Goodreads is a social network for book lovers. I joined Goodreads several years ago and love it. I use it to keep track of what I want to read which is very useful when I am trying to figure out what to read next. I follow authors I enjoy and get pinged on their blog updates via my Goodreads feed. I see updates from my friends on what they are reading and what they have read and their ranking (number of stars) and review if they wrote one. I try to enter every book I have read but I have been read a lot. I used to feel more inhibited about listing everything I read on Goodreads since my tastes tend to be genre specific and not the approved literary mainstream. Now that I am writing actively, I am adding most of the books I am reading. I love to see what my friends are reading and often get inspired to read outside my normal interest areas. One of my favorite books last year was taken from a friend’s reading list – The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi. Often, I write very short reviews. I read a lot of “genre” books –I write a fan girl freak-out reviews because certain genres and authors inspire that in me.
I read books for review, which is a great way to get free books. These tend to be new authors or self-published and it is a mixed bag. I have “discovered” some amazing indie authors like Jean Lowe Carlson who wrote a series called The Three Day of Oblenite – a fantasy/dystopian/erotic mash up. Even when a book hasn’t thrilled me, it’s interesting for me as a writer to read a book that is flawed and find the interesting components. It helps give me perspective when I edit my own work. I never write reviews if it’s not a least a 3 star book. Bad for the brotherhood/sisterhood of authors. I learn so much from them.