I think tons of readers have a goodreads account. I know some people are really involved in their accounts and others just go on to look up books. Here's how I use goodreads:
1) The yearly reading challenge- and keeping track of that challenge
2) The bookshelves- Keeping a record of what I've read and having a place digitally to store what books I would eventually be interested in reading.
3) The giveaways- I have won a BUNCH of books from Goodreads. I am really grateful to have read a lot of new genres and new authors simply because I didn't have to pay for a new book. I have gotten some bookish swag from a few giveaways, have connected with a few authors and even been lucky enough to have some notes written for me.If you don't know where to look for the giveaways, go to browse and it's in the pull down menu.
4) Connecting with authors. Most times when I've written to an author, it has been through e-mail, but I have followed a few authors on Goodreads to hear their thoughts on other books, see what's new or follow their blogs. A few authors have also contacted me after reading a review on my blog or on Goodreads.
5) Community- What most surprised me about Goodreads is seeing what all of my friends and acquaintances are reading. Some of my friends are secret bookworms and it has been nice to learn this about them. There are also areas where you can connect with other readers if you have no friends. lol. Jk. There are discussion panels about certain topics, books, etc. I don't use this as much.
This is a site that claims: "We help readers of influence discover and recommend new books to their audiences." The it says: "If you are a librarian, bookseller, educator, reviewer, blogger or in the media, get started right now by signing in or joining for free" I think I was tempted by 2 things- 1) free books (Buy food for my family or new books? hmmmm.) and 2) being considered a reader of influence.
I was excited to be "accepted" to NetGalley and to request books from publishers. I was ecstatic when they started accepting my requests.My ONLY hesitation at first was that they send you ebooks instead of the hard copy. I detested e-books before NetGalley. I had bought a Nook thinking that it would be my new favorite and I barely used it before NetGalley. Now I don't mind them, but it's still not the same as the physical action of reading a real book. I know some people will think that's weird, but true readers I think will commiserate with me.
I have also connected with a few authors here, but not as much as Goodreads. You are asked to give feedback about the books you read, which I don't mind since they were generous enough to share with me!
I was originally lured in by the amazing book pictures on this blog.Then I just began enjoying Cait's sense of humor. Then her book recommendations. Then her advice about how to deal with various things. She's just great. She updates her blog a lot and is crazy good at reading comments and connecting with people. Out of all the blogs I read, this is probably the only blog that I make sure to read every post because it brightens my day. Check it out. (Beware that you'll probably find lots of books you're eventually going to want to read. Her enthusiasm is catchy.)