For the purpose of this week’s blog post, I explored Good Reads, a social networking site for book lovers (https://www.goodreads.com). I signed up for a Good Reads account and found that this tool is incredibly extensive. It allows readers to establish a profile listing favorite book genres, books a person is reading, books a person would like to read, and books completed, along with reviews and ratings. This system encourages readers to interact, socially, much like Facebook. As a reader, I did not like how I felt overwhelmed to begin the process of listing and reviewing the many books I read and loved. While it would not be at all necessary to go back and write reviews of every book I have ever read, if I were to use this regularly in my courses, I would want to have go-to reviews available for students to peruse.
I enjoyed writing reviews of the books I had recently finished. I also liked updating my “currently reading” and “wants to read” lists. Much like other social networking sites, Good Reads is easy to get lost in, as it welcomes people to explore content and create content, interacting with other readers to whom one is connected.
I immediately put this tool to use in my classroom, encouraging students to read reviews on the site to help them select a book for their upcoming exposition assignment. As I have not read nearly everything there is to read, nor do I always challenge myself to read books outside of my comfort zone, I find that relying on Good Reads reviews is a great way to understand whether or not I would like a book, and I encouraged my students to use it in much the same way. I know that I will continue to use this site as someone seeking information about books, but I hope to use the site to also create content that can be shared with students. Good Reads is a perfect way to connect with students (and parents) and extend the classroom beyond the assigned time period, inviting students to find a book that will change their lives.
Until we meet again, remember the happiness there is to find in this world, especially on the pages of a book.
from Ray Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine
“Should a Happiness Machine, he wondered, be something you can carry in your pocket? Or, he went on, should it be something that carries you in its pocket? ’One thing I absolutely know,’ he said aloud. ‘It should be bright’” (Bradbury 63).