If you're a bookworm with an extensive TBR that you can't keep track of, or if you can't read a book without checking the reviews first — then I'm guessing you've already discovered the bookish wonders of Goodreads. The bookish social media site is the go-to place for book-lovers to mark the books they'd like to read, as well as to rate and review books they've finished — but it also does so much more than that. With these twelve Goodreads hacks, your reading experience might be about to change forever.
Once you've learned these handy little tricks, Goodreads will transform from just a place to record your reading journey into a vibrant social community, bursting with personalized recommendations just for you. Goodreads can interact with your home bookshelf, and it can give you information about your local library. Thanks to these sneaky Goodreads hacks, you can even get some of the most exciting new releases seriously reduced, or you might even be able to nab them for free. You can chat to your favorite authors. You can push yourself to new reading heights. It's every book-lover's dream — and a ton of users have no idea that these features even exist.
1Get Cheaper Books
Did you know that Goodreads has a whole team dedicated to getting users amazing deals on books? They'll even send you an email alert if there's a deal on one of the books on your Want to Read shelf, or from an author that you follow — so that's all the more reason to keep your Goodreads feed up to date.
2Link Your Kindle
If you like to read on your Kindle, then Goodreads gets even more useful. Your Kindle and Goodreads accounts will work together to keep track of everything you're reading — and when you're ready to buy something new, your Want to Read shelf is ready to browse.
3Show Off Your Favorite Quotes
Once you've linked your Kindle to your Goodreads account, it's super-easy to show off your notes and highlights. If you highlighted a quote you think your Goodreads friends might enjoy, you can choose to share it, or the note you made along with it, and spark some great online discussion.
4Scan Books With Your Phone
It's never been easier to add books to your Want to Read list; you don't even have to type the title on your tiny iPhone keypad. When you see a book on your friend's shelf, and you want to add it to your TBR, just open up the Goodreads phone app and scan the book straight in. You can either scan the barcode, or you can get really futuristic and just scan the front cover.
5Create Your Own Exclusive Shelves
If you're a Goodreads beginner, you might be content with the three standard shelves: Read, Want to Read, and Currently Reading. But if you want to take your Goodreads use to the next level, it's time to set up your own exclusive shelves. From your My Books page, click the "edit" button next to your list of bookshelves, and open up a whole new world of possibilities. Maybe you could have a shelf for books about feminism, or for books recommended by Bustle?
6Compare Reading Tastes With Your Friends
Everyone's reading tastes are different, so you want to know whose reviews to trust before you go taking book recommendations willy-nilly. Goodreads lets you do just that, by comparing which books you and your friend both own, and what ratings you gave them; it will even calculate a reading compatibility rate!
7Flag Your Favorite Genres
If you have a lot of friends on Goodreads, your newsfeed can get a bit overcrowded with books you know you're never going to read. But if you mark your preferred genres, then Goodreads can customize its recommendations specially for you.
8Set A Reading Challenge
Let me guess, you set a New Years resolution to read more books. But how do you know if you're on track? If you set up a reading challenge on Goodreads, you'll always be able to see how many books behind or ahead of schedule you are — and you can adjust your goal as you go to make a bit more achievable, or even more challenging.
9Delve Into Your Reading Habits
This is one of my favorite features on Goodreads: the reading stats page. Here's where you can see how many books you read each year, and how many of them were 5 star reads. The site will also show you which was the longest book you read that year — and if you want to get really impressed with yourself, you can even see how many pages you read.
10Win Free Books
There are always a ton of giveaways on Goodreads; you just have to know where to look. Entering the giveaways just takes the click of a button — and then you have a chance to win some of your most anticipated books for free. And of course, if a book on your Want to Read shelf goes up for grabs, you'll get an email about it. So keep filling those shelves!
11Ask Your Fave Author A Question
A lot of authors use Goodreads to chat to their fans, and Goodreads makes it super-easy to ask them whatever you'd like. See who's around to answer questions at the moment, or follow your favorite authors to get a notification when they're taking questions.
12Search Your Local Library
Goodreads has a special feature that library-users are going to love. Go into your account settings and add your local library to your Book Links; that way, whenever you're looking at a book you'd like to get your hands on, there'll be an easy link right there on the page ready to take you to that book's page on your library's website. Pretty neat, huh?