Bookish Chat : What’s your Goodreads Number?

May 29, 2014 Bookish chat 29

When vetting  potential new goodreads friends do you check their Goodreads average rating?  I know I do.  I don’t add people on GR just for sake of adding them,  I want to be friends with people whose reviews I trust and that I can interact with.  So to keep GR as my happy place and to assist me in locating great books, I have a two stage process.  And yes I know I’m scarily OCD when it comes to Goodread but it works for me.


Step One : You have more books than friends

I know Nosegraze has a policy of only accepting friend requests from people who have more books on their shelves than friends.  And ever since I read that, I adapted that policy too.  It makes sense to me and is a great way of eliminating some of those spammy requests. Last thing you want is a new friend who turns out to be an author who hits you up with their book recommendations daily.  That gets old very, very quickly.

Step Two : I check your average rating

And I also added my own personal rule of checking their average rating as I want to get an idea of how honest they are in rating books.  I want to follow people I can trust.  I know on blogs lots of people don’t review books under 3 stars and I’m fine with that.  I actually think staying positive in their own internet space is a lovely idea.  But on GR, I would expect to see some lower stars as you can’t love all the books.

I enjoy reading reviews and want to accept your review at face value.  If you say, this is a must buy book, then I want to believe you!  If you are a blogger that I chat to, then I already know how my feels and your feels for books measure up but if you are a new potential Goodreads friend, then this is my way of sussing you out!  I’m sneaky like that

My own rating is 3.64 and I think that’s a good reflection of how I feel in general about the books I read.  I like a lot of them…that’s why I read!  But I have some I adore and some I hate.  All in all, I like more than I hate and my rating proves that.

I don’t have a cut off number in my mind but if your average rating is a very high 4, then you are setting alarm bells off in my mind and I’m unlikely to accept the friend request.  Sorry!  On the plus side, if we are Goodreads friends, then it’s another place for us to interact as I’m always up for talking about books and I’m generous with the ‘like’ key after I read reviews

Bookish Chat : So my question is do you check peoples average ratings?  Do you know what your own rating is and does it seem like a good indicator on how you feel about the books you read as a whole?  Or what criteria do you use to filter Goodreads friend  requests?

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29 Responses to “Bookish Chat : What’s your Goodreads Number?”

  1. Charleen

    I have three criteria for accepting a friend request:
    – you have more books than friends
    – you’re not an author (or at least not promoting yourself as one)
    – we have some books in common

    As long as those three things are true, I will accept just about any friend request. I’ve never thought about checking the average rating, but that’s a good point too. My average is 3.18… I don’t know if that’s because I’m harsh, or because I take chances that don’t always pay off.
    Charleen recently posted…Armchair BEA – Giveaway!

    • trish

      I don’t overthink the books in common because my taste is so diverse, it would be hard not to have books in common with me! I think between 3 and 4 is where most peoples average ratings seem to fall so yours isn’t overly low or harsh.

      • Charleen

        I was mostly just looking at it because I’m curious, and I don’t put any stock in our “compatibility” (or whatever GR calls it, how similar your ratings are). But then all of a sudden someone sent me a request and I checked it and we had NO books in common! None! And I’m like you, I read a pretty wide variety, so I was pretty shocked that we didn’t even have a single book in common… and then wondered why they had even sent me a request? So ever since then, I’ve made that one of my criteria.
        Charleen recently posted…May Mini-Reviews

    • trish

      I do agree that the spammers tend to be fairly obvious and a quick glace at their shelves will tell you a lot.

  2. Jade @ Bits & Bobs

    I’m horrible when it comes to actually keeping up with my Goodreads page – as a book lover and book blogger that kind of sounds terrible. But I don’t have a yearly book count (part of my new years resolutions) and so don’t find myself constantly updating it. Which is probably why I only have 4 Goodreads friends. I don’t send friend requests and I only accept requests from people I’m already aware of (from blogs etc) as opposed to random people who may well have liked a book I read once or an author who is just self promoting because I like x genre.

    I’m so out of the loop with Goodreads that I didn’t even know we as individuals have average ratings – I know!
    Jade @ Bits & Bobs recently posted…May | In Pictures

    • trish

      I’m the opposite to you, I’m never off GR. I spend WAY too much time time and obviously think about it way too much! I just find it to be the best way to catalogue and track books I want to read.

  3. Stephanie

    Some very well made points. I don’t mind what people do with their personal blogs either. What’s it to me? It does bother me when a person refuses to give a negative rating on GR though. It is a resource to find books. Without both the good and the bad it is no longer real.
    Likewise, a person slamming every book that they read to gain readership takes away the legitimacy of the rating. There seems to be a lot of that going on. Great post.
    Stephanie recently posted…Armchair BEA: The Importance of Blog Design

    • trish

      I didn’t mention the constant negative reviews but that concerns me too. I don’t mind balanced opinions but constant slamming, that just drains me and puts me off reading the review.
      I think balance is the key point and again the average rating can tell me volumes about that.

    • trish

      I don’t have a question but I do think that is a great way of filtering people out too. If I already know a blogger or have a connection with them, then I’ll automatically accept them but apart from that , I’m choosy!

  4. acps927

    I have to admit I haven’t given this much thought, though I do choose to not friend people who look like they could be spammy, and I think you make some good points about what to look for before accept a friend request!
    acps927 recently posted…aMAYzing

    • trish

      I know, some requests are just obviously spammy and I click that ignore button quickly. I think maybe I take GR too seriously at times! But then again I love it and spend lots of time there so I want to keep it in check,

  5. Abria @ Read. Write. Discuss.

    I adhere to the books-to-friends ratio rule too. If someone wants to treat Goodreads like Facebook, good for them, but that’s just now how I use the site, so I steer clear. I’m also suspicious of authors whose entire profile and activity feed is dedicated to their books. And I say that as an author. After I started publishing, some people expected me to clear out my reviews, ratings, lists, profiles, etc. to be “neutral” toward other authors. I didn’t do that, because I thought it would take all the authenticity out of my profile. I wanted the people who add me to their groups and lists to see that I’m here as a reader, not as a self-promoting author.
    Abria @ Read. Write. Discuss. recently posted…How-to: Bookshelf Detox

    • trish

      Yes, that would set alarm bells for me too. I have authors as friends on GR and I love to see them reviewing books as I love to see what their tastes are. If all their review are positive though, then that’s another alarm bell. I like real opinions.

  6. Ana @ Read Me Away

    I think my main criteria is if I’ve interacted with this person on somewhere other than Goodreads. Maybe they’re an author that I’ve worked with before, or another blogger friend that I haven’t gotten around to adding yet. There’s the occasional person who randomly adds me. I don’t usually add them back if I have no idea who they are. :O
    Ana @ Read Me Away recently posted…Review 79: The Graveyard Book (Neil Gaiman)

    • trish

      That’s a good rule Ana. I will sometimes add people I don’t know if they are bloggers or it looks like we have something in common.

  7. Karen

    Interesting post. I always ignore obvious friend collectors and check out others with more friends than books. If they pass that test then I compare books -if we don’t have any books in common at all then I ignore the request as I want to be friends with people who have the same tastes as me. I also block self pub authors who only have their own books listed and who keep sending friend requests. I’ve never thought to check my own GR rating let alone anyone else’s but that’s a valid point (I see mine is 3.82). Happy to be book friends with anyone else though!
    Karen recently posted…Can Anybody Help Me – Sinéad Crowley

    • trish

      I hate constant book spam from authors so I’m on the look out for that too. If they review other books, that’s fine but like you said if they only list their own then that is a red flag. I’m glad to see that I passed your friend request test! 😀

  8. Briana

    I started out using Goodreads purely for personal updates. I cross-post my blog reviews there and everything, but I only friended people I know in real life. Recently, I’ve opened up a little more and requested maybe five or so bloggers to be my friends–people whose blogs I follow pretty religiously, reading most of their posts. I feel that way that my news feed stays manageable and I’m seeing updates I’m actually interested in. I may slowly add more bloggers as the mood strikes, but I’ll probably never have tons of friends. I only have 18 right now!
    Briana recently posted…The Secret of Indigo Moon by G. P. Taylor

    • trish

      I love seeing how other people use GR! We are all so different and it sounds like your system is working perfectly for you.

  9. Miranda @ Tempest Books

    How are we not friends on Goodreads?? I just added you 🙂

    I’m pretty picky about who I add as a friend on GR, too. Although I never even thought to look at somebody’s average rating. Smart! Usually what I look at, like you said, is their friend-to-book ratio.

    If it’s good, I’ll go and check out their profile. At this point, I’m basically deciding whether or not you’ll be a “top friend” or not. As look as you have a good ratio, I’ll pretty much accept whoever as just a friend. But I don’t want people on my feed who don’t like the same kinds of books as me. So then I’ll go see what books they’re currently reading, what’s on their favorites shelf, and sometimes look at the “compare books” to get a more accurate picture if I’m really interesting.

    And then the people that I most interested in will become “top friends” who I can see in my GR feed, and the other people will just become normal friends. I really like that feature!
    Miranda @ Tempest Books recently posted…Bookish Beauty (#2): The Summer I Wasn’t Me

    • trish

      Thanks for the add! 🙂 I never thought of using the top friend feature, that sounds really handy though. Looks like I need to check that out. Just when you think you know GR really well, you discover something like this that you never knew existed.

      • Miranda @ Tempest Books

        Oh you should definitely use it! I LOVE that feature. It especially comes in handy if, say, you want to be friends with somebody you personally know, yet don’t necessarily want to see all of the [insert genre you’re not interested in] books they’re talking about. So you can still accept their friend request, but don’t have to see them in your feed.

        Right after you click “accept” on the friend requests page, there will be something that says “Top friend” with a check box next to it. Goodreads automatically will check that box for you, but just uncheck it if you don’t want to see them in your feed. There’s also a way to adjust that for people you’re already friends with…somewhere in the settings or “friends” page, I would think.
        Miranda @ Tempest Books recently posted…Book Haul (#18): Random Books from Random Places II (17 books!)

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