Discussed! Goodreads, Is it really that bad? Truly don’t think so…

Posted 12 October, 2013 by Danny in Blog, Danny, Discussion / 33 Comments

Lately, I’ve seen more and more post about the evil that is supposed to happen on Goodreads on a daily basis. Now, whenever I read posts like that I am actually getting confused..



Because I never experienced anything bad happen to me there.

I never had an author comment badly on my review.

Well, it might also be that I usually try to stay very unemtional about books I do not like. I leave out my unbiased and unfiltered frustration on skype with friends, but I leave this out of my reviews.

I never had someone deleting my reviews or shelves.

What I see and what I personally do not like are reviews that are disrespectful, that trash talk about books someone didn’t like. Sure, I see these reviews, but… I just ignore them! I do not read them and I simply walk away. No one is forcing me to read them and I just don’t. I move on.


Does this makes goodreads a bad place?

I it so bad that also Authors hang out on goodreads? 

No, I do not think so! 

Also, I do not understand the big fear about the amazon involvement. In the end, the goodreads people also want to make a living, they obviously love what they are doing – but especially a small company needs a budget. They need to pay their employees, pay for rent and “do-not-eve-want-dot-iamgine-whatmore”.

So this liaison makes sense from a business point of view.

How does this affect me? 

Seriously, ever since they announced this, I didn’t feel anything differently on goodreads! No, I am even more excited for being able to update goodreads directly from my Kindle! Yeah. there I am outed – being an amazon and Kindle customer.

So, here I am being a big defender of Goodreads. I like it there, truly I do. I keep my Goodreads page updated and I search there for new books.

I am of course also on BookLikes – I love to try out different things. 🙂

But even though I like the design very much, I simply can’t keep up with both sides, as much as I’d like to.

Maybe I’m not seeing the things everyone keeps talking about, but I personally do like it on goodreads! 

Now, I want to hear it from you! Are you still on goodreads? Did you leave? If yes, why? And maybe I am not the only goodreads defender out there, so speak up , I would love to know that I am not the only one! 

Find me on :



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33 Responses to “Discussed! Goodreads, Is it really that bad? Truly don’t think so…”

  1. I’ve been on Goodreads almost since the beginning…according to my account, I joined in August 2007. There have been complainers since day 1. And, funnily enough, if I go to the Goodreads Feedback group, it’s the SAME people complaining that have been for years.

    Goodreads has had it’s ups and downs, but it’s consistently the best site out there for what it is – a place to find books, rate books, and review books. They were affiliated with Amazon before and then decided to leave, and are now back again. It hasn’t affected anything in my opinion.

    I just discovered BookLikes the other day and joined up…it’s neat and I like it as another way to find more books (like my to-read pile isn’t big enough already, haha). It’s not as fleshed out as Goodreads, but that’s probably because it’s just getting started. I’ve joined all sorts of them starting up, but always revert back to Goodreads, it’s my book home on the internet.

    Great discussion post!
    Bree recently posted..Review: Made of Stars by Kelley YorkMy Profile

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  2. I absolutely understand what you’re saying here, Danny!!! I, like you, have never received bad comment on my reviews. If I disliked a book, I’ll try to give constructive criticism- nothing destructive. I’m not a fan of reviews that trash talk books or authors either. Still, I don’t like that GR isn’t notifying whomever wrote those reviews when they delete it. That’s not a good move on GR’s part. Nonetheless, it doesn’t lessen my experience in this particular community since I have no reason to believe that GR will be deleting any of my reviews or shelves.

    Great post, Danny! Very thought-provoking. 🙂
    Hazel @ Stay Bookish recently posted..Little Talks: Giving Discussions A GoMy Profile

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  3. I’ve been on Goodreads since August 2007, long before I started blogging. I thought it was a great way to wishlist books. And while that has changed, I don’t really see much of what goes on in terms of review comment wars unless someone actually links them to me. I’d been a part of a couple discussion groups which were interesting but never had these heated conversations that seem to go on.

    When I first started blogging an author reached out to me through my Goodreads because I didn’t enjoy the book, and while I felt intimidated by that outreach, it wasn’t hostile.

    I wasn’t too thrilled to hear of the delete without notice, but the reality is it’s not “your” blog. You don’t pay for them to maintain your reviews, etc. If Goodreads decided to close up shop one day, guess what, everyone loses. But I guess I’m not so personally attached as I don’t use it in the same way. I’m much more attached to my blog.

    And the readers I’ve interacted with on GR have always been super nice, enthusiastic and awesome. I hope the partnership with Amazon doesn’t change things too much. I wish there were fewer motion ads, as I always get dizzy with all of that stuff. I think as long as it’s not those ads you have to “X” out of in order to view the page, I can probably live with them, though.

    Great discussion post. I may be the only one not running to book likes but I just don’t have the energy to maintain another online place. Glad to hear you’ll still be on GR.
    Rachel recently posted..Epic Fail Moments in Blogging #8: My BlogoversaryMy Profile

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  4. I started my blogging career on Goodreads, because that was the reason I decided to start my blog. I’m still there and I never participated in all the drama surrounding it. I love the website, the interface, the community and the easy way to keep track of all the things I want to know about books. I just prefer this website over all the other book-track-sites and I’m not leaving. I did make a Booklikes account to follow people who left GR, but I just don’t like it there..
    Mel@thedailyprophecy recently posted..Review 204. Jessica Day George – Princess of the silver woods.My Profile

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  5. I’m still on Goodreads and I haven’t had any problems with it either. I understand why people are upset for having their reviews/shelves deleted though. I can understand deleting any reviews that actually harass or deeply insult authors, because reviews should be about the book. But several of the reviews that were deleted weren’t insulting the author or didn’t mention the author at all. They were just negative reviews, and maybe a little snarky, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

    However, I get annoyed when people blame any and all Goodreads changes or drama on Amazon. Just because Amazon owns Goodreads doesn’t mean they’re involved in day to day operations saying, “Do this, do that, change this policy” etc. People just decide to blame Amazon for it because they think Amazon is a fun target…
    Ashley recently posted..American Girl in London: A Stroll Through St James’s Park (in closeups!)My Profile

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  6. Great post Danny! I feel exactly the way you do. I’ve never had any personal problems on Goodreads. And one of the biggest things I hate is reading reviews that bash authors. I think GR is just doing the responsible thing by keeping the truly hateful aspects of book reviewing OUT. Although the one thing I don’t agree with is that GR is encouraging authors to NOT comment on the reviews of their books. I love when authors read my reviews and I love discussions, as long as they aren’t hateful.

    What I find strange is that I’ve recently had two nasty comments on reviews I left on Amazon, and even though I reported them, Amazon hasn’t removed them from the site.

    The last thing I want to say is that I do not like Booklikes at all. It has a very clunky interface and nowhere near the information on each book that you can find on GR. I will probably give up using it. Like you said it’s too hard to keep up with both.
    Tammy @ Books Bones & Buffy recently posted..Stacking the Shelves (40)My Profile

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  7. Good Post Danny! I am still and will continue to use Goodreads. It’s a great place to track what I’ve read and what I’ve marked that I want to read. I find great new books coming out that I didn’t know about. The drama doesn’t affect me either, I don’t write reviews that criticize authors. I write about the book. I’ve never had a problem and don’t expect to. I’ve only had one author ever come back to me on a review and that was from my blog.
    Goodreads has a right to run their site as they see fit. We have the right to not use it if we don’t want to. I believe you have a space to write scathing opinions on authors on your blog if you choose to and those that want to agree, like, etc will find you. Whether Goodreads should have notified the reviewer before they deleted their shelf, probably but I’m not sure how that would have made a difference.

    I can’t figure out BookLikes. It seems like another blog to me and I’ve got enough trouble keeping up with my own. I’ll have to check your page out and see what you’ve got going on! I use Library Things a lot. I forget about Shelfari, Google plus, but I’d like to try Booklikes.
    Heather @ Buried in Books recently posted..Blog Tour- The Grotto Under The Tree by John A. Theo, Jr.- Favorites List and GiveawayMy Profile

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  8. I am still on goodreads and I haven’t had anything bad happen with my reviews…The only one I can think of is when I read this book for review and I had a bad copy of it, and the author made a comment regarding it.
    Then I had an author fight over a freaking goodreads star regarding a review. I kept my review as it.

    I use it to keep track of my books and I am still there, and I did reach my goal but I also had 18 DNF 🙁 my most to date.
    Julie@my5monkeys recently posted..Anywhere but HereMy Profile

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  9. What it comes down to is that Goodreads very clearly used their authors in reviews policy to target specific reviewers and delete their content. While I’m unlikely to ever be a significant enough reviewer to land in Goodreads’ sights, I can’t stand behind a company that is willing to stomp on some of the most valuable reviewers they have in order to make authors like them. I can no longer trust Goodreads to give me all the information I want to have about a book because I do want to know if an author has done something that I don’t want to support by promoting their book.
    Anya recently posted..Of Poseidon by Anna Banks {4 Stars}My Profile

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  10. Right now I am on the fence about Goodreads. Whilst the deletion didn’t affect me personally, I didn’t like the way the Goodreads staff handled the situation at all – that it was presented as a fait accompli, and that they only appear to be deleting the reviews that have negative opinions about authors. In my opinion if they believe that only books should be talked about in reviews on their site then they really should also delete the posts that gush about how wonderful authors are as well.

    That said, I am still using the site. Not as much as I was, because I am still thinking and forming my thoughts about the issue. Goodreads is a really good site, and I think it has lots of great features and it’s easy to use. However, there’s part of me that cannot ignore their actions and the apparent disrespect to the user base. So yeah, the fence is where I am sitting kicking my heels.

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  11. I’m with you, I don’t really see what the big deal is. But I use goodreads to keep track of things and I use it to grab blurbs and I post my reviews, but I’m not chatty on there. I do read reviews, but usually it’s just when I’m considering a book for review and it’s nice to see a bunch for one book in one spot. I had been on shelfari before goodreads and so it had been a change for me but because that’s what bloggers used I ended up using it and now I don’t even go to shelfari just cause I don’t have enough time to maintain that many sites. I haven’t even visited booklikes there are just too many sites to maintain (as I said above) but if it seems like it’s necessary I suppose I’ll start an account there as well. Thanks for this post and letting us know that we’re not the only ones that aren’t having problems with it.
    Candace recently posted..Young Adult Review: Emerald Green by Kerstin GierMy Profile

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  12. I’m going to have to agree with you, Danny. I have yet to be personally affected by any of the changes. I do have friends who have had shelves deleted (ok, one friend). But, it was due to her involvement in one of the “scandals” between author and reviewer that I know little about.
    All in all, I did check out book likes but I couldn’t keep up with it and don’t think I’ll use it. II really love goodreads and until something happens where I am directly, negatively affected? Im all good staying out of the drama. I don’t have any shelves that allude to author behavior anyway…so yeah.
    It’s great to see a post showing love for Goodreads 😉
    Diamond recently posted..Stacking the Shelves #19My Profile

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  13. I agree. I honestly don’t find anything wrong with Goodreads. I love Goodreads and prefer it over Booklikes. However, I’ve never personally been affected by their changes. Then again, I don’t believe in bashing authors. I try to review the book solely on the book. I can understand how people are upset for the lack of notice for their reviews/shelves being removed, but honestly, Goodreads is going to have to do whatever it needs to do to create the type of environment the company is going for. As for the Amazon thing, I don’t get what’s so upsetting about it. I love that the Kindle is going to have that feature, and I kind of wish I had one now. 😛

    Great post.
    Amy M. recently posted..Book Review: American Girl On Saturn by Nikki GodwinMy Profile

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  14. Mariel

    Hello, I found your post on tumblr. I think if a person is a part of a community it isn’t only their own interest that matters. What if an author couldn’t publish and you never got their words that could have moved you? It isn’t only our own voices to be heard but others. And some on goodreads are getting deleted without information about the lay of the land. If they didn’t tell them they might not tell you some day. Someone may never hear what you have to say. Do we only care about ourselves or do we need insights of those with the benefit of new eyes?

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  15. I’ve been on Goodreads since 2009 and have met many wonderful people through GR. While the changes did not affect my personal bookshelves or my reviews, the changes DO affect me because some of my favorite and most trusted reviewing friends have left Goodreads. Some of them are getting their reviews deleted because they are “off topic.” My question to you would be why are those reviews being removed when there are literally thousands of 5 star OMG OMG OMG reviews which are just as useless. Those get to stay.

    Also, Goodreads introduced these rules on the Feedback group, not as a general message to all their users. So, out of 20,000,000 users, a fraction were made aware of the new rules.

    The other issue was bookshelves being deleted. On GR, you used to have the freedom to create your own bookshelves and call them pretty much what you pleased. I can understand deleting shelves with objectionable names, however the weirdest shelves were removed. Anyhow, there are a few places to go and look for more information on this issue.

    It may not affect you now, but as their top reviewers leave, the quality of reviews drops.
    AH@badassbookreviews recently posted..Review: Written in Red by Anne BishopMy Profile

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  16. I don’t really get it. It seems like the behavior in question was bad all the way around. I just try to steer clear of any drama. I have enough REAL life drama to be getting twisted about something I enjoy & don’t receive a check for.

    When I came to GR, I actually liked Shelfari better. But the ap and the community on GR is way more active & easy. I believe Amazon owns Shefari too. C’est la vie. I’m staying.

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  17. Danny, I am sincerely glad that you aren’t finding any problems with your GoodReads experience, and I agree that it’s still the best site out there for book lovers. I’ve been a huge supporter of GoodReads for a long time, and have contributed to the community and database there in a fairly significant way.

    I was not personally affected by the deletions, but I am disturbed on principle by how the site has singled out specific members–and I also wonder about the reasoning behind it, as well as what it means for the future. (I don’t want to get into a big discussion about the reasoning, as I’m on record saying this elsewhere, and I agree with everything AH just posted above.) Still, if people don’t see a problem with that, there’s no reason for it to affect their enjoyment of the site.

    It’s interesting to me that some people are annoyed that OTHER people are upset by this, however–no one is forcing them to take any action, or guilting anyone else for staying, as far as I know. And while I don’t think these statements were necessarily meant this way, I have to say that when people make a point of proclaiming that they have never personally had a bad experience with authors, there’s a certain amount of blame that is being placed on reviewers who have clearly been attacked by authors. But then again, maybe that’s what some people do intend to say when they point that out, that it’s the fault of a non-compensated, non-professional reviewer when a professional attacks them? If so, all I have to say to that is thank god it’s never happened to you or anyone you’ve ever cared about. Do I dislike the tone and content of some reviews? Sure. But it’s not reviewers who are looking up authors’ home phone numbers and dining habits, posting personal details online, harassing them at home, or threatening their loved ones. If people don’t have a problem with authors doing that and don’t care about knowing it, so be it. But I’m not sure why it’s such a huge problem that other people DO care about these things.
    Wendy Darling recently posted..The Book Thief Readalong: Week TwoMy Profile

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  18. I completely agree with you. I have been on Goodreads for about three years now, and I don’t run into that many problems. I think Goodreads was in the right to delete abusive reviews, but I do feel bad for the negative, honest reviews and lists that were deleted without warning. GR should have, at the very least, given warning so users could readjust some things. I just don’t really see what all the big commotion is about, and honestly it’s only because I wasn’t effected enough by it to form a negative opinion.
    Jillyn recently posted..Mini Review: My Little Pony: Pony Tales, Vol. 1My Profile

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  19. I haven’t really seen anything bad happen on Goodreads. I feel like no matter what site you are on if it is a social media type of site, there will always be something negative that happens. Because other people are also on the site, and people will always treat others badly, or do something that’s not right in other peoples point of view. It’s just the way of the world. I love Goodreads personally. Also I don’t really know what the Amazon/Goodreads “hookup” really means in terms of using Amazon, or Goodreads… So I guess I will just figure it out later on. But I totally agree with you, I do not see much of a problem going on right now.
    Whit recently posted..Making Chase (Chase Brothers, #4) By Lauren DaneMy Profile

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  20. I enjoy Goodreads and have never had an issue. Like you I keep my reviews from being personal attacks and avoid reviews and comments that aren’t based on the actual book. I love being able to go out book shopping and pulling up my Goodreads app to check for books I want and to double check for those pesky rereleases of authors I adore. Great post Danny 🙂
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted..Ghosts Are Real by Coral RussellMy Profile

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  21. I know what you mean. I ignore those reviews, too. I also haven’t had any issues – and I AM honest when I don’t like a book. I’ve actually had authors comment on how much they like that about my reviews. Be honest, be critical, but don’t insult or bash. Is that too hard to handle? I think everyone should write what they want but they shouldn’t be cruel or unprofessional about it. I’m still on Goodreads and I can’t see myself deleting my account. At least not yet. If things get worse, I might have to reevaluate but for now everything is normal for me!
    Kaley @ Books Etc recently posted..Review: LongbournMy Profile

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  22. For the past several months, maybe longer, I haven’t appreciated how more and more authors have been using GR to spam potential readers. I can’t tell you how many private messages or “event” invites I’ve gotten for books that don’t interest me in the slightest. It seems the only way to avoid it is to make my profile private, but I don’t like doing that because I feel like having a private profile would discourage other readers from sending a friend request… and interacting with readers is the whole reason I’m there!

    So, I’ve felt for a while now that GR was no longer the reader community it once was, and this latest drama only enforces that. It’s so disappointing. I haven’t left GR entirely, but I’m scaling back my use and support of the site.
    Charleen recently posted..ITW Must-Reads: Eye of the NeedleMy Profile

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  23. Thank you! This is a post I’ve been considering writing myself for weeks now. I don’t see myself ever leaving Goodreads. I love it, I wouldn’t even know about the drama if I wasn’t a blogger and simply was a goodreads user. I’ve been on it pretty much since it began as well and I have so many books on there and so many lists that I will never leave. I love the groups and community and it’s just a great place – I think. I figure why get all in a huff if the drama didn’t affect you personally? I’m staying, until the end prolly. 🙂
    Kristen recently posted..Manga Review: Durarara!! Volume 1My Profile

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  24. It’s not Goodreads per se that I have a problem with, it’s those obnoxious, annoying, rude reviewer-wanna be people who bash books on there and start crusades against authors by creating shelves like “authors-behaving-badly” or “never-ever-waste-of-time”, cause let’s face it, that’s just unprofessional and mean. And you know, I get that like anywhere else on the internet, you are bound to get a couple bad apples in a bunch, but those people who usually start wars on there are well known and supposedly liked reviewers, who get review copies from publishers. And it’s fine to give a book a one-star rating, it happens to all of us, you can’t possibly like every book you read, but I hate when I see a thousand likes on a very offensive review that takes the book apart completely, and in a very rude way.

    So no, I don’t mind Goodreads. I agree with them removing offensive sounding reviews and rude book shelves, cause it’s a social site for both authors and readers, and no one likes to witness ugly stuff like that. They’re just working hard to make it a nice and welcoming place for everyone.
    Evie recently posted..Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke (Review)My Profile

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  25. I don’t have any problem with Goodreads and don’t see myself leaving anytime soon. I do think that Goodreads could have handled the situation differently (without deleting things without even letting people know beforehand), but they admitted that themselves, so I’d just prefer to chalk that up to a dumb move, not something that I would leave the site over. I do hope that Goodreads doesn’t suffer too much due to this because I definitely think it’s the best book site out there!
    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction recently posted..Patti Larsen’s Family Magic Birthday Bash Giveaway!My Profile

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