The Myriad of Goodreads Reviewers

I’ve been thinking a lot about Goodreads lately. I’ve been using the site for a while now, and generally I am just annoyed at all the notifications for spammy things from other bloggers. Recently though I have just been approving everyone as friends who asks because I am generally interested in what people are reading and what the think about it. However I think people forget that Goodreads is still an open part of the interwebz and say things there they normally wouldn’t say elsewhere. Goodreads is an epic pit of negativity and snark. I thought I would write a post about the different reviewers I see on Goodreads.

The critical critic

This is the person in your stream that never likes any book ever. Maybe once they liked a book but it was written in Latin and published in 1200AD. Other than that one book they never like any book ever and their reviews are about 12,000 words of telling you what is wrong with every single sentence in the book they just read completely through even though it sucked.

The Snarkalicious Popular Kid

This is the person who is like #5 on the top reviewers list on Goodreads. Sometimes they like a book but they only like the ones that won some prize and nothing that ever hits the NYT is good enough. However instead of a analytical analysis of every sentence you get about 300 words that look like this:

This book is totally a rip off of Twilight which fucking sucked anyways right!? LOL! I mean her hair was long and Bella’s hair is long and the guy in the book is totally broody hello creeper Edward! I like had to stop at that part where they kissed and I threw the book against the wall and screamed something like OMFG I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS SHIT BOOK JUST DID THAT. Then I totes picked it up and finished even though I hate it lolz. This author is so crap, like spork my eyes out for real!

Then you have my favorite

The Normal Reviewer

Who is always respectful, who doesn’t spam people or make fun of the authors or the books. Who give me real reviews that I can trust. And I love you real people.


14 Responses so far

  1. Gravatar

    I’m with you, I’ve been approving people if they request because I like to see if we have similar interest. Spam me once and I’ll probably forgive it. The second time I’ll get annoyed and the third time you find yourself no longer my friend. I don’t understand why this has been on the rise.

    I love the normal reviewers. There are several that I’ve come to trust and if they really like something, it goes on my list.

    Great post!

  2. Gravatar

    I know exactly what you mean about Goodreads. I’m really picky now about who I accept friend requests from. And I get irked by the super nasty comments/”reviews”. Just tell me what you thought and be real.

  3. Gravatar

    I defriended someone in under 1 hour once because I thought we had similar tastes….and then I got three invites, one after the other when I had previously declined, for crazy online contests/events for books/authors I sooooo wasn’t into.

    I’ve been pretty choosy with my Goodreads friends. Some people (like lovely you :) ) are bloggers/reviewers I follow other places. Others, I like to see what their answer to my challenge question is (if they even answer – a “non-answer” means they are relegated to approval hell until I get bored and ignore the request). Even if someone answers my question as “I have no idea what you’re talking about” it at least means they read the question and then I’ll go check out their profile.

  4. Gravatar

    I’m in the top 50 for readers and reviewers at GoodReads but I got there but writing honest, polite and non-spammy reviews. I love the site but I have nearly all of the email notifications turned off. I frequent the site so much that I don’t need or want email telling me to go there and do something. I’ll see the notification on the site. I’m also picky about whom I friend because I want reviews from actual readers.

  5. Gravatar

    Well, I definitely not the Critical Critic, and I don’t think I’m Snarkalicious, so I’m hoping I’m normal. I’ve turned off all emails and learned to embrace the privacy of un-friending. But since many people don’t post reviews frequently, I like to follow as many people as I find something in common with. Consequently, my to-read list is over 14k titles, but I like to think there’s a strong consensus to the titles highest on the list.

  6. Gravatar

    Excellent groupings and they ring true. So very, very true.

  7. Gravatar

    Thanks for posting this. I often think the same when I go to Goodreads.


  8. Gravatar

    I have noticed this also. The one that annoys me the most is The Critical Critic. I mean come on! How masochistic are you?! If you hate these books so much why do you keep reading them! Why?! :)

    Love the post!

  9. Gravatar

    Hm, I think I might be the second type of reviewer…

  10. Gravatar

    Love it! You summed it the entire universe in 3 small sections. Awesomeness.

    I’ve been on GR since 2007 and loved it, back when I only had 6 friends, before I started blogging.

    Just wish you could filter out the event invites, group requests, event updates to events you didn’t even agree to attend.

    But, I don’t even look at the snarky reviews unless someone links to them on twitter.

    Great post!

  11. Gravatar

    Oh my goodness, CRITICAL CRITIC. If I could use all 12,000 of your words as murderous weapons, I’d use ‘em as arrows, load ‘em up in my bow a la Katniss Everdeen and let ‘em fly, because I’M SURE YOU HATED THE HUNGER GAMES TOO.

  12. Gravatar

    Ah, Pam… you often read my mind. I just laughed out loud about the Critical Critic — TOTALLY. Too pretentious for my taste, I always laugh when I read them… and sometimes I read then just to laugh. ;)

  13. Gravatar

    I’ve been pretty annoyed with all the notices I get about posts and giveaways through Goodreads. I like to get email updates, but I just can’t with all the stuff coming through.

    As for snarky reviewers, I definitely know what you’re talking about. I’m NOT that type, but I’m also painfully aware that the author is probably reading the reviews that are posted.

    I wonder how many Goodreads’ reviewers also post to other sites like Amazon? Amazon readers are way more likely to call you on your critical eye than I’ve ever noticed on Goodreads, so I wonder if the varied audience of Amazon calms people down?

  14. Gravatar

    That is lovely and well done for speaking up on this sensitive issue.
    A good friend linked me to your article at exactly the time I was contemplating posting a comment on Twitter suggesting that if a review serves no purpose other than to inflate one’s own ego, it’s really best not shared.
    The idea of reviews is to provide constructive feedback and to inform potential readers in a helpful way. I’m so pleased to hear you get plenty of the latter – I have absolutely no doubt that you deserve them!
    Good luck.

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