Writing is a lot of work. Even when they’re not actively writing, writers are often thinking – even obsessing — about what they’re writing. One of the best ways to give your brain a break without the guilt of straying too far from work is to think about what other people have been writing. The site www.goodreads.com is the perfect way to relax between chapters. It’s like a Facebook for bookworms, where you can rate and discuss the books you’ve read with your friends and see what they think of the books they’ve been reading. You can rate books anywhere from one to five stars, and then you can write your own New York Times-style review to accompany your rating. But don’t forget to include a spoiler alert if you’re going to write about how it ends.
Goodreads also has digital book clubs you can join and offers recommendations based on the books you’ve read and rated highly. They also sometimes put on special events, such as live video chats with authors. In August they interviewed Jennifer Egan, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning novel A Visit from the Goon Squad, and the moderator pulled many of his questions from the Goodreads users participating in the live chat forum. It was a great way for readers to get insight on Egan’s writing process. They also have contest for free advance copy giveaways so a select few readers can review new releases for the Goodreads community. It’s an excellent website for bibliophiles of all kinds.