Tag: Goodreads

Do you read book reviews? Where?

Bookish Question #112 | Do you read book reviews? Where?

Yes, but I’d probably read more if I wasn’t a book reviewer myself!

Why is that?

As I’ve mentioned before, I get a lot of my review copies from NetGalley. I can’t read reviews for these books because there aren’t any (yet). If the author, book cover, or book description are good enough to entice me to read the book, then I’ll download it.

If I enjoy the book, then I’ll review it and share my review for others to read. If not … I’ll probably still review it on NetGalley, but won’t share the review.

When I do read reviews, they tend to be reviews on blog sites.

I follow 20+ book blogs through Feedly, and will read reviews for books that catch my eye … but only books that aren’t on my own to-review pile. I don’t like to read reviews of books I know I’m going to read and review, as I don’t like others to influence me. However, I will sometimes read a review, decide I want to read the book, then find it’s still available on NetGalley.

The other main place I read reviews is Goodreads.

It’s kind of like Facebook, in that the latest updates from my friends are front and centre in my updates. I’ll usually skim the updates a few times a week, check out reviews, and add books to my to-read pile (aka Mount TBR).

I’ll also read Amazon reviews if I’m considering buying a book e.g. if I’ve seen the book advertised on BookBub or another online site. But I’ve usually made my buying decision before I get to Amazon—although sometimes I’ll choose not to buy (say, if the ebook is too expensive. I have too many paid-for books in my to-read pile already).

So yes, I do read book reviews, but not as many as I’d read if I wasn’t a reviewer with an overflowing to-read pile!

What about you? Do you read book reviews? If so, what are your favourite review sites?

Completely out of control. But less out of control than it was three months ago :) I discussed my to-read pile in the first post of this year, when we were discussing book challenges. One of my personal challenges was to read 48 books off my to-read pile, and another was to cut a similar number from my Goodreads Currently Reading shelf. How am I going? I've cut 16 books off my to-read pile, which means I'm on target to cut 48 this year. No, I haven't read all 16. Some I read. Others I started reading and realised I didn't care for and would never finish—which is enough to take them off the pile. One I've decided not to read after reading an online rant by the author (it appears she's one of that small group of authors who say they want honest reviews, but also believes reviewers shouldn't post critical reviews because they "hurt" authors. Fine. I'll do her the favour of not reviewing her books. Or reading them. Or buying them). I started the year with 54 books on my Goodreads Currently Reading shelf. That's now down to five. How? Most of the books had been automatically added to my Currently Reading shelf when I bought them on Kindle and opened them. I went through the list on Goodreads and moved every book I wasn't actually reading to my To Read shelf, or deleted the ones I know I'm not interested in reading. What about you? How out of control is your to-read pile?

Bookish Question #101 | How out of control is your to-read pile?

Completely out of control.

But less out of control than it was three months ago 🙂

I discussed my to-read pile in the first post of this year, when we were discussing book challenges. One of my personal challenges was to read 48 books off my to-read pile, and another was to cut a similar number from my Goodreads Currently Reading shelf.

How am I going?

I’ve cut 16 books off my to-read pile, which means I’m on target to cut 48 this year.

No, I haven’t read all 16. Some I read. Others I started reading and realised I didn’t care for and would never finish—which is enough to take them off the pile. One I’ve decided not to read after reading an online rant by the author (it appears she’s one of that small group of authors who say they want honest reviews, but also believes reviewers shouldn’t post critical reviews because they “hurt” authors. Fine. I’ll do her the favour of not reviewing her books. Or reading them. Or buying them).

I started the year with 54 books on my Goodreads Currently Reading shelf.

That’s now down to five. How? Most of the books had been automatically added to my Currently Reading shelf when I bought them on Kindle and opened them. I went through the list on Goodreads and moved every book I wasn’t actually reading to my To Read shelf, or deleted the ones I know I’m not interested in reading.

What about you? How out of control is your to-read pile?

Bookish Question: How many books have you read in 2018?

Bookish Question #84 | How many books have you read in 2018?

I actually don’t know. I’d set myself a target of 180 books for the 2018 Goodreads Reading Challenge, roughly one every other day. I’ve just looked through the list of books I’ve read.

It’s kind of disturbing.

There are a lot of books I remember reading (yay!).

There are the novel or novella collections, which mess with my reading challenge. Does a four-novella collection count as one book or four? Novellas are short, so I’m usually happy to count that as one book, especially if I read them all.

But does a nine-novel collection count as one book or nine? Does it count towards my reading challenge if I read only read five of the books in the collection? (It’s rare that I find a collection where all the stories are compelling enough to keep me reading. I usually end up skipping some.)

There are quite a few books I remember starting and giving up on (boo!) I find the more I read and edit great fiction, the less patience I have for poor writing. But (as best as I can tell) Goodreads won’t take the book off my Am Reading list unless I mark it as read, so it then counts toward my annual total. There might be a way of taking it off my bookshelves completely, but I don’t know if I want to. If it’s on my Read list, then I know not to read it again (or buy it again).

Then there are the books Goodreads says I’ve read, but I can’t remember reading. I guess those are the three-star reads, the ones I didn’t love enough to rave about, and didn’t dislike enough to remember.

So how many books have I read?

As of mid-November, Goodreads says I’ve read 140 books, but I have no idea how many of those were collections (so maybe count as more than one book), or books I started but didn’t finish. Maybe I need a new system for 2019. Any suggestions?

What about you? How many books have you read in 2018?

How many books do you read in a year?

Bookish Question #46 | How Many Books Do You Read In a Year?

How many books do you read in a year? How do you keep track?

I honestly never used to track how many books I read (or re-read) until I discovered Goodreads and the annual Goodreads Reading Challenge. I always knew I read a lot—more than most people I knew. Even in high school, I could read a book in a day. Or two, if it was Saturday. I just managed to keep my addiction fed between the school library and the town library.

Then I went to university, and my recreational reading dropped off. I lived in the university halls of residence, which meant a lot less alone time for reading, and a lot less access to books. And a lot more homework—which included reading loooonnnnggg textbooks.

I started reading fiction again after I finished university and learned Christian fiction existed.

I’d grown out of young adult fiction, and realised I didn’t necessarily like grown-up fiction because of the prevalence of bad language, sex, and violence. But I did make my way through most of the classics of British literature (which are much more interesting if you’re not having to write essays on symbolism and the metaphorical conceit). I also read many books from authors like Georgette Heyer, Agatha Christie, Mary Stewart, and Victoria Holt—older writers who didn’t see need for the content I didn’t care to read.

Later, I discovered Christian fiction.

Then Amazon. Then ebooks (Kobo first, then Kindle). And Goodreads, and the annual Reading Challenge. I discovered Goodreads in 2010, and have participated in the Reading Challenge each year from 2011. My annual “target” has varied between 150 and 200 books a year, and I’ve “won” every year.

That pales into insignificance next to some of the readers I’ve met online, who read a book a day or more (some read over 500 a year. And they review many of them as well). Many have notebooks of books read that go back decades. I am not and have never been that organised.

But I can manage to keep my Goodreads Reading Challenge up to date. More or less—there is usually a last-minute 31 December rush to include the books I’ve read over my summer break (I live in New Zealnd, remember. That means my summer break starts on Christmas Day!).

I will admit that my 2017 figures include some books I didn’t actually finish. I figure that if I start and read at least 10%, and that’s not enough to grab me, then I’m better marking it as read rather than having the book hang around on some virtual “am reading” pile for half of forever.

What about you? How many books do you read in a year, and how do you keep track?

Book Chat

Book Chat #40 | Are you doing a reading challenge in 2018?

I have participated in the Goodreads Reading Challenge for the last six years. I’ve committed to read between 150 and 200 books each year, and have succeeded … although some years it was down to the last couple of days and relied on a fair few novellas or short non-fiction books. I kind-of cheated last year and included books I started and gave up on, because if I start a book three times and still can’t finish it, I’m never going to finish it. So I count it as read.

I’ve tried other reading challenges over the last few years, with less success. I tried a Mt TBR Challenge a couple of times. Mt TBR is Goodreads shorthand for the mountain of unread books many of us own (To Be Read). The first year I attempted to climb Mt TBR, I met my low goal of two books a month, a win made less impressive by the number of books I added to Mt TBR during the year.

I tried again the following year, with a more ambitious goal, and fell by the wayside by around March. My excuse was there were too many good new books to read.

Another year I tried a challenge where we had to read books that fit various categories. This was fun for the first nine months, but then I got towards the end of the year and realised that while I’d chosen books that fit all the remaining criteria, I didn’t have any interest in reading them. So I quit because spending time reading books I didn’t want to read when there were other books I did want to read seemed silly.

I’ve signed up for the Goodreads Reading Challenge again for 2018. I’m aiming for 180 books, the same as in 2017 (which I did achieve, although I cheated a little by including those books I didn’t finish). No conditions. No specific genres to read (although I will be reviewing a contemporary Christian romance novel here each week, and guest reviewing historical or non-romance novels at Australian Christian Writers and International Christian Fiction Writers).

I’m also doing a read the Bible in a year challenge with an online group. I’ve completed this twice before, but fell away in the middle of 2017 because of a lack of accountability. I’m looking forward to reading the Bible with a group of new friends. (Although it would be a lot easier for my Goodreads challenge if the Bible counted as 66 books, not one!)

What about you? Are you doing a reading challenge in 2018? Which one, and how many books are you aiming for?