Goodreads must be destroyed

I’m not trying to make you do anything you’re not comfortable doing, but you did ask. Frankly, it being horrible for society is justification enough for me to viscerally loathe it. Your mileage may vary, and I admit that I don’t have an equivalent to that community aspect you describe.


Mostly because if I made a list irl, it would be set aside and disappear, get thrown away, etc. Lists I keep on my hard drive end up being forgotten when I get a new system, or die along with the hard drive. I could keep a list on Google docs, I suppose, but it is convenient to search a title on Goodreads, set to “want to read”, or “currently reading”, and be done with it.

If someone asks me for book suggestions, I can just point to my Goodreads. It’s handy.


Not a chance, I guess I don’t personally have a strong desire to keep track. But one person’s fish is another’s poison.

GR is like all social media, you have to curate who you interact with.
If you decide to walk through crap some of it is probably going to get stuck on your shoes.

I have been there for years. I love logging my books but also post reviews and am quite active in the forums. 99.9% of all my interactions have been pleasant - which is better than most other places on the internet.


This description makes some other sites come to mind that I still visit frequently but used to find more useful and enjoyable.


I’ve always used LibraryThing, and I love it.

I don’t really interact with other uses either, when I finish a book I sometimes find it useful to see what other readers enjoyed to find something new to read.

If somebody reccomends book #5 of a series, I’m likely to consult goodreads to find out what the first book is–particularly since the first may have appeared under a different name, or to be so aold as to not merit an ebook. The “fun” series are those where chronological order differs from publication order.

I know, Book #n of #m is a sign that an author writes genre fiction instead of real literature, but…

1 Like

So, last year I was annoyed with GoodReads myself. Because I’m a programmer, I thought of building an alternative. But then I came across Internet Archive’s OpenLibrary. It’s an actively developed project with many essential features from GoodReads.

But I wanted social networking, and more importantly for me, learning was the central activity, not reading. So, I ended up building this open-source site which implements protocols like ActivityPub, RSS etc so that in future it can be decentralized. It’s not like GoodReads - because it covers all kind of learning materials like books, courses, videos, podcasts, livestreams, interactive explorables etc. But there are some features which people here might find useful. For eg, if you go to a book’s page, you will also find links to summaries, or the author’s videos or TED talks.

The central assumption is that learners are more interested in the ideas, rather than one particular expression. I am going to presenting a talk at the upcoming ActivityPub conference about this. But feel free to try it out and share any feedback.


There’s a proposal for a decentralized GoodReads floating around: which I’ve been meaning to take a deeper look at. I developed an experimental indieweb microformat for books a few years, but never had any time to do anything much with it.

I use, and love, Librarything. It’s free now but it used to be a paid service, so its always operated on a different model. The big use for me has always been cataloguing the books I own as I had a serious problem with buying duplicates. I also manually maintain a list of books I’ve read there. Partly just so I can remember then but I also keep stats: author gender, works in translation vs English (and what languages), type etc.


Goethe and Shakespeare weren’t above writing sequels to popular works


The whole ‘genre fiction isn’t real literature’ bomb is always there, waiting for someone to stumble into it…

1 Like

loves labours won?

1 Like

For example. Or the histories. And of course he did fan service by bringing back a popular supporting character in a completely different genre.


If historical fiction is genre, most of Shakespeare would be genre, with many sequels.


My own Hamlet’s Big Adventure! (a prequel) , co-written with my Reduced Shakespeare Company partner Reed Martin, tries to answer the most important and fundamental questions raised in Shakespeare’s famous tragedy, like:

  • How did Hamlet get his extensive knowledge of theatre?
  • Why is Ophelia’s mother not even mentioned in Shakespeare’s play?
  • Is ‘Polonius’ that character’s first name or last name?

Unlike Shakespeare’s tragedy, we wanted to write the comedy of the prince of Denmark, and we started by asking ourselves “What would it be like if Tom Stoppard wrote Muppet Babies ?” The characters would be young, full of promise, intellectually curious, existentially fraught, and deeply, unapologetically, silly. (The show’s marketing tagline is, “Nothing is rotten. Yet.”) The story also became, somewhat surprisingly, genuinely moving as we see Hamlet interact with his father and Yorick the jester, both gloriously alive. Hamlet’s attraction to two father figures has a Hal-like tension while Ophelia’s love for her mother (and — spoiler alert — her ghost) resembles Hamlet’s story in Shakespeare’s original.

see also



If a series has progressed to the point where the first volume-- the volume establishing the characters that cannot die-- is out of print, or culled from library shelves, perhaps it has gone on too long…

Look, I’m eagerly awaiting the next volume of Arkady Martine’s series. But I also liked having no expectations about what was to happen next, There is something horrible about realizing that an author has nothing genuinely new to offer.

1 Like

It seems forever until March…

1 Like

In the Olden Times (c.1980-2000), I went on many sites because my Internet friends were on it and recommended it. Goodreads was one of those “recommended”. (I don’t remember when I did this, sometime pre-illness so before 2010ish anyway.) I decided it wasn’t for me, and never even signed up.

I don’t keep track of the books I read, and aren’t good with book reviews, because they either feel like school book reports or take too much work to craft to avoid spoilers. And that’s why I don’t like Goodreads - too many of the reviews are spoilers.
When I search a title that I’ve gotten a recommendation for, I just want an idea if this is going to be a book I’ll enjoy. On Goodreads, usually the first or linked review gives away the entire book, so I don’t even want to read it. I’ve learned the hard way not to click on any goodreads results.