The Trouble with GoodReads.

A good book

Don’t get me wrong, I think GoodReads is a really good idea but the trouble is that I discovered it quite late and I don’t know how many books I have read in my life but I do know it’s a lot! And the thought of having to write and post a review for every single one of them is overwhelming! I suppose the sensible thing would be to post a review or two a day on a persistent basis and eventually I might get through them.

But, as is often the case with a big job, it is often not the job itself but the thinking about it that is the worst part. As soon as I think about doing it, I just freeze and then apathy kicks in and consequently I have still barely started. When I go into GoodReads and see the pitifully few reviews I’ve posted I then feel guilty and embarrassed. I then start to think, well no-one will read my reviews anyway.

It’s not the physical part of any task that is most difficult, at least not for me. It is the mental resistance; all the thoughts of ‘it’s too much’ and ‘why should I bother?’, these are the thoughts that lead me into getting nothing done. And unproductive thoughts lead ultimately to an unproductive life.

I’m always reminded of the scene from The Empire Strikes Back where Luke Skywalker is trying to get his plane out of the swamp and he says “It’s too big.” Yoda tells him it’s only too big in his mind. Then Yoda says he must do it again. Luke replies “I’ll try.” And Yoda says what is probably my favourite line from any film ever. “No. Do or don’t do. There is no try.”

The moral of the story is that when we undertake a big task we need to be more like Yoda and less like Luke Skywalker. May the force be with you!

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6 thoughts on “The Trouble with GoodReads.

  1. I love this post. I thought I was the only person in the world who felt guilty about GoodReads. I’ve gotten such good ideas from them about books to read — and just haven’t posted anywhere near enough reviews. So what is ‘enough’? Actually, our own internal critic is at fault here. I say enjoy GoodReads. My other ‘dirty little secret’: I’m signed up to read 50 books this year, have read 30 so far, but I don’t like to post the ones I read for fun, so I’m shamefully behind. Oh, Mrs. Bongle, do you have advice for the GoodReads challenged? This could be a column! Loved your post today. 🙂

  2. Dread keeps us from doing a lot of things. I have only one or two reviews on GoodReads, but I don’t worry about it. For me, GR is a way to keep up with books I’ve read. If committed to reviewing, I wouldn’t enjoy the site at all.

  3. I thought I had to write reviews for books I read on Goodreads…. then I read Kristin Lamb’s post about bad book reviews (http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/should-authors-write-bad-book-reviews/). Now I don’t consider most reviews I make, good bad or indifferent, but if I have a problem with a book, I’m not shy about stating it, the same as I’m not shy about writing things I love. I do try to state good things when I have to write bad ones, but… it got me thinking about how that just dulls the review down.

    Now… I don’t review. I won’t even be doing the star ratings soon. If people want my opinions, they can ask me personally. I’d be glad to share, along with caveats about the mess in my life that might have inspired my opinions, etc.

    Call it practical, call it labor-saving… call it being honest with myself… I don’t like writing reviews and this was a good reason to avoid the activity. 😉

    Maybe you’ve got a reason now too.

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