Good Reads

Earlier this year when I was on a business trip, one of my colleagues and I got to talking about the books we read. Turns out, we have a lot of common interests. I have a wide range of interests, but the majority of what I read for fun are science fiction books. He also enjoyed science fiction books, and had recommendations on authors I might be interested in. Before I left, he referenced me to his Good Reads account, which lists all of the books he has read, as well as any thoughts he might have on them.

I played with the site ( for a bit and signed up for an account. It's a neat service. You can list all of the books you have read, are currently reading, or plan to read in the future. You can view what other people are reading, and their opinion on books they have read in the past. You can setup a friends list, which acts as a sort of MySpace style linking between accounts. It's a nice way to share your book reading interests and to get tips from friends.

I do have a couple of beefs with the site though. First, the friend invite feature is a bit confusing. I intended to send an invite to a handful of folks that the site found were already in my yahoo address book and were also on the site. One click too many led to me inviting everyone on my yahoo address book (182 addresses!) to the site. Not what I intended to do, and I apologize for the spam if you got one of those invites. In addition, getting general recommendations based on what you've read in the past is not very intuitive. I can view one of the books I've read and see a list of comments from other readers. I can then see what those other readers have read, but there is no aggregation to say something like "80% of people who rated this book the way you did also rated another book highly". So you either have to find someone else with very similar interests, or do a lot of digging on your own.

Overall, I do like the site, and from time to time as I remember I keep my account up to date. I've added a link to my link-roll on the right so you can get to it easily and see what I'm reading. I also like that I can make notes on books I would like to read in the future, as I often hear of a good recommendation, and then forget about it later. If you are a book reader, you might find this site useful.


Jade Mason