I was on a bit of a blogging hiatus when the whole hullabaloo over GoodReads was at it's peak and if I'm perfectly honest, I've pretty much been ignoring the whole thing. I know there are problems and issues and things were not done in the way they should. I know there's some sketchy stuff going on in the background and I admit I have a love-hate relationship with Amazon as a company. I don't like everything Amazon does, but I still shop there. Not all the time, but I do. And let's be honest, if GoodReads wasn't the best site of it's kind, Amazon wouldn't have bought it. So if it's still the best book site (up for debate of course, but I think so), I just don't want to give it up darn it! If you're boycotting GoodReads that's fine by me, truly it is. If you don't want to read on, I will not be offended in the least. But truthfully, the rest of this post could apply to any of the various book sites out there...
Have you ever logged into your GoodReads (LibraryThing, BookLikes, Shelfari, etc., etc.) and wondered how exactly SO MANY books jumped onto your To-Read shelf? I made a separate Own-To-Read shelf to distinguish the books I actually have in my possession (a truly frightening number) from my "wish-list" To-Read shelf that (in theory) I use to keep track of interesting books I come across from reviews/recommendations/etc. that I might want to track down in the future. It's supposed to be a place to list books I don't want to forget about, but what it had actually become was a freakin' hot mess! Part of the problem was entering a lot of FirstReads giveaways and automatically adding the books to my To-Read shelf. What I was forgetting was just because a book looked interesting enough to throw my name in the hat for a possible free copy, doesn't mean that if I didn't win, it was a book I was really and truly interested in seeking out to buy (or borrow from the library).
About a week ago, I was trying to make a list of authors to look for at my local used bookstore (yea, I know, like I really needed more books...) and I was getting very frustrated with myself that I was sifting through so much clutter trying to find the books I was really interested in. So what did I do this past Saturday afternoon? I culled that list down from almost 600 to 300 -- that is a LOT of books I felt meh about that just had to go -- and 300 is still a lot of books! And truth be told, I removed even more books than first meets the eye, because I also added a whole bunch that do belong on the list while I was at it. This little project didn't exactly fit in with my desire to spend less time on the computer, but it felt so necessary for my bookish organization and sanity. (And hopefully it will never get so out of control again!)
So going forward, I'm getting off "auto-add" mode and making sure I am more discerning in what I add to my shelf. I do sometimes add a random book by a particular author because I've heard good things about him/her and am not exactly sure which if his/her books I may actually want to read. I also sometimes look up authors I've read in the past and kind of "forgotten" about to see if they've written anything new and I'll add what I find as a reminder to explore further, but I'm OK with those scenarios. At least when I look at the shelf later on, the author's name will remind me why I put the book there in the first place!
So I'm curious, has this ever happened to any of you? How do you use book sites to keep track of an ever-expanding TBR list? I would love to know!