Articles, Books

Goodreads: A Guide


What is Goodreads? 

Goodreads is a website where you can discover new books based on your personal preferences. Because it has so many awesome features, people might be overwhelmed and not really come back to the website. I have been on Goodreads for around 4 years now, and have enjoyed it more each and every year. I am here to explain some of the features and activities that Goodreads has. 

What are some key features of the website?

At the beginning of making your account, you can choose which genres you normally enjoy. From there, you will receive recommendations based on this. You can change your preferences at any point after establishing your account. You can add your friends on the website, so you can keep up with what your friends are reading. You can also see their reviews of each book if they choose to review it. This can give you an insight into what people around you may enjoy, and give you inspiration for your next read!

Each time you want to read, are reading, or have finished a particular book, you can record it on your account. You can even record what page you are on, or what your percentage of completion is. You may also comment about whatever is on your mind, creating a sort of virtual book club that you and your friends can enjoy. You can also follow your favorite authors, and they may share opinions on books they have read as well. You will from time to time get emails about recommendations, but thankfully your inbox will not be infiltrated as they are only sent about a couple times a month. They also have annual choice awards for the best books determined by readers of the website. They have giveaways, quizzes, trivia, and a creative writing format where you can write your own stories.

My Favorite Feature

Besides having a book club within your friend group, you can connect with people on the website who love the same books as you and discuss them. You can have a q&a with authors who have opened a forum on the website. To add on to all of this, Goodreads can find local events based on your location revolved around book signings or events/conferences that an author will be speaking at. And finally, my personal favorite: The Reading Challenge.

Each year, Goodreads has a system that can keep track of the books you have read that year. At the beginning of the year, you can start with a goal of a number of books to read during that year. You can choose anywhere from 1 to 1000. This can motivate you to read while adding a friendly competition between you and your friends to see who can read the most. 


Clearly the pros are that there are so many awesome features to partake in on the website. You can go to it anytime you need book recommendations and it is there. Because so many users are on, you can get backed up reviews from the quantity of reviewers. This is a simple way to keep in touch with possible friends who have moved away or you have lost touch with. It is an easy-going safe website that anyone of any age can use. 


Because there are so many features, it can get confusing. The website also could be slightly easier to use because there are so many different tabs when it could be more organized. The aesthetic of the website is quite bland however it can give a calming bookstore feeling. 

What are the takeaways?

With Goodreads, you have the ability to connect with people and share ideas and opinions about your favorite (or not so favorite) books. You can log on at any time and participate! You can have a bit of competitive fun using the features with your friends, and it can get you into the habit of reading. For students, it can help with assigned reading during the summer or during the school year. You can get awesome recommendations based on the books you have liked and disliked, and continue to recommend to others! There are some many features that have so many benefits. It is right there in the name! I hope you choose to check it out and make an account. You definitely won’t regret it! I hope you all are having a great summer. Good reading!

Check out the website yourself and find your next book to binge read. But, if you can’t find anything there check out our list of 12 Summer reads!


Sela is a HS junior and a member of GirlSpring's teen leadership group, Springboarders. She runs a chapter of GirlSpring at her school where she seeks to empower other girls' voices.

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  • Lydia Bloodworth

    I love goodreads! I pull up my “want to read” list before car trips and grab the books from the library. And if I anyone ever asks me for book recommendations, having all of the books I have ever read in one place makes it really easy.

    January 3, 2020 at 10:11 pm
  • maggiee

    Cool – Thanks for posting!

    January 4, 2020 at 1:19 am
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