5 Ways I Use Goodreads (And Why You Should Use It, Too!)

If you’re a reader, you may have stumbled across (or maybe already use!) This site is a book lovers dream tool! It’s the easiest way to keep track of all the books you’ve read, all the books you want to read, and provides you with a great way to connect with fellow readers. Read on to see how I use it.

1. To keep track of books I want to read.

I am crazy about my TBR (to-be read list). If something goes on that list, I WILL READ IT. In my dream world, my TBR would have ZERO BOOKS, so I could read whatever I felt like, whenever I felt like it. In reality, between publishers and fellow bloggers, I’m always finding new books to read. I use Goodreads to keep track of them. See my “to-read”* list below.

*13 books on my to-read list is minuscule compared to some of the bloggers out there who have hundreds! My brain can’t fathom having a to-do list that long!

TBR goodreads

2. To jot down my thoughts while reading a book.

The “update progress” link is really fun tool on Goodreads, and is great a way to write down how you feel about the book as you’re going along. When you finish a book, you can see all your thoughts and what page they coordinated with. It’s a great way to remind yourself how you felt while reading it (especially if you’re not the type of reader that is going to review the book at the end).

When you first log on to Goodreads, you’ll see the following page. Note in the upper left it shows you what books you’re currently reading:


If you click “update progress,” you’ll get the opportunity to indicate your thoughts:


Here’s what the “activity” looks like after you’ve finished a book. These are my notes for Jurassic Park:

goodreads activity

3. To keep track all the books I’ve read.

I like to keep track of what books I’ve read and when. I also like to know if I actually read the book or listened to the audiobook. You can create a bunch of different folders for books (some people have >30) – it’s up to you how you want to organize it! When you click on “My Books” at the top of the page, it will take you to your to-read list (as shown in the first screen shot). Off to the left, you’ll have your various folders that you’ve created.


4.  To maintain my reading goal each year.

Goodreads has a great reading challenge program. Every year you can choose how many books you want to read, and every time you go on Goodreads they’ll remind you of how you’re doing with your challenge (it’s a small blue box to the left of the screen in the second image on this post). For goal-oriented people like me, this is a fantastic tool. It’s also fun to see all the books I’ve read so far in 2017 in one place. Here’s my 2017 reading challenge page:

goodreads reading challenge

5. To review books, so I never forget what I thought about them!

Before I reviewed books, I only remembered the plot of the really intense books or ones that ended up being my favorite. Now that I review, I remember so much more about every book I read. If I ever forget (which so far I haven’t…), it’d be so easy to find the book on Goodreads and see what I thought about it! Of course… I also have a blog now where I review books, so that helps, too…


Do you use Goodreads? If you have a Goodreads account, let’s be friends! Find me here! If you don’t, do you keep track of the books you’ve read? How so?

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  1. Awesome post, Ali~! <3
    I don't really use the Goodreads function to write comments whilst I'm reading – but when I have done it, it's been really interesting reading my thoughts a couple of months after I read the book :')))
    I tried using Goodreads to keep track of all the books on my TBR…but too difficult! I keep adding wayyy too many books. As we all know..the TBR is endless! :')

    1. OOoh, I have never used it to indicate what books I own, but I always see that little option to select! That’s a smart use!

  2. I love that you wrote this post! I definitely could have used a post like this when I first started using Goodreads, because the platform definitely takes some getting used to. But now I could never keep track of all my books without it haha! My to-read list is basically a list of ‘books I want to read and will read if I ever live long enough to do so’. But the books I am going to get and want to read in the more immediate future are on my wishlist. I don’t really have a list of books that I’m going to read for sure??? Because I am more of a mood reader and set TBRs scare me!!
    Esther @ Queen of Fantasy just posted Top Seven Things I Can Never Get Enough of in BooksMy Profile

    1. Hahahahaha that’s definitely the Type-A in me that has a list of books I will read “FOR SURE,” but I think it’s probably smarter to be a mood reader, because there have been many books I haven’t liked just because I wasn’t in the mood for them.

  3. I do use goodreads! My to-read list is kinda incomplete–only some are ‘urgent’ like you’ describe, and heaps of thems are books I dont’ want to read anymore because it’s hard to remove them, so I use my libraries wishlist and, like, my head way more lol. When i went hiking for three weeks recently, I wrote down all the books on my kobo and invented symbols for ‘reviewed’ mini revied’ ‘read’ etc. Which was fun. I love the shelves too, especially because you can cross-reference them.
    Shanti just posted Two problems with the phrase ‘diverse’My Profile

    1. Hahaha, you have a very unique TBR – one that only you’d be able to comprehend I think! But I love that you have your own system.

  4. I also use Goodreads to keep track of books I’ve read and *sometimes* I’ll add my thoughts as I read the book but that’s about it haha. I always meant to start using Goodreads to keep track of my tbr but then I started adding every book to that tbr shelf and now it’s just too big to properly sort. I keep track of books I genuinely want to read and buy in a separate word document on my computer though.
    Rachana just posted 5 things I’ve learned in 3 years of bloggingMy Profile

    1. Hahaa, I think a lot of people have that problem with the Goodreads TBR – they add everything!! But a word doc on the computer is a totally legit way to do it!

    1. I should TOTALLY use it more. I don’t use it as often as I want to, but when I do use, I always enjoy looking back and seeing what my thoughts were.