October 13th, 2010

ellie bike

Middling on GoodReads...

After tossing a book aside in disgust last week, I chanced upon a random comment about Good Reads. I've heard things about it before, and I've actually joined and posted a few books with ratings (only 4 or 5 stars, however), but I haven't had the time to write full-on reviews.

I went on and looked up the book I didn't like, just to see what others were saying...and in one sense, it was very educational because a number of the reviewers pointed out correlations between the MC and Bella of Twilight fame. I hadn't noticed that (um, not having read the entire book), but as soon as I saw it mentioned, I immediately agreed. And no wonder I didn't really connect with this book, as it was very similar to Bella in many of the ways which made me put down Twilight, as well.

After looking up that book, I tried a few others I've read...and whoa. There's a ton of vitriol on that site! I'm astonished at how many people not only hate various books, but they also ream the authors. I haven't yet disassociated myself from GoodReads, but I won't be adding any more books. I'm trying to decide if it's even worth it to keep the few I've listed there (with ratings and no reviews) or if I should just pull out completely.

One thing's for sure -- I won't be looking at that site if I ever get published myself. Holy crap! It would be so hard to keep going after reading some of those reviews. Even though there is a mix of positive and negative for just about every book under the sun (which is a good reminder of subjectivity), the negative ones are so extreme.

But I'm curious -- how many published writers find that kind of feedback valuable? And if you're a member of GoodReads, what does it do for you? (I'm trying to decide how to handle my own participation.) As a reader, do you use it? (This was my first time reading through various reviews, and although it was interesting, it did nothing to change my opinions about the books I'd already read...but I could see that it might sway my thoughts if I was waiting to read a book.)