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.
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.