Goodreads: a reader’s best friend

I’m a huge fan of Goodreads because it helps me find new books, keep up with what I’m reading, and stay in touch with my friends. I’ve heard more and more people say that they’ve never heard of Goodreads, so I’ve compiled my favorite elements of this invaluable site.

Want to be friends on Goodreads? Click the link here to see my profile!


Let’s start out with the big ones – friends and shelves.

Connect to Facebook

One of the most important elements of Goodreads is to connect to Facebook (if that’s a thing you’re into) because you immediately get connected on Goodreads with people you’re friends with on Facebook. You can always go in and unfriend people, but they are automatically populated when you join and each time a friend joins the site.

It all comes across as a social media post that you can interact with (like, comment, add to your shelf, etc.).

Create Shelves

There are a lot of different shelves you can make! Here are some ideas:

  • Separate by genres
  • Add a shelf for books you already own on your own physical bookshelf at home
  • Create a list of suggestions for your book club (side note: do you have any good recommendations? Let me know!)

Shelves are great for easy access searching. I mostly use them for book club and when people ask what my favorite book of “x” genre.

You can also either scan the ISBN or front cover of a book to pull up the book in Goodreads (and add to your want to read list).

Goodreads Reading Challenges

One of my favorite elements of Goodreads is the Reading Challenge feature. I love picking a number of books I want to read and see myself get closer and closer.

Any book you mark as read in 2019 will add itself to this list so you don’t have to do any extra work. You can see your friends lists, and see how well-paced you are spread out amongst the year.

This year there are more than 3.5 million people doing the challenge and they’re challenging themselves to read an average of 61 books. Crazy!


The next grouping of tips relates to who to follow (other than the people you follow by default).

Follow Authors

This is a sure-fire way to make sure you’ve got new releases on your radar. Authors will do Q&As, may have their own book club, and can host their own giveaways!

Follow “Influencers”

If you’re not embedded in the Bookstagram or BookTube world, this is a great place to start. If you can find a few people to follow who you trust the opinions of, they’re doing a lot of the work for you.

I follow a few true “book” people, but also guys and gals I follow on the Internet for their other content. There are more people on Goodreads than you may think!

Anyone you follow (whether they’re your friends or people you just follow) will be popped at the top of the page when you look at a book.


The last few tips I want to touch on are easy touchpoints to help you make the most of Goodreads (for both yourself and others).

Star Things

Much like all social media platforms, there’s an algorithm. You get better suggestions for future books if you rate books you’ve read.

This is also helpful for remembering your thoughts on a book later! As I mentioned in the blog post Downsides to Reading 50+ Books a Year, I often forget what I’ve read even a few weeks after I’ve read something. By rating things I’m able to remember more (and give better recommendations to others)!

Leave Reviews

In addition to giving things a star value, add a review! I only ever do this if I feel like I’ve got something to say (there’s nothing worse than someone leaving a review that just says “it was fine”), but I always find reading other people’s reviews helpful.

Much like the other elements of “friendship” or “following” on this platform, the people you interact with most pop up on the top.

Enter Giveaways

Entering giveaways on Goodreads is incredibly simple: typically you just have to press “Enter” and you’re good to go. The odds are typically slim, but you get the chance to receive free books with minimal effort.


Have any other tips for Goodreads? There are a lot of features I don’t utilize fully (like the group features), and I’d love to hear how you use Goodreads to the fullest. Let us know in the comments below!

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