It would be hard to find a reader that has not heard of Goodreads, however there are a few buttons/functions that can be found on the site that I’m not sure many people know exist. I am obsessed with these functions and use them regularly and thought I might spread the word. If everyone else already knows about these functions, well, you can watch be fangirl over them. I don’t claim to hide the fact I like statistics and math.
One of the ways to quickly check to see if I enjoy similar books with a user on the site is through this button. I find it far more useful then the Favourites shelf, which only shows a snapshot of a person’s taste in books. It can be found underneath the Follow and Friend buttons when you are looking at a User’s profile.
Once clicked this you will be taken to a page with a small pie chart at the top that shows what books you have in common (with percentages and hard numbers given if you are interested in that). Under that you get a (magical) percentage that tells you how similar your rated books are to the User. This percentage is really not that useful. Interesting but not useful.
The part I really like, however, is the list of the books you have in common with the other User, which are listed alongside how you and the User have rated the book. From this you can get a good idea of the types of books you have books you have both read (or listed as ‘to-read) and your ratings. Just keep in mind that even if they don’t like or haven’t read your favourite book does not make them a bad person, just someone with different taste or other bookish priorities.
This is the second way I quickly determine how similar my taste in books is to another User. On the top right hand side of the “Compare books” page you can find the button for Book Compatibility. The top of the page is another graph, a line graph this time. Perhaps not quite as useful as Compare books, it nonetheless gives you an idea of how your ratings compare to the User, divided by different categories of books (fantasy, classics, romance, etc). Underneath it are groups of popular books that fall into each of the categories and the rating you have given that book compared to the other User. Don’t worry if some of the categories don’t have ratings, as my Classics section is almost always blank as I rarely read this type of book. Additionally you will see a fourth column with gives a generic “poor, ok, good, excellent” rating depending on how you rated a book as compared to the other User. Overall, I find the graph the most useful part of this page.
This final function is one that looks closer at the books you have read. You can find it under “my Books” and then “Stats” at the top right hand corner. The page that loads gives you more graphs! It compares the number of books you have read in each calender year. When you click on “details” you get a list of all the books in that year sorted by star rating as well as the longest book you read in that year and a lovely pie graph of which shelf you have sorted books into (for example, 50% f the books I have read in 2016 so far were sorted into my ‘read in one sitting’ shelf and about 15% into ‘PoC mains’).
This page also gives you a chance to compare the number of total pages you have read each year. Finally, and perhaps most interesting, you can see the publication year of each of the books you have read, sorted by the date you have read the book. This button allows you to see if you only ever read the most recently published books or you read a wide variety of books published across many years. Additionally, you can see if you read books in clusters of quick reads followed by long slumps without reading anything or have a steady reading pace over the course of several months.
My Stats clearly show that I read no novels while I was writing my Master’s thesis because I was too busy reading and writing science. Since then, however, I seem to read a lot for a week or so (~5 books in about as many days) then nothing for a week or so. Also I can clearly see that I have been reading mostly books written in the past 10 years, basically mostly books that have been publish since I started University and got too busy to read much.