Goodreads must be destroyed

This legitimately seems like a great research question.

Me for example. Meant to look it up. But didn’t.

TBH I don’t really like Latin intruding, it seems like upper class people private backslang/kayfabe.

But I’m a cranky old fucker and I really, really don’t like fake Latin plurals for English words, particularly if the words are really Greek (octopi I’m looking at you), or mean something different in the Latin plural (stadia I’m looking at you).

Anyway I’m far too ignorant to be a published author but any I know hate Goodreads, in about the same way people I know in hospitality hate TripAdvisor. That’s enough for me.


My response to having strong opinions about Goodreads falls squarely into this camp:

I really need less molehills in my life, the mountains are already tremendous.


What is your beef with IMDB? Not contesting, just curious.

For me, IMDb used to feel like a site for film buffs to explore, discover, and share info about films/TV shows.

Now it feels more like a massive advertising campaign. It probably changed around the time Amazon purchased it. Their redesign made it less accessible and more ad-like.


Exactly. It’s a way to track my reading without the hassle of maintaining my own database or spreadsheet, which, knowing myself, I would stop updating after a while. I’m connected to exactly one friend on there because, honestly, my reading habits feel too personal to share them on social media with mere acquaintances or even strangers.

Edit: oh, and the reading challenges actually do help me with sitting down to read more.

As for the reviews: I think I have written three. One because I was affected by a book right after having finished it, but I didn’t know anyone else who had read it, and I wanted to set down my thoughts somewhere. One because the book had gotten a few bad reviews that I wanted to write a counterpoint to. The other readers had had false expectations for this particular book in my opinion and I didn’t want anyone else who approached it with my mindset to be scared away by their reviews. And the third to inform potential readers that the author sold the book from his website and that he would see a lot more of the profits if they ordered it directly from him rather than from Amazon.


I used Goodreads briefly when I’d finished all the books by favourite authors like Diana Wynne Jones or Nancy Mitford. Any time I type into Google “If you liked Author X” the majority of hits are Goodreads recommendations & they never work for me. I’ve given up. I got better recommendations from a freebox book called something like “Great Novels By Women Authors.” That’s how I found Sylvia Warner Townsend’s forgotten classic, Lolly Willowes & Dorothy B. Hughes’ The Expendable Man. Two great books with unforeseeable twists. Don’t read the jacket blurbs.

1 Like

I’ll second Hughe’s The Expendable Man. I read it without any foreknowledge and, let’s just say it exposed my privilege.

1 Like

It’s mostly just interface stuff; for me at least it used to feel a lot easier to find the particular data you are looking for. Also you have to pay if you want to be able to change your picture in your listing and stuff like that.

1 Like

Particularly such twitish louts as Leon Tolstoy.

1 Like

The couple of times I’ve sniffed around goodreads, this is why I failed to be interested.

It’s the great mystery of our age how Big Data and “AI” can be pant-filling godlike threats to human existence, yet at the same time unable to figure out reading recommendations beyond “if you liked Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, you might like Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”.


I don’t really get that unfortunately but he did use multiple languages to tacitly express class didn’t he? In particular French which was the upper class Lingua Franca.ï/Carthago_Delenda_Est

Goodreads: just another stop along the ever-accelerating race to the bottom that is the modern web.

I’m really curious about the number of people that seemingly like to track the books they’ve read. I read loads of books but never felt the need to keep a record. Perhaps 4 or 5 times in my life is found myself accidentally reading a book I’ve read, and it didn’t seem much of a problem to me. Genuine question: why? Is it to remember what books are worth rereading?


I find it interesting to see my own trends. I read enough to forget books I read years and years ago. It is neat to sort my ratings to remind myself of older favorites for the purpose of recommending to others. I’m not in love with pushy announcements about some favored authors but I don’t have any hate for GR (also a LibraryThing user).


Honestly there’s no real reason other than interest in the total number of books I read a year and in going back and looking at trends in how my interests evolved. Not different from going back and looking at pictures from previous years’ holidays, really.


the sheer mass of books data Amazon holds is unparalleled. […] While Amazon’s product API, which catalogues huge numbers of books, can be used by anyone, it is also the only repository of its kind…
“Amazon,” Critchlow tells me, “has showed no mercy when dealing with competitors before.”

I am surprised to learn that Library of Congress or some other government agency doesn’t have a DB that you could subscribe to updates.

I would assume the LoC would only be concerned with American books?

Anyway, I think this is mostly about cover pictures and information on different editions. As anyone who has used a reference manager knows there are repositories that resolve ISBNs to book titles.



Hard to say if it were a content addressable memory whether it would help address remembering the things you meant to remember from all that reading.

Contrawise if owly let me know what (micro-) percent of the twitter firehose I’d gotten that day?