Bye Bye, Goodreads

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Sweeping Goodreads into the trash.

Most all readers have used Goodreads, or at least tried it out. And those of us who have tried or used it, all seem to have common reasons of why we hate using Goodreads. Yet, these items have not been addressed by Goodreads.

I’ve heard for years people wishing Goodreads could give half star ratings in addition to full stars. Or even to add quarter star rankings as well. Yet, for years, it has been only the full star ratings. You also can not leave a 0 star rating, and there is no easy way to DNF a book without programming in the shelf yourself.

The 5 whole star rating system is something I’ve gotten kind of used to over my time using Goodreads. One of my top complaints though, is how the pages are listed for audiobooks. Every year, my stats show the shortest book I read for the year as a book which is not actually my shortest book of the year. It’s just an audiobook which happens to be, say, 25 hours long, which Goodreads lists as 25 pages. 😖 I can never easily see how short the actual shortest book I read was, or which book was the shortest. I believe the year this happened with an audiobook I finished which was 25 hours, my longest book was also off, since in page count, the 25 hour audiobook was my longest book read. 🙄

Goodreads also doesn’t offer much in the way of stat tracking. To do any other tracking like the various format of book you read, the book’s country of origin, if it was translated, or anything else you may want to track, you’d need to create a shelf, or tag. This may sound great, except, there is no easy way to count from year to year unless you keep making new shelves for each year or constantly clear the tags from books you’ve already read. Better hope you don’t re-read a book, or you may have to do your research all over again. What was the country of origin? Was this a translated work? This may not amount to much for those who read a lot of physical books, since it probably says something right on the book, but my shelves are mostly electronic. I have to dig to find anything out about the book, even the number of pages.

And the Goodreads Choice Awards held at the end of each year, are nothing more than a popularity contest. Most people voting haven’t read every book in the category they are voting for. So, how could you really say Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo voted Best Fantasy in 2019, is better than Black Leopard Red Wolf by James Marlon? As I write this, Ninth House has over 74,000 ratings, versus, Black Leopard Red Wolf has a little over 14,000 ratings. With this large gap, I feel safe saying over half of those who voted for Ninth House, very likely hadn’t read Black Leopard Red Wolf before casting their vote. And this comparison is only of two books from the category. What about the other 18 nominees for Best Fantasy?

Goodreads is owned by Amazon. You’d think a social site for book lovers, owned by the King of book sellers, would be a little better than this, or they would listen to the people actually using the site to make improvements. Through all these years though, I haven’t really noticed many changes on Goodreads. Certainly nothing which has improved my experience with the site. And so, I am throwing Goodreads in the figurative trash can.

I can not promise you will see me much on Goodreads, or see what I’m reading. Another thing I’ve hated with the site, is I can add a book to my want to read shelf, then go to switch it to my currently reading using the fancy option right there when I open my Kindle book…well, it’s now just been added to my shelves twice. Why? Best guess, something in the listing I originally found and put on my want to read shelf was off or different from the version actually on my Kindle. Now I go in to review my want to read shelf, come across this book I swear I switched to my currently reading shelf and by now is likely over on my read shelf, but, here it is so maybe not. Let’s now add it to my read shelf. Oops, it’s now listed as read, twice.

For these, and other reasons I can’t think of at the moment, I have started to attempt to use a Google Sheets document. I’ve searched and looked at many other Sheets to see what I may want to include on mine, but haven’t thought of, or how they set up some of the categories to track in the actual document. I say attempt to use, because I’m still bad at logging the books I’m reading, and books I’ve acquired. I feel like I’m missing at least two or three from the reading portion of the sheet for this year, and let’s not get started on the acquisitions.

I am still building this Sheet so statistics for this year will very likely be off. Some of the items I’ve added after the year started, I can go back and add for any books I had read before I thought to add the item. However, things like the date I started or finished a book can not be added later.

Why did I not have something as simple as a date for when I started or finished a book in my sheet? I didn’t care to track this at the time. I was only going to track the month I started a book, and the month I finished. I was going to do this in a way where if I started a book one month, but didn’t finish until the next, I would be able to count the pages read in the first month to that month rather than the month I finished. I have since, changed my mind as this makes the tracker very bulky and complicated. Unless I can find another way from how I was accomplishing this in the sheet, I will go to the simpler, date a book was started, and a date it was finished.

These are just some of the reasons I am saying goodbye to Goodreads. Are there any reasons I haven’t mentioned you’ve decided to leave Goodreads? How do you track your reading stats; or do you track your reading stats?