Goodreads and Other Inferiority Complexes Waiting to Happen

I’ve been using http://www.goodreads.com since last spring; my profile is here and I want you to never, ever click on it.  Or think about my reading habits in general, or silently judge me for my inadequacies.  I’m begging you here.

Or that’s how sites like Goodreads make me feel from time to time, anyway.  Not posting is agonizing:  sure, I know that I’m wading through a two-thousand page work on the entire history of Christianity, but do all the followers who haven’t seen an update since two months ago?  Updating with the few books I find time to read quickly is embarrassing:  do I really want the world to know that I just went back and read a couple of the Star Wars novels I bought in middle school?  There are people on my friends list reading like three biographies a week, critically-acclaimed and bestselling and fuck all else, I don’t even know.  It’s goddamn intimidating.  I am still weighing possible solutions:

1. Quit – Yeah, but then I’d be out a blog post, wouldn’t I?  Hang in there, Geoffrey.

2. Read More – Deadlines come first.  I am doing the best I can.  The hours I spend on reading now are likely to be the hours I spend on reading for the foreseeable future.

3. Read Selectively – Skip the daily paper and the New Yorker (I swear it’s got to be more than a weekly; there’s one in my mailbox every freaking day; they’re multiplying in there).  Go straight to the impressively-titled but short works and rack up as many updates as possible.

4. Read Massive Works - Surely no one can judge you if you have Moby Dick or Infinite Jest or whatever in your “Currently Reading” list for months on end.  But they have to be well-known and recognized as massive for this to work.

5. Goddamn Lie - I’m not there yet, but give me another few months.

All grousing aside, it’s fun.  It’s also yet another writing-related (or at least book-related) place you can put your name and some links to your blog or other works, which is never a bad thing.  Though I suppose if you have a habit of writing really scathing reviews you might check your privacy settings before sending manuscripts to any publishers; you never know whose pet author you’ve been saying nasty thing about…

    • t.o. Aster
    • February 8th, 2011

    I have circumvented this problem by using a pseudonym and a photo of a plant in sunglasses. Now no one will know that so far this year I have read: 2 children’s books, a comic book, and a biography of Sondheim with a ton of pictures. I wish there were a place for the mountain of genetics articles I’ve been reading.

    • Hey, I forgot about those comics I read. I should see if Goodreads has the publishing info on “ROM: Spaceknight” yet.

  1. Oh my gosh, I so HEAR you. I just joined last month, and it’s yet another garden for which I need to tend. That’s my grouse as well. And you’re right: it is fun. But it would be oh-so-much-more fun if someone could figure out how to create a 26-hour day…or remove our need for sleep! I’m glad I’m not alone in my feelings. :)

  1. November 9th, 2012

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