What I Dislike About Goodreads

Goodreads could really be that b*tch if it changed a few things about its interface. (Also, hi, I’m joining the bandwagon of people who begin their posts with a funny heading.)

This post is about Goodreads, and all the things I hate about it! When I first came up with the idea for this blog post a few weeks ago, I was so excited because I have lots of beef with Goodreads, and I think lots of people do too. The only reasons I still use it is because the reading challenge motivates me to read more, I can keep track of the books I’ve read in a year and the books I’m currently reading, and get reading stats.

I also think that becoming Goodreads famous could potentially boost my blog, but let’s be real, I’m not Goodreads famous material, and I’ve accepted that fact.

Image result for goodreads

If you don’t know what Goodreads is, it’s a social media site (think Twitter or Instagram) that’s solely dedicated to books. The site allows you to add books to a currently reading shelf, want to read shelf, or read shelf. You’re also allowed to post reviews of books.

The site is way more complex than that (honestly, to a fault.. more on that later), but if you’re part of the book community, there’s a 99.99% chance that you have a Goodreads account, and a 100% chance that you’ve heard of it.

I think this is one of, if not the, most famous complaint about Goodreads. How do they still refuse to let us use half stars in ratings until now??

If I rated a book 3.5 stars, I always have an existential crisis about what I’m gonna rate it on Goodreads. Do I round up and select four stars, or just select 3 stars? I don’t know!!

Multiple people have contacted Goodreads about this issue. One such person was told that because Netflix doesn’t have half stars, Goodreads also doesn’t need half stars… which is incredibly stupid, honestly.

If not the half stars, this has to be the most popular aspect about Goodreads that people don’t like. Goodreads’ lousy search bar has actually become a running joke in the book community, and it’s pretty funny.

A book title/word that you type in the search bar usually comes up with suggested results that have nothing to do with what you typed in.

Let’s be real, I probably will never reach enough friend requests to worry about the 5000 friends limit, but hey, I stand in solidarity with my friends who are Goodreads famous!

The maximum amount of friends you can have on Goodreads is 5000, which is pretty pointless, imo.

Honestly, I don’t get why we can’t just completely abolish the concept of Goodreads friends and simply allow people to follow each other. And if we really wanted to be friends with someone, we could just follow them back? Kinda like the concept of mutuals on Twitter. I don’t know, just a thought.

I don’t like that I don’t even know most of the people I’m friends with on Goodreads. My feed is getting so clogged with stuff I don’t care about!! (No offense to my Goodreads friends.)

I think that this is just a me thing. I haven’t seen anyone else complain about this—but I hate it—and it’s the fact that we have to code if we want to italicize, underline, etc. our text. I don’t want to have to type out <b></b> whenever I want to highlight something, thank you.

And don’t even get me started on figuring out the code to insert images into reviews. I still haven’t figured that out and I probably never will.

Goodreads should have something like the visual editor on WordPress, if you’re familiar with it. Through the visual editor, you can simply select the bold or strikethrough option and your text will appear as such, with no coding involved. It’s also way easier to add images through the visual editor.

I absolutely hate this aspect of Goodreads! It’s ridiculous that you can’t properly reply to comments on the Goodreads mobile app! When someone comments on a review or update of mine and I’m on my phone, the only way I can reply to it is by commenting “@commenter’s name, [response]” on my own post.

And even if I do reply to comments on my laptop, it’s so annoying that my comment starts with “(name) wrote:….”. It’s also really stupid that comment threads don’t exist on Goodreads, which would make conversations in comment sections so much easier to follow, and eliminate the need to start each of your comments with what the comment you’re replying to said.

Oh, what do you know, I also have strong feelings about this!!

If you’re using the Goodreads app, you automatically become super limited. I already touched on the fact that you can’t properly reply to comments, but if you ask people who sent you a friend request a question, you can’t see their answers if you’re on the app.

You also have the option to send messages alongside your friend requests, regardless of whether you have to answer a question or not, but on the app, you don’t have that option at all. And on the flip side, if people send you messages along with their friend requests, you won’t be able to see it.

You also can’t preview a review before you publish it, which is really unfortunate if you got the code format of something wrong, because you won’t see the mistake until you publish the post. Additionally, on the app, you aren’t given any of the code formats, so if you haven’t memorized them, then you gotta use the actual site to find them, or search for the code formats somewhere else.

And I don’t know if this is just applicable to me, but whenever I view a review on my phone that features images or gifs, the review always gets cut short.

Take Melanie’s review of The Diviners for example. The picture on the left shows what the full review should look like, but I only see it briefly before the review gets covered by the date and shelves?

This has made it hard for me to read reviews that feature images or gifs, because whenever I get to the end, I have to read the last lines super quickly before the review gets cut short.

The Goodreads mobile app lags a lot, and is very prone to crashing. I’m so tired, ya’ll.

I think that ultimately, Goodreads is so shite because it’s so outdated. They refuse to upgrade their interface. The app could look so much more aesthetically pleasing if they actually put in the effort.

Plus, Goodreads has tons of features that we don’t know about (Kelly @ Another Book in the Wall actually shared 6 obscure Goodreads features with us), and that’s because the app is so hard to navigate. The only reason I learned that you can mark a book not just as read, currently reading, or want to read was because I googled it and exclusive shelves came up in my search.

I want Goodreads to be like Twitter, my fave. Twitter is so easy to use, and even though some people complain about its design, I’m personally fine with it because I know exactly where to find features, and if I don’t, it’s pretty easy to rectify that fact.

This last one, which is kind of a bonus, is a little biased, but I have to mention it here anyway: why are all Goodreads giveaways open to US residents only?? There may be a perfectly sensible reason for this, but I frankly don’t want to hear it, because as an international reader, I feel robbed.

Do you agree with the things I mentioned? What’s something that I missed? Are you on Goodreads? Are you happy with Goodreads?

I had so much fun writing this post and bashing Goodreads. There are so many things that it could do better at and dominate the world with, but no, it just disappoints and disappoints.


88 thoughts on “What I Dislike About Goodreads

  1. goodreads giveaways are us only because of amazon, i think. fuck capitalism, honestly :((

    but i agree with this post so!! much!!! goodreads is such a terrible website, if it’s not for the fact that a lot of people use it, i would’ve abandoned it. my least favorite thing about it is that it doesn’t notify me when there’s a new comment or when people reply to me. how am i supposed to have a conversation there if i don’t know people are talking to me??? having to code is such a pain as well.

    there are so many sites goodreads can learn from! letterboxd, tvtime, anilist are all great sites for tracking AND networking, so it’s obviously possible for goodreads to build something similar. i dont think goodreads will change soon though, and until they do (or someone who’s had enough of goodreads bullshit and decided to build a new platform AND it gets a decent number users), we will have to stick with it, unfortunately.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Apparently they used to be open internationally though :((

      Yep! I think they refuse to change because they don’t have any competition, so I really need someone to create a better version of Goodreads 😂 I know!! It’s like the site hates comments, and doesn’t want us to have comment sections. Everything about their comment section is inconvenient.

      Yes—Goodreads get it together! It just has so much potential, but wastes it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow I feel this, I completely agree with everything. I pretty much only use goodreads to keep track of what I’ve read, occasionally I’ll like someone elses status update or something.

    I think you’re right, it’s just SO outdated! Its difficult to use and generally just not enjoyable. Great post 💞

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a great post featuring all the reasons I hate Goodreads, haha! Honestly, I only use it because there isn’t another site out there but I hope and pray for app competition so that GR will have to improve its interface. It’s hasn’t been updated since Amazon bought it years ago and did the Kindle Store connection crud.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree with some of your points but not enough to actually get annoyed by it. Goodreads is what it is. If all you want to use it for (like me) is tracking your books read for the year then it does its job. It could do its job better, sure, but it still gets the job done.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. your funny heading is EVERYTHING and im even more of a stan that i used to be. wow blogging queen. goodreads could do SO MUCH better if they put in like, the minimum effort required to handling a website. also i think theyre so popular bc theres virtually NO competition so we dont have much options.

    having a crisis over 3, 3.5, or 4 star ratings is my entire life story. wow i feel heard. OH MY GOD THE CODING. literally gave me war flashbacks. i can’t wait for the day the stupid coding is replaced with normal options and for it to convert urls to pictures instantly. and dont get me started on trying to tag friends in reviews i CANNOT.

    this post was like a soothing to my soul. having to deal with goodreads terrible interface is so exhausting but like at least other people get me :”) great post, we love the salt

    Liked by 1 person

    1. May 😭😭 thank you 🥰💓💓 but we all know that YOU’RE the blogging queen! I’m so mad at goodreads, because it would take the *bare minimum* for them to make the app better for us, but it just refuses to because of the lack of competition.

      My life would be so much easier if I could just have the half star option. Akjsksj I get war flashbacks too! Now I just write all my reviews in WordPress first, and then copy the html form. Thank god I don’t have to figure the coding out anymore.

      I’m so glad that you were able to relate. Let’s be disappointed in goodreads together 😔


  6. Can’t deny that I completely agree with every single thing you have mentioned… I particularly use the app a lot because I don’t have constant access to a laptop, so I feel very limited even though I really use it a lot… Only silver lining for now is they seem to have updated the search bar in the app in latest update, and it seems to be working quite well for now. I could really do with those half stars though 😬😬😬

    Wonderful post as always Caitlin !!!! And I’m sure you’ll soon reach that 5000 because you’re brilliant 😍😍😍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Same! I rarely use my laptop, and I’m always on my phone, so the fact that the app has so many limitations on mobile kills me. If that’s so, I’ll definitely have to update the app! I really want the half stars too haha

      Thank you!! But no, I’ve accepted that im not gr famous material 😅 my goal is just to reach 1k honestly, which will take a looong time

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well the search in the app seems to definitely be better than before, but there are still some kinks.. but there’s atleast some hope for it 😂😂😂
        And don’t worry… just keep doing the wonderful things you already are and you’ll get all the followers you deserve 😍😍😍

        Liked by 1 person

  7. THIS POST. This is the post I have been for someone to make 😂.
    You would think that for being the *biggest book database out there (*don’t quote me on that lol) Goodreads would be more user-friendly and have more versatility. Like half stars!! I feel like such a liar when I rate a book four stars when it’s actually 3.5 stars 😩. And the search bar!! It’s TRULY a massive search trying to find a book from it. I actually never thought of the coding thing, mostly as I don’t mind it because it makes me feel like a hacker lol, but you’re right that it would make it a lot more convenient for people if the text customization was built-in. Also, the mobile app IS pretty 💩. It’s unfortunate because that’s how I use Goodreads usually. Idk if this is one of those hidden features you were talking about, but I can’t for the life of me figure out where to find book quotes on the mobile app lol?? I tend to like quotes on Goodreads as I’m reading a book, so it’d be extremely convenient if I could do so from my phone. AND THE GIVEAWAYS. When I was living in Asia, I would enter giveaways using my sister’s American info. Granted I never won lol, but at least I had that option whereas literally everyone from the rest of the world doesn’t.
    You should send this post as an open letter to Goodreads—I’ll gladly sign it 😂.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay, I’m so glad that you were able to relate!!
      I think that being the “biggest book database” is the reason why the refuse to update the app—they don’t have any competition 😦 right!! There’s such a huge difference between a rating with a half star and one without, so I really want the half stars. I feel like there should be a coding option AND a visual option, kinda like in WordPress. Both options offer quirks, and both parties wouldn’t be kept happy. I’m always on my phone, so I usually use the mobile app, and the limitations of using it are endless. Lol I can’t find the quotes too! I just stumble upon them by accident 😅 that’s how bad I am at navigating goodreads, but in my defense, the app is so hard to navigate! I didn’t know that you could enter giveaways with African info! Haha, still don’t like how they aren’t open internationally though. Apparently they used to be :((

      Ahaha, that’s a huge compliment—thanks! Maybe I’ll email it to them 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  8. THANK YOU for this post!!! i swear, I’ve been on gr for nine years and the interface is still the fricking same. the goodreads mobile app is just as bad on android as well! and don’t even get me started on the giveaways – did you know they used to be international?? then goodreads took it off with some crap about creating an ‘exclusive’ international giveaways section (hah!)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. ALL OF THIS!! You would think that since its owned by one of the richest companies on the planet (Amazon) they could make a more functional site but apparently not :/

    Also this will sound nitpicky but this site looks like its from 2005 and its really time they change up their look. I’m just so tired of it. I barely go on GR, but I still use it because one of the few sites like this. Options are so minimal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Super glad that you agree :)) I think that they refuse to change, because they don’t have competition!! That’s why I really want someone to launch a better version of goodreads :((

      No, that’s not nit picky at all! It’s absurd that it looks the same as it did more than a decade ago!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. THIS POST IS EVERYTHING! ❤ There are so many cool little features hidden in Goodreads, but the amount of headaches and trauma I have had trying to navigate this website – and don't even get me started on the atrocious mobile app – is simply preposterous! That search bar will be the death of me. *sighs* I really cannot stand how difficult it is to do a simple reply, and I have no idea why the website refuses to allow us to do basic paragraph editing without coding. It's like the website WANTS us to get mad. Lol.

    Fantastic post, Caitlin! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hehe, thank you 💖 I was so glad when you made the post about goodreads’ hidden features, because I absolutely suck at navigating the site. Though in my defense, the site is pretty hard to navigate :(( Gosh, the search bar tries, but it doesn’t succeed 😂 you summed it up perfectly! Gr WANTS us to get mad! It’s so hard to do the most basic things on there 😫

      Thank you !!


  11. I agree with all of these points! The most annoying thing for me is the app?! What even is that, I never use because i just frustrates me..


    Liked by 1 person

  12. I haven’t came across some of these problems (I probably don’t use it as much as I should) but I do agree with the ones that I’ve noticed. I find the search thing especially frustrating when you’ve heard of an author but mistype – or are unsure of how to spell – their name and instead of coming up with similar listings, which contain what you’re looking for, you get something random or no results at all.
    I also find the giveaway thing frustrating too. Especially when it’s a book that you’re desperate for and it has over 100 copies to give away /:
    I do like being able to find out if what various authors have coming out though. And all of the themed lists, I love using those to add to my TBR and look up various releases by month & year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. so true!! Some authors’ names are incredibly hard to spell, so the fact that you have to type everything with correct spelling will be the death of me. Ugh, I always feel robbed by the giveaways. Literally 100 copies are up for grabs, and i don’t have a chance to win any of them :((
      Goodreads has some good to it and so much potential, but I hate that it’s clouded over by their refusal to make the interface more user friendly.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. This post is the embodiment of the frustration of every single GR user. The app is something else entirely, and I gave up on it a long time ago. And the half-stars?? WHY can’t they just add some half stars? I’m pretty sure it won’t be no more than possibly 5 to 10 lines of code! It’s not gonna kill them to do it, it’d make people love GR even more!!

    Also, I really feel you with the code part, but it doesn’t bother me as much since I actually code HTML in my spare time, so I’m pretty used to it. But it’s so annoying have to format my reviews every. single. time. and then make sure that I’ve closed all the tags in the right places….

    And if you’re having trouble with the images in HTML: you have the less than () symbol. I hope that helps and eases your frustration a bit 💖 Also, you can put gifs using that code as well, just put the link of the gif into the quotation marks instead of an image link.

    I really hope GR changes and that something is done to fix and spruce up the website and app, especially the app. I also hope I helped out with your image problems 💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Can you believe it? WP removed everything I said about the image. Ugh okay. Let’s try that again. What I meant to say was that, to do the Image in HTML, your code would look like this: https://i.ibb.co/zmkbLs0/img-src-help.jpg . (The link will show you an image of what the code looks like, because I think WP thinks I’m trying to write code, that’s why that part disappeared in my first comment). To help you remember, Img means Image, and Src means Source. I really hope that helps 💖

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Haha, I never expected that so many people would agree with me! Thank you! I’m usually on my phone, so having to deal with the app daily is so frustrating. I really need half stars okay. Like it would make my life so much easier if I had them. My average rating would be way more accurate if I had them. ANd the fact that goodreads could give it to us with just minimal effort, but refuses to, makes me so mad

      Ohh, what I do now, is I draft all my reviews on the WordPress visual editor, and then copy the html version of what I did 😅 but thank you so much for the advice! It’s gonna be really useful to learn this basic html

      Liked by 1 person

  14. These things needed to be said 😉
    Not being able to put half stars is so annoying : I’m always fighting with myself over the rounding up or down… I never know how to deal with that !
    Personally, there is other things about the mobile app which upset me : I can’t see “genreral updates” and also, I have had a Goodreads update and it made the app close whenever I wanted to comment or see the details of my notifications. So irritating !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad that you agree with what I wrote!
      Not knowing whether to round up or down is the story of my life.
      The mobile app crashes so much and hides a lot of things from me too! Whenever I tried to view this one user’s recently read shelf, the app would shut down without fail. It’s truly so irritating.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. This was so much fun to read, Caitlin! I’ll admit that I can’t relate to a lot of this because I solely use Goodreads for my TBR, keeping track of what I’ve read, my reading challenge, and looking up books people recommended🙈but I still had the best time reading all your thoughts!!

    Even as someone who doesn’t really use Goodreads as social media (I friend people if they friend me but I never look at the feed or seek anyone out really, oops), a lot of these seem like things Goodreads should really get on fixing, like…now.

    And YES the search bar is?? NOT a search bar?? Um, Goodreads, please tell me why you are not showing me the clear title I’m typing in but are instead showing me a nonfiction book about gardening. XD This was a super great post!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad that you had fun reading this rant, haha. And I guess you’re lucky that you can’t really relate because I’m disappointed by GR every time I use it 😂

      Sometimes I’m unsure about how to spell a book’s title or how to spell an author’s name, so my desired results don’t show up on the search results! Thank you 💓

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I totally agree with everything you’ve said here! I only really use Goodreads for the reading challenge and keeping track of my books really, because otherwise it’s hard to navigate. I would really love if they started doing half stars though! I seem to have got quite good at picking books I’ll like these days, so I feel like almost all my books end up being rated 4 stars on Goodreads, whilst there’s definitely more of a range of star ratings on my blog, because I can use half stars.
    Great post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So glad that you do! And that is such a mood—goodreads is good for tracking the books you’re reading, have read and want to read, but otherwise, it’s many features are pretty useless because they’re pretty hard to navigate! Yeah, if they added the half star option, my ratings would have more variety. Plus, sometimes half stars can mean a world of difference. That’s why I like reviewing books on my blog too!
      Thank you!!


  17. I don’t have a massive amount of beef with Goodreads but then again I’ve started to use it less recently and so its misgivings have affected me less but I’m totally with you! There is a ‘follow reviews’ option for if you want to follow people/authors but the friend limit is a bit stupid, I agree. Not being to reply to comments is so dumb and the mobile app is just,,, highkey trash? The coding is annoying, but I guess I’ve learned to deal with it. Having a visual aspect like wordpress would definitely be good though! (P.S. for images, (double quotes work just as well)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Me too! I find that I’ve been using it less and less. I guess Im still irked by the waste potential though :”) I’m pretty confused about why there are both a follow and friend option, honestly. I feel like just a follow option would be best?
      It’s honestly like gr doesn’t want us to interact, because replying to comments is so hard! I’ve learned to deal with the coding by drafting my posts on WordPress visual editor and then copying the html form of what I wrote, so I’ve leaned to deal with it too, haha. Thanks for the help though! I’ll try and insert an image in a goodreads review myself

      Liked by 1 person

  18. AHH I love this post and I agree with every single thing you wrote there. I would love half stars, I NEED half stars, the world need them haha. And the search bar is the funniest thing ever. Just this morning I was looking for some books and even when you type the EXACT title, somehow it just doesn’t come up? What is wrong with that? It’s so frustrating haha. I only use goodreads to update my current read and to keep track of the books I’ve read and am reading, it’s so practical for that, but it could use a little revamp haha 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you—I’m so glad! I need them too haha—we all do :(( I feel like they can mean a world of difference, plus I want my average rating to be more accurate. Ahaha, I feel so sorry for the search bar. It tries, but it doesn’t succeed 😂 me too! But i would use it way more if the site was updated!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Ah, this is such a spot on post!! I don’t use half stars, but basically everyone I know does, and they all deserve to be able to use it! The search engine of goodreads is so bad – I genuinely don’t understand HOW it can give the worst results. The coding is silly AND time consuming. I format my reviews with bold and underlines and italicized text, but you can bet that about 10% of that formatting is making it into my GR review, because who has the time to copy/paste all the codes!? Smh. (I mean, I’m not a patient person, so it’s also because of that, but yeah.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! How?? I can’t not consider half stars when I rate. But lately, I have been noticing that I need them less and less now that I’ve figured out a definition for my rating system. Oh gosh, the search bar—it tries, but it doesn’t succeed 😂 oh, I deal with the coding by drafting the review in the WordPress visual editor, and then copying the html of what I wrote! I have to modify a few things, but it saves a LOT of time. I’m also not a patient person, and that’s why I hate the coding so much 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Yes goodreads needs to sort itself out– I say it every time I use it!! Honestly it needs to step up it’s game!!
    I would love half stars so much– I think like I can’t always give an authentic rating because of them!!
    Honestly I just feel sorry for the search bar– it almost tries but never succeeds!! 😂
    I was always confused by the friends and follow system– why is there two– I never know which one to use!!
    Replying to comments is a mess!! Goodreads really needs to sort that– I was so confused when I started using the app!!
    I agree with this post so much!! Goodreads is a mess with so much potential– it’s annoying and it felt so good to read what you dislike about it because it is a mood!! 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad that you agree, Sophie!
      Right? Half stars can mean a world of difference! Like, goodreads, please just give me half stars so that my life can be way easier. Describing the search bar as trying, but not succeeding is so accurate 😂
      Oof, when I first started using goodreads, I was so sad because I didn’t know anyone else who used it in real life, and I thought that you actually had to be friends with someone to add them on goodreads. I think that only a follow option would be best, honestly. That way we can see updates we actually care about (oops).
      Ugh, I hate that replying to comments is so hard. There’s really no reason for it to be that difficult! Would it be so hard for them to emulate twitter or instagram comment sections?!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. GR will never update its interface and we will suffer till the end of times :/
    One more thing is — you can’t see if sb comments on your profile when you’re on mobile app… I enjoy writing cute messages to people and it sucks that sometimes they have no idea about it
    The code for inserting an image is (img src=”link”) Just change () to

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know!! Why, goodreads, why?
      Yes!! I forgot to mention that! It’s so annoying that you cant comment on people’s profiles on mobile. Like, how hard would it be to make that feature available to mobile users? I’m really lucky that I got to see your comment! And thanks for the help 🙂 I use the WordPress visual editor and then copy the html form of the image though hahaha

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Caitlin, this is such an amazing discussion post! While I do like Goodreads and find it useful in some ways, it has so many issues and I agree with what you said about ALL OF THEM. I live off half stars and it is truly the bane of my reader existence! And I never really thought about it, but my gosh is the interface outdated! I love this post so much and brb, going to boost it forever ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Taasia!! I only use goodreads to track my reading and for the reading challenge. But I would totally use the app for if it were more user friendly! Ugh, half stars are so useful and I hate it that goodreads doesn’t just input a few lines of code and give us our half stars! The app looks the exact same as it did a decade ago, apparently :// it’s SO outdated.

      Aww thank you!!! Gonna boost your entire blog forever as well ❤️❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  23. DUDE. YOUR NEW BLOG FORMAT IS BEAUTIFUL!!! I love the headers, the side bar, and it just looks so elegant and clean!! I love it!!

    ALSO: you and everything you just said about Goodreads is so, so incredibly right!! Goodreads is…*deep breaths* I honestly think I’d be more active on it if it had a better interface, but it doesn’t, so…here we are.

    The half-stars thing makes me really mad! They’re actually kind of what made me move away from ratings. 😦

    Haha, your starting line is legendary lol. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. THANK YOUUU. I literally just renovated a month ago, but I couldn’t resist renovating again. So far, I love this design as well, and I really hope it sticks!

      I’m so glad that you get me! I would be so much more active if they changed all the things I want them to change haha

      Same! Half stars are so useful, and idk why goodreads won’t just do the bare minimum, and GIVE US THE HALF STARS.

      Thank you !

      Liked by 1 person

  24. I absolutely agree with everything that you have said. I am crying for that half stars for so many years. I don’t know why they don’t listen. Probably because they think they don’t have any competitors so people are gonna use GR anyway. This sucks. And don’t ask about giveaways, Earlier it used to be open to different countries but since last year they closed internationally. WTF!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad that you do! We’ve all been crying for them for years. Idk why gr won’t just do the bare minimum and give them to us.

      I think that’s why they refuse to update the interface too! That’s why I really want a competitor to arise. I can’t believe that giveaways used to be open internationally!!! Ah, my international reader self was robbed :((

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Goodreads has sooo much potential and it annoys me to no end that they seemingly refuse to take our feedback and make the changes!? I agree with every single thing you mentioned, with one exception: coding! And that’s only because having to learn some of those codes kind of helped me with a few basic coding skills in general. But now that I already know how to do them, it annoys me to have to type out everything all of the time! The half star ratings and search bar are definitely my biggest issues with Goodreads. I hateee searching for books on there! This is a great post Caitlin!! I’m loving your content!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! I think I leaned a few things from gr coding too! Weirdly, I did tackle coding in past computer classes, but I don’t think I ever learned any of the codes on goodreads. So goodreads coding has helped me in some way! Now, I just draft a post in the WordPress visual editor, and then copy it’s html form to my gr review! I have to modify a few things, but it saves a lot of time. Everyone has been screaming for half stars and a better search bar for years, but they just won’t. Listen 😦

      Thank you so much!! I love all of your content too, especially your reviews ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I unfortunately never had any introduction to coding before Goodreads.. you should’ve seen me trying to figure it all out when I first started sharing reviews there 😅 I was a mess. Thanks to GR and people like you (and your super helpful HTML post), I’m slowly learning!
        You’re very welcome, Caitlin! You’ve been making such fun and unique posts and I always love reading them ♥


  26. Fabulous rant! And yes, I agree on many points with you. The app is horrendous, the search bar is horrific (really the search results are hilarious at times). But there are also things that are just weird. Books disappearing, read dates being eaten or multiplied, at times my read list is too big for the server and I can’t reach it, no way to block comments on specific book reviews. And the feedback, oh lord, I still remember when that forum was still around and the comments of the staff. They just kept adding things no one wanted, everyone just wanted the bugs to be sorted out first. And listen to the members? Nah, they just closed threads.

    As for half stars? I would love them, but these days I use shelves as a way round it. 🙂

    But yeah, still keep using the site as there is no alternative. I have tried multiple sites but none of them worked as well as Goodreads does, with shelving, book pages, etc. Plus, I put so much time into adding books on Goodreads (as I am Dutch)… So for now I am staying with Goodreads, though these days I am also keeping track of my books in a notebook. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Haha, I should really make a post where I type random words into goodreads and see what the search bar comes up with. That’d be so interesting! Yes!! The interface just downright SUCKS. On the mobile app, the app usually closes by itself and lags a lot. I don’t think I wasn’t really around goodreads in the time of the forums, but that sounds horrible!

      Ohh, shelves are such a smart way of making up for the lack of half stars!

      The site refuses to update because they know that people don’t have a better alternative, I think. And everyone is already on goodreads, so transferring would be hard. I really need to keep track of my books with a notebook! I have a bunch of unused ones, and I should really use them as an alternative to goodreads. I really like how the goodreads reading challenge motivates me, though 😂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I would definitely read a post like that. I am kind of curious what kind of words you would try. I know I got some hilarious results over the years by just searching common words. 😛
        Wow, that is even worse than how the app responds for me, that sucks. My app just tends to not find anything when I search, and oh god the shelves and getting them to work.

        Yep! It works perfect and I always recommend it to those who want half stars.

        That sounds like how it works yes, sadly. But I hope one day someone will make something that is like Goodreads only better. *crosses fingers*
        Those poor unused notebooks can be used now! Haha, maybe just use both then? Make your own challenges and the Goodreads challenge?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Haha, now I definitely have to do the post! I’ll have to include some common words ;).
        Yeah, my phone already sucks, so pair it with the gr mobile app and it becomes a downright mess.

        Yeah, maybe! I really want to have those cool and pretty bullet journals that a lot of people have, but I don’t have the time, supplies, of skills :(( maybe I could work something out though! But no, I like how the gr challenge is public and shows me if I’m behind or ahead haha 😅 I don’t think making my own would be as effective!

        Liked by 1 person

  27. I agree with every single thing you said. It’s such a shame Goodreads hasn’t modernised! It could be so amazing but at the moment, the only reason I use it is because there is no alternative (that is as popular as GR anyway). Great post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Well I’m one of those that quite love Goodreads , it’s one of those book sites that has that many books on it you can be there like a library all day long finding a book

    Saying that though I agree it’s over ten years old and hopefully it keeps going though for another ten years

    Liked by 1 person

  29. caitlin, did you change your blog layout again or i’m just crazy at this point and imagining things? anyway!
    i’ve been using goodreads for A Long time now and i just can’t see myself ever changing platforms, though there are some available where i live. for brazilians, there’s skoob, which is really similar to goodreads in every way (they also do not allow half stars tho which is a crime), but i’ve never tried it because skoob just sounds like noob to me and you know no one wants to be a noob, lol. my sister also recommended the app “leio”, which i’m not sure if is available worldwide, but even though the interface looks a lot more user friendly, i’m just a bit too used to goodreads. plus, i think changing platforms while all your friends are still on goodreads would probably result in a really empty, lonely feed.
    i do agree, though, that a “follow” button would be ideal, even before you reach 5,000 friends. i think this way you can curate your feed better and only follow back the people who you share interests with.
    personally, i love that i get to code on goodreads. is one of the few platforms where you still *have* to do that! for tumblr or wordpress, you can just click a button and it does the job, but i think coding is pretty fun. maybe i’m just too old on the internet and need to stop being attached to it?
    ALSO: i had no idea you could even reply people directly on the mobile app???? wow. shocked. i literally just thought it wouldn’t function, hahah.
    and the giveaways are BS, honestly. i see so many people talking about how “great” the giveaways are and how they love goodreads because of this feature specifically and i’m like wow must me be nice being american !!
    i just don’t understand why they refuse to update their interface so bad. there are A Lot of updates that would please users a lot more than rage some because of the changes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I did! I just couldn’t resist, haha. I really like it so far though!
      Me too! For me, there are no better alternatives, so I’m kinda stuck with goodreads haha. Plus, everyone uses it already, and it’ll take a while for them to transfer to a new app, if they even do. Wait, they also don’t allow half stars? Whyyy 😫
      I think that both a visual and coding option would be best, like wordpress offers. Both options have different quirks! And no, you’re not too old!
      You can’t really:( I just comment on my own post with the reply & hope they see it haha. It must be nice living in the US & being eligible for all giveaways! They used to be open internationally too!
      I know! I think it’s because they don’t really have any competition. But more people would use the app if they made it more user friendly!

      Liked by 1 person

  30. I love Goodreads, because I can keep track of all the books I want to read, am reading and have read.
    And then I read this post and I agree with everything you said 😅. Especially the half stars and US giveaways. Some books deserve that half star but are not good enough to have a whole star more.
    I definitely think Goodreads is outdated, and maybe that’s why I only use it to keep track of the books and nothing more.
    Great post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I use it for the same reasons as well! But I’m glad that you agree with me haha. I really want half stars, because for me, they can mean a world of difference. I also want my average rating to be more accurate. Ugh, can you believe that giveaways used to be international? :((

      Thank you!


  31. I actually love GoodReads- but like you I have a lot of issues with the app. Which is awful.

    I use it differently though than just social media for books and looking at reviews. I see most reviews through bloggers now, but still post my reviews there. I mostly interact with my virtual book club there, set up buddy reads, ask for recommendations, etc.

    And the giveaways used to be open to International residents (I think), but Amazon changed it, and made it very expensive for publishers to offer the giveaways.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are a lot of things to love about it. I hate that it’s clouded over by the many issues I have with it.

      Ohh, I don’t really do that in goodreads anymore. It sounds like you have a lot of fun on the app! I just keep track of my reading, use the reading challenge, and post a review on there when I remember to.

      Yeah, I was informed, and I’m so sad about that :((

      Liked by 1 person

  32. When I first created Goodreads, I was really excited to discover everything it had to offer, but I quickly realized it was worthless. I gave up on the app entirely and I just access the website, and I only use it to keep track of what I’m reading, the shelves and the reading challenge … The half stars issue doesn’t bother me anymore because I can always write that information when I start my review (even though it could be avoided, yes) but I get seriously mad with the search bar! I also hate coding. It’s not because I’m lazy or something, it’s just because I keep copying links and codes and I often mess them up and have to start over and lose tons of time with that (and I haven’t figured out the images issue either). My Portuguese friends have been using Bookly and I don’t know if it’s a better option …

    Liked by 1 person

  33. You’re an intellectual for giving up on it. I haven’t found a better option, so I’m sticking with gr for now, but I side eye everything they do. I think that the half stars issue really bothers me because for me, half stars make all then difference. I also want my average rating to be more accurate. I always mess up codes!! Redoing them takes so much time, and sometimes I can’t even find what I did wrong. I hope that Bookly is a better option for you!


  34. Wow you managed to cover all of my complaints! The only one I hadn’t thought of was the 5,000 friend limit because I didn’t know that was a thing. I definitely agree that it would make more sense the just follow people though like Twitter? Friending people should be exclusively for Facebook. I think the things that drive me the most crazy are replying to comments and the useless search bar. I also wish there was a better way to control your feed. I don’t want to see 500 updates from one single person because they added a ton of books to their TBR. Or that somebody I’m friends with liked or commented on somebody elses thing? It’s just too cluttered and the entire thing needs help.

    Liked by 1 person

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