To Goodreads or Not to Goodreads?

Hey y'all!It's session break (my July campers left today) which means I have a small window in which to do all the work I've wanted to over the past few weeks when I've been busy. I have a rather lengthy to-do list. I want to write some reviews, hit my word count, fill out some necessary forms, research some student government considerations, and (drum roll) revamp my Goodreads.The other week, I was considering the ways in which I've slipped from the habits I used to have a few years ago within book world. I was definitely more familiar with the intricacies of how it all worked, and kept my ear to the ground about upcoming titles.One of the most unfortunate parts of college has been looking up and realizing that I have no idea what's going on in my industry of choice in regards to upcoming titles. I always have a few that I have my eye on, and my lack of foresight about releases has allowed me to expand my reading taste quite a lot. But I'd still like to get back into it.Some of this is related to my blog goals for the year: go to more book events since I'll have a car at school this year, re-establish contact with book folks I've lost touch with during my freshman year, carve out more time to read new releases, etc,. (A lengthy list which I will get to later in the week.)Starting with the first one: Goodreads.

I have a love-hate relationship with Goodreads, although it makes up the backbone of a lot of the book industry. For those of you who have never interacted with it before, it's the go-to source for information about publication dates, quotes, ratings, and reviews. I have a ton of issues with it, both as an interface and as a person. I don't like that the forums get so snappy. I always forget to update it. And frankly, the lack of information I have on my Goodreads is so egregious that the thought of overhauling it is overwhelming. (I suppose I could use Edelweiss, but Goodreads feels more interactive.)Today's that day though. I deleted my shelves. I updated my bio and did a little cleaning. I don't think I'll ever be close to actually transferring books I've read from my website pages to my Goodreads "read" shelf, but I'm making a conscious effort. So I have a few goals, ideas, and questions to pose to y'all.1. How many shelves should I make?So far, I've determined a few and their descriptors.

  • Favorites -- need I say more?
  • Canon -- books that seem to sum up certain moods so fully that they feel like part of the canon to get the full reading/YA experience. They in some way hit a sector of the book sphere that hasn't been captured before.
  • Existential -- books that make me think. Books that perhaps make me hyperaware of my skin and personhood.
  • Escapism -- books I read when I want to immerse myself in a story and forget I'm a real person.
  • Seasonal -- books that I read at certain parts of the year. Summer books, winter books, fall books, etc,.

Does that sound like a good summation of my reading habits and taste? Should I add other shelves -- like a humor shelf and an upcoming release shelf? I suppose my question is: do you use your Goodreads shelves to keep you organized or to describe your taste?2. What reviews should I put up, and in what format?At the beginning of the year, I vowed to update my Goodreads review bank more often; I have since then gotten distracted and neglected to do so. Part of my Goodreads makeover today involves putting up some reviews that I haven't put up yet. Also, do you prefer the full review to be on Goodreads or are you okay with an excerpt of the review and a link to the blog?3. What Goodreads habits are most effective for you?Do you organize a little every day? Do you do it all at once? This is a question directed to both bloggers and readers because I'm dreadfully curious. I still don't think I'll be an avid Goodreads user because I focus on different aspects of the book community, but I would like to get a little more into it.4. What parts of Goodreads do you use the most?Quotes, shelves, forums? What should I hunt down? How should I convey what I read and who I am through my profile? Plenty of the information available through Goodreads is discoverable on parts of my site, social media, accounts, etc,. So I'm curious as to what the niche is that Goodreads will fill for Words Like Silver.In summation, I would like to be a Goodreads person although I always neglect it. How important is Goodreads in your reading, if at all? Do you have any suggestions?