I’ve been using Goodreads for a few years now and love it. It lets me keep track of the books I want to read, those I am reading (including the page I’m on), and to categorize the books according to topic (or anything else my heart desires). It provides an active community for discussing what I’m reading, integrates seamlessly with Facebook, makes recommendations based upon my recorded reading, and quickly demonstrates a community consensus on the quality of almost any book (allowing me to determine if it is worth my time).
If you don’t already use Goodreads to manage your reading list – I’d highly recommend it. That said, I also have a few features/refinements I’d really like to see Goodreads add. Now that they have been acquired by Amazon, I don’t see any reason they shouldn’t be able to throw some extra manpower at these tasks and make them a reality. 🙂
What Do I Own?
Right now I have a category called “owned” but it isn’t entirely convenient. I’d really like a way apart from categories to mark a book as owned, wanted, loaned, or etc.
For example, there are some books I want to read but don’t care to own. I don’t want others purchasing these books for me – that would be sad.
On the other hand, there are books that I own that I don’t want folks purchasing for me either – b/c then I’d have duplicates – again, sad.
I’d also like Goodreads to provide a way for me to sell my books. If I own a book but don’t care to continue owning it (but won’t just throw/give it away), it’d be great to be able to mark a book as “available” and then when someone else goes searching for that book they could easily purchase it.
Finally, I love to loan out my books, but books are notorious for not returning to their owners and so I’d love to be able to mark it as loaned out to a specific person (which could be public/private based upon the desires of both parties) and perhaps receive reminders when the book had been lent out and not returned after x (customizable) period.
Help Me Curate!
I oftentimes find books I don’t want to read and right now I can create a category and they show up in that category – but what if I want them hidden from me on Goodreads in general? Say I’m paging through a list of science fiction or theology books. Every time I page through it I have to page through some popular books that I have no intention of reading. I’d like to hide them, so I can more easily find the “long-tail” of books – the books that aren’t as popular but that I want to read.
I’d also love to see Goodreads integrate with Amazon Associates so that I receive a commission off of any books I recommend that are sold. Not only would this be good for the end user, but it would be great for Goodreads/Amazon b/c user engagement would increase significantly and quality of user content would also increase as individuals saw the ability to earn money from their Goodreads data.