I’ve been trying to use Goodreads for a while now. ‘Trying’ being the operative word. Not because it’s in any way hard to use. (It isn’t.) And not because I don’t think it’s cool and useful. (I do and it is.) But simply because I haven’t managed to put it into my reading action list.
Currently I read, I take notes, I finish something and drop it on the floor while I stare at the ceiling and contemplate the book’s excellence/terrible failures/hilarious problems/inspiring ideas. And then I pick up the next book. I need to insert somewhere in there ‘enter into Goodreads’ and possibly ‘write a review’.
To be honest the ‘review’ part is probably never going to get properly off the ground. Typically, I only review something if I have something I really want to say about it. Which is usually, ‘This was brilliant! You should read it now!’ or ‘This was really frustrating, let me tell you why…’
And I’m fine with that. The only time I’ve done differently was during my doctorate when I wanted a clear and specific record of everything I read. Mostly so I didn’t find myself rereading things I’d already read. (After three years of research it’s easy to get lost.) Those reviews were generally very short and often incredibly personal: I hated this or This is totally irrelevant to my thesis or That one with the blue donkey was better. I was also rather harsher than I have been historically because everything was judged on thesis time. (Was this worth the time I spent reading it? Has it advanced my research/knowledge/delight in the world?)
Those mini reviews were awesome though because they made it really easy to go back to things, to locate authors and series’ I’d enjoyed, and simply to separate the read from the unread. I’m resigned to the fact that at this point I am not going to start remembering the titles of books so this is the next best thing. And I want to start doing it again.
Currently I’m only managing to enter about one in four books I read into Goodreads. Actually reviewing them seems a long step further away, but I’m going to try. And if I write it down like this maybe I’ll actually do it.