I’ve been working on this post for a couple weeks now, and I think that I’ve finally compiled a list of every single thing I dislike about Goodreads.
Don’t get me wrong…I freaking love Goodreads. That site is my crack. I’m on it multiple times every day, constantly finding new books I want to read and reading my friends’ reviews. But it’s not perfect! That’s for sure. Especially now considering that Literally is becoming a bit of a thing, I think that Goodreads should try and step up its game. They’ve becoming way too complacent for way too long about not updating and fixing their major problem areas, and I’m sick of it!
13 Ways Goodreads Could Drastically Improve Themselves:
1. Being able to open up search bar results in a new tab. This something that consistently aggravates me. I want to be able to be on a book’s page, search something, see a result in the drop-down menu, and make it open in a new tab. But even if you use right click or command+T, it doesn’t work! And then I lose the page I was currently on. ARGH.
2. Adding a “save draft” feature for reviews. This is probably my number one problem with Goodreads. Why, on God’s green earth, can you not SAVE your reviews without actually posting them? Two problems are created by not having this feature: (1) I can’t edit my reviews as I go along. If I have comments I want to remember while reading a book, I have to write them down somewhere else, like in a WordPress draft or an email to myself. (2) If Goodreads randomly crashes while you’re writing your review, or you accidentally hit a wrong button…everything goes bye-bye!!! This has happened to me more than once, so now — every time — I have to initially write my reviews in a WordPress draft and then copy + paste them to Goodreads. But guess what? Goodreads and WordPress formatting is completely different! One uses HTML and the other just uses a word-processing-like format. So then I have to go back and fix everything in order to make it look all pretty on Goodreads, too! I could seriously write an essay about how annoying this is. Like, seriously, Goodreads?? It’s been like SIX YEARS and you STILL don’t have this function? You’ve got to be kidding me.
3. Bigger server/less crashing. Get out of your fucking chair. Speaking of which, it’d be REALLY nice if Goodreads could just stop crashing all together. They were supposed to have moved to a better server a couple weeks ago, but I’ve had it crash multiple times since then…so I don’t think it worked.
4. Letting you cross-post reviews to Amazon. Amiright?! Goodreads is OWNED by Amazon now. How in the world have they not figured out a way to let people easily post their Goodreads reviews on Amazon?? I would be so much better at cross-posting if this was a feature that Goodreads has. And Amazon would have so many more reviews on their site! It’s a win-win.
5. Put a Goodreads button on a book’s Amazon page. Now that we’re on the subject of Amazon, I have another request. How many times have I been looking at a book on Amazon’s website — whether it be a Daily Deal or a link I clicked from BookBub, etc. — and then had to go search for the book on Goodreads to check reviews and stuff? Like, a million. Why is there no easy “see this book on Goodreads” button on Amazon? You freaking OWN Goodreads!! Why not advertise your other company and make it easier for current Goodreads users at the same time? It seems like a pretty big no-brainer to me. And I’d be much more likely to buy a book if the research I had to do about it first was only one click away instead of 10.
6. Notify users when a new book is added by a favorite author. This would make keeping up with new releases so much easier! I love finding out about books way in advance before they get published. So why not make a way for users to be updated when a new book is added for an author that they’re fans of? There doesn’t really seem to be any perk of being a fan of an author (besides seeing their occasional blog posts I guess?), so why not make one?! I would LOVE this feature. Especially for self-published authors whose books aren’t in catalogs on Edelweiss, it would make keeping up with series and books by them extremely easy.
7. Let users “like” reviews directly from their feed. For the life of me, I DO NOT understand why you can’t do this. Why make it hard for people to like each other’s reviews?? It just doesn’t make any sense at all. The way it is right now, in order to like a review that you see in your feed, you have to click “see review,” and it will take you to a separate page and then you can scroll down to the bottom and hit “like.” Why is it so hard?? I would “like” so many more reviews if I could do it right from my feed.
8. Show GIFs in feed reviews. Again…really? I don’t get why this is a thing. If somebody has included pictures or GIFs in their review…I WANT to see them. But they don’t show up in the feed! So if I want to read the review as the reviewer wrote it, I again have to scroll down and click the “see review” button in order to be able to see the images.
9. Allow users to have more than 5,000 friends. For once, I do kind of understand why Goodreads initiated this rule. It makes sense and stops people from being too spammy and stuff. But I don’t think they took into consideration that there would be “celebrity” Goodreads users (like popular bloggers/BookTubers) who might actually want or require more than 5,000 friends in order to fully contain all of their fans. Sure, you can have as many “followers” as you want, but it’s just not the same! And for those users who do have that many friends, if they want to add more, the limit rule forces them to basically police their friends in order to cull old ones and add new ones. That sucks! Users shouldn’t have to work at maintaining a certain amount of friends, and there shouldn’t have to be some sort of waiting list to get to be a friend of somebody you admire.
10. Let you use half-star ratings. Again, I completely understand why this isn’t a thing, but I still get a little huffy about it. A ton of people use half-star ratings, so they should be able to do that when rating a book on Goodreads, too. But I get that it would require a huge overhaul of the system and wouldn’t be quite fair to all of the people that didn’t originally use half-stars before this hypothetical overhaul. Obviously they’re never going to do it, but I still get slightly annoyed every time I have to clarify my rating in the review box since there isn’t an appropriate option provided. And then comes Sophie’s choice…if my actual rating is 3.5 stars, do I make 3 stars or 4 stars the “official” one?
11. Make it possible to re-read a book. When you try to re-read a book on Goodreads, it seriously flips its shit. Its like it doesn’t even understand the concept that this could be a thing that people would want to do. Once you’ve read a book, Goodreads will include that book in your challenge for whatever year you first read it in. But if you want to, say, read it again the next year, Goodreads is just like NO. They don’t have an option to add dates for a second reading, it gets all weird if you add it to your “currently reading” shelf, and it won’t automatically count it as part of your current challenge once you “finish” it. Everything is just WRONG.
12. Become more integrated with page counts vs. number of books. Another thing about the challenge that bothers me is that you can’t choose for it to count pages instead of the number of books you read. For example, a 1,000-page George R.R. Martin novel counts exactly the same as that 70-page Divergent novella. But they are totally not equal in terms of effort! And I want that to count for something. But part of this problem is that even though Goodreads does keep track of pages in some way (you can view them for individual books, but it won’t add it up as part of the challenge until the end of the year), the page numbers aren’t always super accurate. I remember looking at the page count it had for me at the end of the 2013 challenge, and I realized how completely wrong it was! For some books I read, they were listed as having zero pages, and others were just inaccurate. Sometimes books, especially self-published ones, don’t have the right (or even any!) page count. But if we had better policing of that, then it would be easy for Goodreads to better integrate page counts for the challenge and other things (like possibly a weekly tracker like Literally has).
13. Make it possible to search two shelves at once for common items. This is something I REALLY wish Goodreads was capable of. And it doesn’t seem like it’d be that hard for them to finagle. Basically, I want to go be able to go into my shelves and see, for example, which books I’ve read that I have shelved as both “young adult” and “fantasy.” Or even “young adult,” “contemporary,” and “LGBT.” Sometimes I’m just curious! Or maybe I want to write a Top Ten Tuesday post and need information. Or maybe I want to give somebody a really specific book recommendation! I could use this feature in so many ways.
Is there anything that YOU hate about Goodreads? What am I missing? Is there anything on this list that I’m actually wrong about and you know the secret answer of how to fix it?? *crosses fingers*