection
In this post, we’ll take a closer look at one such option, the Goodreads website  and app, to see if we are able to find the nourishment and value we’ve been missing from other platforms. Now, I’d like to mention that I do not have a financial relationship with Goodreads. Essentially, this is a free-website (owned by Amazon) where much of the value and human connection has yet to be diluted by marketing, memes, and misinformation.
5 Value-Adds from Goodreads
Goodreads is essentially a social media platform and cataloging system where people can connect about different books they’ve read or are interested in reading. Let’s take a closer look at what I think are 5 of the top “value-adds” of Goodreads:
1) Human Connection
Goodreads allows for human connection in a variety of ways. You are able to follow your friends, influential leaders, and a variety of authors to see what others are reading. There’s a system for submitting reviews and for commenting on the reviews of others. You also have the opportunity to create interactive surveys, polls, and group discussions about different books.
2) Book Reviews
Book reviews are one of the best value-adds that Goodreads offers. People frequently leave star ratings and written reviews about their favorite, or not so favorite, books. This helps you get a better sense of the books you are thinking about reading. There’s nothing worse than starting a 400 page book on a topic you find to be a snooze-fest. By looking at the number of ratings and reviews, you can also see what books are trending and those that are the most widely read in the world.
3) Create a To-Read List
It also allows you to curate your own “bookshelf” of books you are interested in reading. When you finish a book, you can easily move on to the next by selecting from your already pre-populated list.
4) Catalogue the Books You’ve Read
Another benefit of Goodreads is that it allows you to create another “bookshelf” of books
you’ve already read. You can rate and review these books, engage with others about your take-aways, and keep track of any book reading goals you’ve set for the year.
5) Review “Top Book Lists” for Particular Areas of Interest
One of my favorite things to do on Goodreads, is to browse their “Top Book Lists.” You can search by different categories like fiction, non-fiction, books written in the past 20 years, etc. There are also lists of award-winning titles for you to peruse. Browsing these lists is a great way of curating your "to-read" shelf even further.
Ultimately, Goodreads is a social platform/cataloging system that continues to add value to my life by introducing me to new books, allowing me to connect with others, helping me to keep track of books I’ve read, and for tracking my book reading goals for the year. If you are a literary buff or someone who is simply interested in reading more this year, Goodreads is a great resource for helping you to do so. Happy reading!
How about you? Have you used Goodreads? If so, what has your experience been?