I finished this post today and wrote it in two days. I have decided to post it for many reasons. The first part is a special sort of ramble. I apologize for this. The second part consists of all the reasons I have grown to hate Goodreads. There are no gifs or pictures in this post, because I didn’t think it needed any.
This post took me two hours to tranfer from Word to here and format. If you see a mistake in the formatting or something strange, please comment and I'll try to fix it.
I am writing this on Word on my laptop just in case it could get saved to my Booklikes blog right now, since I’m not sure I will ever put it up.
If I do it will be because Goodreads has gotten even worse.
I created my Booklikes account way, way back in March 2013, and I didn't actually set it up until August 6, 2014, and I truly think it was one of the best decisions I've ever made.
Booklikes is a wonderful community of people who love to read books and who interact with each other on a daily basis. It’s a place where book bloggers can breathe a fresh creative air, and have excessive control over their posts; we don’t worry we’ll step a toe out of line, or hurt someone’s feelings over something silly. And it isn’t just a place for books, and half my posts are about different things because I prefer a variety, and I like the fact that many of the people I’m following do too.
Goodreads is the opposite of everything Booklikes is.
When I first started Goodreads in February 2012 I felt like I had found the holy grail of websites. I was so excited to have found a website for people like me because I felt like no one else in my life truly shared my love of books. I felt like there weren’t people who I could get in an hour long discussion with over a character’s purpose or a certain passage in a book and I hated that, because I love books and they will always be my favorite medium of entertainment for many reasons:
- Reading is a supremely private experience. No one is going to but in when you are in the middle of a good book and ask you to recap what’s going on like you would have to do when viewing a film with a relative.
- I just love holding that book in my hands.
- There are fucking tons of them and tons of good ones, and I could spend my whole day (and all my money) in a bookstore.
- You can learn more about a character in a book than in a film.
- Those few people you do meet and who you become friends with who also share your love of similar books are usually fucking awesome.
I got so distracted right then. Reasons I love books wasn’t the point of this post.
The point in this post is to write about my falling out with Goodreads, and why I might delete my account there.
When I found Goodreads I found those people who would have those lovely hour long discussions with me and people who shared my almost obsessive enthusiasm with books. And I am eternally grateful to all of them.
And I loved Goodreads for my first year. It was just an amazing place to talk about books. But then in early 2013 I started feeling Goodreads had become an almost hostile environment. I blame this on the whole author-reader controversies that went on in 2012 and Amazon’s acquisition of Goodreads. It upset many readers including me.
I’m going to try this again and just list reasons why I might be deleting my Goodreads account.
- The Goodreads Be-Nice-To-The-Authors Policy
To tell you that this pissed me off like all the other readers when it happened is an understatement. I felt that the whole Goodreads community had been degraded and reprimanded like badly behaved children.
I agree that no one should be personally berating authors in reviews, but if that author has done some of the things that “writers” like Maggie Spence, Kiera Cass, or Leigh Bardugo have done, I hope that reviewers take notice and make them look ignorant; god knows they’re already doing a fine job of it themselves.
- Friend/Follower Snobs
I’ve only had one friend/follower snob in my two years on Goodreads and that was in the last month. If you don’t understand what I mean by a friend/follower snob, it’s a Goodreads user who sets down excessive and sometimes silly guidelines if you want to friend them, and won’t accept your friend request based on these.
Trust me darling, no one wants to be your fucking friend if they have to meet all of those qualifications.
- Clunky Software
Goodreads hasn’t changed the design of their software once since I began. It also frequently crashes, and I have no patience for that.
- Trolls/YA Reader Trolls/Fandom Trolls
There are fucking trolls on Goodreads, with the worst kind being the YA trolls. They read these awful long YA series about romantic insert paranormal creature here and if anyone disagrees with them they throw a little fucking hissy fit.
I’m sick of that. It’s obnoxious and it shows your immaturity.
- Friend Collectors
Don’t get me fucking started.
- Writers Who Friend Readers And Push Their Terribly Written Indy Books On Us
I don’t want your crummily written book. I read what I want.
- Excessive Unfrienders
The people who will unfriend you if you read a kind of book they don’t fancy, or if you won’t comment on every single one of their fucking statuses. I’ve had this happen to me once and I don’t know why. Oh well, I have friends who I like better than that person.
- PEOPLE WHO SEND OUT HUNDREDS OF GROUP INVITES
I have only unfriended one person in all my time on Goodreads and it was because they would send me 30 or so group invites a day. The worst part was that these were all silly groups with like three members that this person would create on a daily basis. At this point she probably moderates a thousand groups.
- Negative Reviews At The Top
I find it annoying that if I want to look at reviews of a book I never get to look at a variety of opinions on the book, all I see at the top of the book’s community reviews section are extremely negative reviews. These may have inadvertently turned me off from reading a book I might have loved since the positive reviews were buried under the negative ones.
- Authors Promoting Their Indy Books In A Best Books Discussion
This happened a few months ago in the Horror Aficionados group. The discussion was about readers discussing what the scariest book they had ever read was. One truly obnoxious “writer” got into the discussion and started promoting his books left and right. The other users in the discussion weren’t having it.
The link to this discussion is here.
This kind of stuff happens all the time and I hate it.
- Goodreads Going Through And Deleting Users’ Content
This happened to me in 2013. I had a badly- behaving-writers shelf and it got deleted. I replaced it with a the-authors-an-asshole shelf.
I really don’t know if I’ll delete my account because I have put a lot of work into making it what it is, but it’s a serious possibility at this point.
Goodreads needs to change, be more innovative, and respect its users. If it doesn’t soon I hope more readers move to Shelfari or Booklikes. They’ll be doing something right.
My Goodreads Account is here.