Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Trouble with Goodreads

Good day all!

I have been pondering something for a while and I thought best to put my thoughts out there on the blogosphere.

If you are reading this post, chances are you are as avid a bookworm as I am. And, if that is the case, then surely you too are a member of Goodreads, the social network for bookish folk.

I have dabbled on and off with Goodreads since 2010 or thereabouts. At first, it was really great to see what others were reading and to get unfiltered reviews on books. I used to look up every book religiously before reading it ad found myself agreeing with most reviewers, whether positive or negative.

And that fact right there became a problem.

As a reviewer myself, I try to keep my opinions my own. How could I possibly do that when I already have a preconceived idea of a book? If I read reviews complaining of a bitchy main character or a flat, boring love triangle, that would be all I noticed with that particular book.

So now I completely avoid Goodreads if there is a particular book that has caught my eye. I feel that people often write scathing reviews because they can and they fail to understand that their tastes are not mine. Also, who really wants to read a book and pick it apart line by line? Does that simple fact kill the enjoyment of it anyway?

What are your thoughts on this? Are reviews a good or a bad thing? (As someone who runs a book review blog, I really want to know!)


  1. I just came across this blog article as an author who is getting disheartened by some of the ratings I get on Goodreads. While I understand that people are entitled to their opinion, and tastes vary, I find that I am troubled by people who rate or review books poorly based solely on the fact that a book was not what they expected. My own personal approach to rating books is on the quality and merits of a book, not necessarily because the book was what I expected or not. The same book has a 4.something rating on Amazon while getting a below 4 rating on Goodreads. It's the same book... so I wonder what the disparity comes from? Anyway, I happen to be in a philosophical mood just now and happened upon your article. It hit on some of the very same points I was pondering just now. :-)

    1. Hey Stephanie,

      Thanks for leaving a comment! I still feel the same way about Goodreads three years later.

      I think trolls gotta troll and bad reviews get more attention than good reviews, especially if there is the use of memes and snark. And people are often thoughtless and do not consider the author might be reading them too.

      Look at poor Stephenie Meyer. She got so much shit from reviewers, however her books sold and were still popular. But she took those reviews to heart and almost never wrote anything again.