- Get some friends - Add people from Facebook, Twitter, and your email contacts. At first I only added people who I thought would have similar tastes, but then I noticed a couple people I didn’t even know were big readers reading books. It’s like some people are in the closet about their habits. So yes, add everyone. Next time you search for a book, their rating and review will appear first. You can then either judge whether or not that’s a good thing and even reach out to them (if you’re willing to talk to human beings at that point).
- Follow like-minded reviewers - Go back to Goodreads after you finish a book (or look up one you read) and go to the reviews. Read the first few. Make sure you’re looking at positive and negative reviews so you get a good range of opinion. Reviews are rated, so the most popular ones will float to the top, and they’re usually the best. If you keep doing this with books you read, you will eventually start to recognize some reviewers. People are prolific on this site. You’ll see that some of these reviewers are reading a lot of the same type of books, which for me is freaking crazy because I read all over the place. You can click on them and use the Compare Books feature to confirm that you think similar books are shitty or great. Once you’ve figured out that there is one more awesome person in the world, either friend or follow them. They’ll start showing up in your Goodreads feed either way, and when you click on new books, their reviews (along with other friends) will be at the top of the list. This is AMAZING. I can’t even count how many stories I’ve discovered or avoided this way.
- Listopia - Goodreads has a super duper neat feature called Listopia, which is useful if you’re reading something obscure and trying to find something similar. Pull up a book on Goodreads and scroll down. Between Friend Reviews and Community Reviews, you’ll see Lists with This Book. There may not be any, but if there are, click through them and see if there’s anything interesting. I was on an ancient Greek fantasy stint for a while, and this is how I found a lot of material for that streak.
- Goodreads recommendations - Goodreads now has a recommendation engine, which suggests books you might like based on what’s on your shelves and how your ratings. It’s nowhere as freakishly good as Netflix at knowing what I will like next, but it’s still better than Amazon because it considers whether or not I actually liked some of the books I bought.
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