Fordham GSAS: Grad. Life: Good Reads for Grads: Get into the App!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Good Reads for Grads: Get into the App!

Hello All!
   As July winds down, I wanted to get in some final App features in, to round out my 'Appy July series. Check out the July Archive for more if you missed any posts of the series!
   Today, I'm featuring one of my favorite mobile apps, Good Reads. Good Reads is a social media network for people who love to read, and who want to share book reviews and read "socially" via the internet. I love it, because it can facilitate the intimacy of sharing a book you loved with a friend or two, but also give you access to a huge network of other book-lovers and readers. It also keeps you posted about new releases from your favorite authors, lets you keep records of the books you've read or want to read, and offers a space in which you can write about books informally -- almost like your own book-blog!
     You can sign up for Good Reads on the website, and log in there as well, but I find that the mobile app has really enhanced my use of the social media network. With the mobile app on my phone, I have my booklist handy when I go to a bookstore, or when a friend asks me what "good books" I've read lately, or when I just have a few minutes of free time and want to log in my latest entry, or browse my Good Read friends' virtual bookshelves.
     Here's what the home screen of the app looks like:

The Updates page is like the Good Reads news feed: you can scroll through and see what your friends have been posting, reading, and reviewing; you can post what page your on in the book you're currently reading, or give a status update about the great beach read you have just finished. Here's a screen shot of a recent Updates page!

    Next, you can go to My Books, which is your virtual library and book queue. You can organize your books into "shelves," which include books you've read, are currently reading, want to read, and any other category you want. Some people organize their shelves into genres -- like Fiction, Non-Fiction, Self-Help, Classics, etc -- and some find other ways to organize, like chronologically or historically (19th Century Fiction, 20th Century Fiction, 21st Century Fiction, etc). Here's a screen shot of my bookshelves.

Then, when you click on a shelf, you can scroll through it, from a screen that looks like this:

You can see the image of the cover of the book, plus your rating, and the date you read the book or added the book to your list.

    The app features a "Scan" button that makes it easy to load your books into your shelf; simply scan the barcode on the book you are reading, and it will automatically be added to your library!
     Some other features: the Progress button allows you to share your status on both Good Reads and other social media platforms, like Facebook and Twitter. If you tap "Explore," you can browse through lists of best-sellers, most and best rated, and genres of books, to find your next book! You can also create a personal profile, link up with friends and people who like the same kinds of books that you like, and explore book-related events in your area.
     Another cool feature of the Good Reads app is the eBooks feature -- you can actually download eBooks right from Good Reads, and read them using the Good Reads eReader!

Here's one I just downloaded -- I've never gotten to read this classic, and now it is at my fingertips!!  Bonus points if you know the novel from the first line. :) :)
All in all, I have found that with little spare time and money to read for pleasure or to join a book club while in graduate school, Good Reads is a tool to help me feel invested in my love for reading, and to share it with people outside my immediate graduate school peer group. Grad.Life readers, have you joined Good Reads yet? If so, let me know your experiences with this great social network! 
Until next time! Liza


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