“Why I hate Goodreads”

No, not me, but this guy: a YouTuber who goes by the moniker “the Bald Book Geek.”

(And no, the Bald Book Geek and I are not related, just because we’re both bald and pale!)

There’s a lot to unpack in the video.

He complains that Goodreads, a US site, is US-centric. Well, most websites based in France tend to be Franco-centric, most Chinese sites are Sino-centric, and so on. But okay, I get it…Yankee imperialism, and all that. 

I agree with him about a few things: The website is YA-centric, and there is a tendency toward a mob mindset. (The Bald Book Geek mentions the mindless mob attacks on The Black Witch of a few years ago.)

On the other side, there have indeed been cases of authors harassing reviewers who  pan books. 

In short, Goodreads is a social media site, and it is therefore prone to all the normal problems associated with social media. (As many of you will know, I am no fan of social media in general. Don’t even get me started about Twitter….)

I wouldn’t say that I hate Goodreads, but I don’t exactly love it, either. And perhaps that’s for the best. The general consensus is that authors aren’t really welcome there, which is fine with me.

Goodreads is a site for readers, and review culture. That vibe would obviously change if authors were constantly posting “buy my book!” messages, and sparring with reviewers who failed to leave 4- and 5-star reviews.