I have been thinking of writing this post for a while, and today I am finally FED UP. I love goodreads. Really, I do. But in the same way you love that perpetually obnoxious pet that is kind of stupid and mean, but you have to love it because it’s yours and occasionally decides not to be demon spawn. So it is finally time to air all of my grievances, and even make a few suggestions if I may be so bold.
1. The rating system.
Who decided that not having half stars was a good idea??? WHO? Or at least making the rating system out of 10? I am so, so tired of having to write “actually 3.5 stars” on my review and then agonizing for at least 20 minutes about if rounding up is too nice or rounding down is too mean. I’m at the point where I don’t even want to give books ratings anymore because what’s the point??? It’s not like they mean anything on this godforsaken site!
2. The friend limit
I really just don’t get the point of this one? Does anyone actually care if I want to have 20,000 friends? The only reason I can think this is a thing is to keep small reviewers from gaining too much prowess by having lots of friends and not followers. Which is pretty crappy IMO. But maybe there’s another really obvious reason I’m missing.
3. Ratings influence readers
“Duh, that’s the point”. I know. But I really wish there were an opportunity to turn of seeing the average star rating of a book. Sometimes I’m looking for a book to read but if I see anything under 4 stars, I get skeptical, and that isn’t really fair. My favorite book of all time has less than 4 stars. But the unconscious impact makes me less likely to give the book a fair shot, I just know it. And I wish sometimes I could browse without worry of bias.
4. Book lists
I’m not sure if that is the correct way to phrase this, but I’m getting at the way that when you click on a genre it will bring up the “new releases” and “most read this week” lists. What I really, really want to see is goodreads compile a list of all of the books in a particular genre, and then let users filter out how they want to see them. I think currently, it only counts books that readers shelve as a specific genre, instead of books having their genres automatically attached to them. I’m thinking “random” “top rated” and “most reviewed” would be good places to start. I get really frustrated trying to find new books on there by browsing the same 3 listopia lists that are never very helpful.
5. You can’t sort by page number
Similar to my above complaint, I would love there to be a feature where you can look at “random” “top rated” and “most reviewed” books based on their page number. Or to be able to filter by page number within each genre. I really have been getting into shorter books lately, but it’s really hard to find places that give you an extensive list of good short stories to read. And even then, it’s usually one person’s opinion instead of what the top or most recent books are.
6. What I love
Mostly what I love is the community I have been able to become a part of. I am forever grateful for finding so many people willing to gush (or rant) about books with me. I love having a place to put all of my book-related thoughts, and that I can keep track of everything I read and want to read in one place. As much as I complain, I do really love being on Goodreads at the end of the day.
I also know that some of these complaints can be remedied by using thestorygraph, like page number sorting (although in a limited way) and half star ratings. And while I do use that occasionally to find new reads, it isn’t a perfect solution. I do appreciate that they are an up-and-coming book site, and will definitely be keeping my eye on them in the future.
So, what do you guys love and hate about goodreads? Let me know in the comments!