Goodreads is the yelp of the book world. Like yelp, they are the chosen venue for their genre of reviews: they have more than 7 million users and offer a variety of ways to track your interactions with their chosen field: progress updates, themed bookshelves, snooping your friends recent reads, and of course: reviews.

Just like Yelp, read the reviews, and you are are plagued by the problem of no-elected-critic: some people seem to trash a book for personal reasons, some careful cite their opinions and then forget what they were talking about and meander on a different topic,  some arbitrarily nominate their recent read as the greatest book of all time because they happend to be drunk while reading (this last one happens more with yelp than goodreads, but still).

And yet, just like Yelp, I read dozens of these strange strangers’ opinions; squinting as I read, trying to spot their neuroses and discover whether they match mine or not. If you both think slow service is cause for complaint (oh my goodness no. stop reading of this person’s frantic life immediately), or if you both think quirky signage makes it worth the trip (yes!) perhaps you can share an opinion or two.

I liked my friend Kate’s careful specification of what exactly each star means to her (you can click the photo for a close up). Goodreads should adapt her specifications and suggest these boundaries to you as your review. She’s a librarian, so of course we can count on her to guide society towards agreed upon organization.

ps: Here’s my account.

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