A Decade on Goodreads

decade

It was exactly ten years ago that I first discovered Goodreads and created my account. Of all the sites I’ve signed up for over the years, Goodreads is one of the few that I use regularly. It’s my first stop when I need to find information about books and authors, making it invaluable to me since I started blogging. In honor of my decade on Goodreads, I’m sharing noteworthy milestones of my membership in this bookish community.

The Books

I immediately started adding books to my shelves, because what else are you going to do when you sign up for Goodreads? On day one, I added a grand total of 79 books to my ‘read’ shelf. All but one were books I’d read in the late 80s. I added a further 96 books the second day. I didn’t take the time to count through them all, but—given those two days activity—I’m betting I managed to add an impressive number of books that first week!

First 10 Books Added

  1. To Rescue A Rogue by Jo Beverly
  2. Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews
  3. Petals on the Wind by V.C. Andrews
  4. If There Be Thorns by V.C. Andrews
  5. Seeds of Yesterday by V.C. Andrews
  6. Garden of Shadows by V.C. Andrews
  7. My Sweet Audrina by V.C. Andrews
  8. Heaven by V.C. Andrews
  9. Dark Angel by V.C. Andrews
  10. Fallen Hearts by V.C. Andrews

The stat images below aren’t perfect representations of books/pages read in the earliest years of my membership, because there were periods of time when I didn’t have constant internet access. Even so, it’s plain to see that my reading has steadily increased over the years—which is impressive when you consider I love to binge-watch things on a regular basis.

Number of books read

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Number of pages read

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The Reviews

I originally meant to share nothing more than the first ten books I added, but then I thought… what about reviews? I knew that I occasionally said a few words about books I’d finished reading, and I was curious to see what my first reviews were for, and what I had chosen to say. It’s a little cringe-worthy compared to how I review now, but hey… we all had to start somewhere, right? (If you really want to, you can click the links below to see those early reviews.)

First 10 Reviews

  1. Blue Smoke by Nora Roberts (February 16, 2010)
  2. Three Fates by Nora Roberts (February 16, 2010)
  3. Engaging the Enemy by Nora Roberts (February 16, 2010)
  4. Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon (February 17, 2010)
  5. Left to Die by Lisa Jackson (February 17, 2010)
  6. Scarlett by Alexandra Ripley (February 17, 2010)
  7. Planet X by Michael Jan Friedman (February 17, 2010)
  8. Shadows on the Sun by Michael Jan Friedman (February 17, 2010)
  9. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls (May 5, 2010)
  10. The Clinic by Jonathan Kellerman (May 7, 2010)

I’ve rated far more books than I’ve reviewed over the years. I don’t always review books anymore from my personal collection, unless I have something I really want to say about it. Those review stats are steadily climbing now that I’m book blogging, although the stat shown below is slightly skewed by that fact that some of my them currently say nothing more than “Review coming soon.” (But the reviews will be added in time, so I guess it isn’t skewed too much.)

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The Giveaways

I think the Goodreads Giveaways feature was available from the time I signed up, but I can’t remember for certain. I do remember being delighted the first time I came across it, however. I’ve entered 512 giveaways over the years, and won ten times. (I still need to read a couple of those books. Yikes! I forgot all about them.)

10 Goodreads Giveaway Wins

  1. Little Madhouse on the Prairie: A True-Life Story of Overcoming Abuse and Healing the Spirit by Marion Witte (2010 [signed copy] Review on GR)
  2. What the Dead Want by Norah Olson (2016)
  3. The Midnight Watch: A Novel of the Titanic and the Californian by David Dyer (2016)
  4. All The Breaking Waves by Kerry Lonsdale (2016)
  5. The Last Sacrifice by Joe Hart (2017)
  6. Pioneer Girl Perspectives: Exploring Laura Ingalls Wilder Edited by Nancy Tystad Koupal (2017)
  7. Caroline: Little House, Revisited by Sarah Miller (2017)
  8. The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South by Michael W. Twitty (2017)
  9. Together We Rise: Behind the Scenes at the Protest Heard Around the World by The Women’s March Organizers (2017)
  10. Silent Victim by Caroline Mitchell (2018)

Goodreads Librarian

I was granted librarian status on May 16, 2018. Other Goodreads librarians have done far more to help users and edit book/author data than I have, but I’ve enjoyed doing my part to make Goodreads better. It’s a privilege I’m grateful to have, and I do my best to make certain any edits I make are both necessary and correct, according to librarian guidelines.

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A Few Thoughts About Goodreads

Things have changed a lot since I first joined the site. In the beginning, my profile was private and I routinely ignored friend requests. I only wanted to use it to keep track of my reading. I didn’t see the point of using it as a social site.

It wasn’t until I started blogging that I finally took my profile off lockdown mode—and THAT is when I started experiencing how much fun the site could truly be. I started connecting with other who read the same genres I did, and have had some nice conversations over the years with people about books. Most of the people in my life don’t read, so it was wonderful to be able to talk about a book I loved with others who felt the same way.

The site itself has changed a lot over the years in ways that are sometimes good, sometimes bad. I still lament the demise of the Goodreads Feedback group, as it was something I used regularly to check site issues and problems. (I even added a few comments/topics of my own over the years.) I also miss being able to download ebooks of public domain titles, which appears to have disappeared several years ago.

The restructuring of Goodreads Giveaways in 2018 was also an unfortunate change. Goodreads charges $199 per giveaway for Standard giveaways, and a whopping $599 per giveaway for Premium giveaways. I remember a time when it was common to see upwards of 80 pages worth of giveaway listings. Nowadays, seeing somewhere between 20 to 30 pages is common—which seems to be a good indication that Indie authors are largely cut out due to the prohibitive costs of listing giveaways. (And didn’t there used to be both U.S. and U.K. giveaways? I could have sworn I remember seeing that back in the day, but maybe I’m wrong.)

Plus, entering a giveaway automatically places the book(s) on your want-to-read shelf, which I hate. In the past, I had a separate exclusive shelf for giveaway entries so I could (a) keep track of entries and (b) easily remove them if I chose to do so. It’s one of the main reason I rarely enter giveaway anymore, because I don’t like being forced to add something to my want-to-read shelf.

I Love Goodreads

Despite those changes, I still love using Goodreads. Unless something drastic happens with the way the site operates, I expect to continue using it for many years to come.

I’ve enjoyed looking back over the last ten years on Goodreads, and I hope you’ve all enjoyed walking down the Goodreads memory lane with me!

17 thoughts on “A Decade on Goodreads

  1. A great post. I joined GR in 2008 and find it so useful to keep track of books. You’re right they did do UK giveaways too but these stopped when they made the changes and now they’re only available to US members.

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    • Thanks, Karen! Thanks for confirming about the that. It really stinks that Goodreads did away with UK giveaways. I don’t understand why they don’t at least do Kindle giveaways… Amazon owns Goodreads! It just doesn’t make any sense to me.

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  2. I don’t spend a lot of time chatting on GR because blogging already takes up a lot of time, but it’s great for recording books and I love the stats. I entered a few giveaways at first but never won anything so I gave up in the end, but yes definitey there were UK and US ones back then. Automatically adding books to the Want to Read shelf would annoy me too…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I just reply to comments as I see replies, so any conversations I have usually happen over several days, instead of all at once. I love the stats, too! I wish they still had the one for most read authors. I’m not sure when they did away with it, but it’s been gone for a while now.

      Those giveaways are tough to win, especially when it’s a popular author. I still enter once in a blue moon if it’s something I know I desperately want to read (I entered two earlier this month). It’s easier to get most of those books on Netgalley or Edelweiss, anyway, so I’m not as driven to enter the giveaways as I used to be.

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    • Thanks, Meggy! Of all the reading sites I’ve tried over the years, Goodreads is the one that keeps me coming back. The rest were too bare bones for me. (Maybe they’re better now… it’s been a looong time.)

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    • Thanks, Nicki! Some days I feel like all I do (online) is go back and forth between Goodreads, Netgalley, and Edelweiss. 😂 I wish Amazon had left Goodreads alone… it certainly had a negative impact on indie authors and international users, where giveaways were concerned.

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    • Thanks, Lisa! I can’t remember how I found out about the giveaway fees… maybe I read about it on Book Riot? Some site I followed did a write up about it back then, otherwise I wouldn’t have known about it either.

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