I do it wrong

Websites collect data from users under the guise of improving the site based on user needs. It’s also to sell things to users, advertisers and the bottom feeders who buy existing data sets of user contact info. It is what it is. For data sets to be useful, assumptions are made about how a site is used. I’m the anomaly who throws off data by not using things as they were intended to be used. I do it wrong.

Goodreads is supposed to be a user created database of book reviews. Theoretically, it should help readers find new books to read. I use it as a master list of books I’ve read and a search list of books I’m hunting at the local used books store. Once I find a book on my ‘want to read’ list, I remove it from my Goodreads list. The data then thinks I’m not interested in that book even though it’s sitting on my IRL bookshelf. Or nightstand. Or car console. Pre-ordered books aren’t on any of my Goodreads lists either.

Shamefully, that’s not the worst way I disturb the stats that booksellers and authors pull from Goodreads. When I give my one to five star review of books I’ve read, I star based solely on how much I enjoyed reading the book. I don’t rate originality of plot, depth of characters or even the quality of the writing style. My stars are completely subjective pleasure indicators. I’m sorry, authors. Maybe if I’d been in a better headspace when I was reading your book it could have been different.

Let’s not even discuss the fact that I don’t add anything I’ve read on the free Kindle Unlimited trial to my Goodreads list of books I’ve read. Maybe I would feel differently about those e-books if I was shopping electronic versions of paper books, but nothing I’ve read on KU so far actually feels like a book. Fun to read? Yes. Book? Nope. Doing it wrong? Yes. Making it work for me? Definitely.

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