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Goods Reads

good reads

My earliest memory of reading is sitting in my Grandma’s basement. My grandma had a collection of old Dick and Jane books she stored in one of those old-fashioned valises. This one was so old the leather was curling away in parts and the smell was musty and choking.  I remember laboriously working my way through that stack of books. By the time I was in Kindergarten I could read solidly and was sent to the first grade class for reading…in second I was sent to third and so on until some type of equilibrium was found and I was able to remain in a reading group in my own class.

I discovered Beverly Cleary in second grade and  C.S. Lewis in third. I worked my way through The Babysitters Club, Little House on the Prairie and Lloyd Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydain. In sixth grade I was entranced by Tuck Everlasting and The Green Futures of Tycho. I think I was fourteen when I read my first Stephen King novel and was hooked. Chuck introduced me to Michael Crichton and John Grisham (okay, he didn’t technically introduce me to them, but if you love books as much as I do you know what I mean). I can’t begin to tell you how many memoirs I’ve devoured during a decade of  breastfeeding my children.

Books are so important to me  that a love of reading actually made it to the list of Qualities That My Future Husband Must Possess. It was right up there with a love of God and desire for lots of kids.

These days we hit the library every week, but gone are the times when I could leisurely browse the shelves for interesting books. Instead I am watching my children browse the shelves and discovering their own love of books. For years I have taken advantage of our libraries website and have been putting books on hold. It is a brilliant system: I request a book, the librarian finds it and saves it for me. The only downside of this is that to request a book, you need some idea of what kind of book you are looking for…

Enter Good Reads. How have I just now discovered this amazing site??? I have knocked away more books in the few weeks than in I don’t know how long.  I currently have a list of 46 books to read. Every couple of  days I pull a few titles from my Good Reads list and request them from my local library. As I rate and read more books, the site makes more recommendations.  Now, every visit to the library is yeilding half a dozen or so books for me to read. And I am in literary heaven. For years I have toyed with the idea of keeping a list of all the books I read in a year. Why? I’m not quite sure, but I suppose it has something to do with savoring the moments, no the memories, I’ve shared with those characters. Now, Good Reads does that for me. I recently set a goal to read 50 books this year (hey, I didn’t set the goal until last week) and have currently reached 13% of my goal.

Are you part of Good Reads? How do you utilize it? Has it changed your reading? Feel free to seek me out there and we can share our mutal love of reading.


  1. Nicole

    I do love to read but can’t in my wildest imagination understand how you find the time to do it. I have to lay “pleasure reading” down several years ago. Perhaps when my little ones are older I will be able to pick it up again. It is fun to see my school aged children be so excited about the books they are reading. I do believe the passion has been passed on so far.

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      Nicole, like I sad, for a decade nursing was my prime reading time. I read *every* night before bed. If I don’t read for 10-15 minutes I have a hard time falling asleep. Once the kids are in bed (8:00 for the little ones) I read, read, read.

      • liz

        I was going to second Nicole. With 4 kids 7 and under (with some pretty hefty special needs) i cant imagine all that pleasure reading and knitting and blogging and photography…lol…i used to listen to alot of memoirs when i had just one and i pushed him in the stroller while sleeping. That is when i owned my first ipod. i felt like i was part of some sort of community of “readers”…uh no…lol..

        good for you Renee

        • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

          Well, as I mentioned before, I gave up knitting years ago. I could no longer do it with all of my small children. My knitting made a comeback during my pregnancy with Apollo. The reading I’ve never been without. As I said to Nicole, I read every night before bed. Two years ago, when I would be up rocking Apollo for hours I would read books on my phone.

  2. Jessica

    Off and on for years I have tracked what I have read and its worth it. I love looking back and seeing what authors and topics I have enjoyed. This year I added audible books to my list bc I listen to a lot of books as I work.

  3. Emily

    I love goodreads. I use it to find books for me, and also to build me home library for my kids. I read exhaustively when I was in school, but cannot remember all of the great titles. I have been using it to reminisce and to buy up great children/young adult series.

  4. Bemis

    I share your love of books, and set the same goal for a few years (a book a week). I would list every book I read and then rate it on a scale of one to five. Yeah, I’m a nerd.

    Speaking of books that you would probably love, have you read, “The Pastor’s Wife,” by Sabina Wurmbrand? She was the wife of Richard Wurmbrand, who started Voice of the Martyrs. It’s her story of evangelism and being imprisoned in communist Romania.

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      No, I haven’t read it, but I am familiar with Richard Wurbrand’s story. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Tracy

    I went from a struggling reader in elementary school to absolutely loving books as a high schooler and adult. I cannot imagine my life without the joy of reading. I usually go through several books a week even though I’m a busy homeschooling mom of special needs children. I read in waiting rooms, I read before bed, I read while my kids play, I read whenever I can fit in a minute. I have also found in recent years that with audio books so available that I can “read” while driving the 40 minutes into town several times a week for therapy appointments with my kids or when I’m doing chores or drawing or crafting. We also utilize the hold request option from the library. It’s wonderful to be able to run in, grab my file of requests, check out and be back in my car within a couple of minutes at our little local branch.
    I appreciate you sharing the Good Reads idea. I’m always happy to get ideas for what to put on my list!

  6. Kristal

    I”ll have to look up those two knitting books – love both authors.

    I am on Goodreads, but don’t use it much. I have been keeping track of my books this year for the first time. I’m up to 35 books this year… but I don’t have toddlers in my house so it is much easier for me to read!

  7. Erin

    I love reading. And I love helping my boys discover books. I have one avid fiction reader and one who is more inclined to non-fiction, although I am persevering in getting him to read fiction. Star Wars is an exception, but I think that’s because he basically treats it as non-fiction.
    Some to check out good reads:
    The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency. Your older girls would love them too I’m sure. He has some other great series too – 44 Scotland St is a bit of a favourite for me.
    Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. If only she had lived long enough to write more.
    Robin Hobb if you like fantasy – her Assassins Apprentice series is brilliant.
    Discworld series by Terry Pratchett if any of you are lovers of quirky. Great satire.

  8. Inga

    When we went to the library today, I discovered something new. All over the library, the staff has placed big brown paper bags, stapled shut and labelled “Grab and go.” Some were cfor teens, some were picture books, and the adult books are organized by genre- mystery, romance, western. Each bag has 6 books. You just choose a genre, and check out the whole bag without opening it! My 11 yo was so excited! I thought it was a fun way to find new books without browsing for hours. Toddlers are not conducive to quiet browsing of anything-anywhere.

  9. StephanieG

    Love Love Love Goodreads! Been on it for 5 years! It is so great to keep track of what I read and find new books. It is also a great way to set goals for yourself. I was an avid reader since a very young age – but there were a few years it slowed down as I got stuck in finding or reading good books. Being on Goodreads helped me to set goals and get inspired about reading again. It also has inspired my kids to read more – they love seeing their number of books increase (also try for the younger kids -it is more protected for them). My current goal is to read around the world. There are some great book groups to join that can help guide you in what to read (like around the world in 80 books) – it has really opened me up to reading other genres and being more well rounded in my reading.
    Don’t forget the giveaways – authors send you free copies of their books to read and review (the review is not mandatory – but encouraged as this is how they get their books more known and rated; I’ve recieved over 20 free books). Another great thing – is to become a goodreads librarian. There is nothing more satisfying than adding a book no one else has – and seeing others choose to read it.
    Also, You can form book groups (closed or open). I was part of some book clubs and goodreads was a great way to keep everyone connected (in case they missed a meeting, or needed to be reminded of what books were coming up).
    And the ultimate goal would be to become a goodreads author – but we’ll see about that in the future 😉
    It is my favorite site (better than pinterst, FB, or anything else).
    Keep on Reading!

  10. Kara

    I’d never heard of Good Reads before either. I have the same problem you have, I can’t really look around the library for books while supervising all the kids. I love that I can reserve books online and pick them up all at once, if I know what books to look for online. I will try Good Reads.
    I had to laugh a little about you discovering Stephen King at 14, I started reading his books when I was 9 or 10. Obviously my parents weren’t too worried about what I read. My older kids (14 & 16) just picked out some of his books this year to read.

  11. anya

    I love GoodReads! I was late to that party too, and just starting using it this year. But I love it! I use it the exact same way as you do, take their recommendations, click over to the library site, and place my books on hold. Library days are weekly in our house too, and having books waiting for me has revolutionized it:)
    I have always been a reader, but my biggest problem is self-control. Ha! If I start a book I can’t put it down. Since there are other things I need to get done during the week ( my free time is devoted to writing, and I have word count goals I am committed to) I read on the weekends mostly. I make it a goal to read a book each weekend and then if there is a book I can’t live without, my writing will suffer during the week, but for a good cause!
    My 8 year old has a GoodReads account and does the same thing I do, puts holds on his books they recommend. He loves it, and has discovered lots of new authors this way.
    One more thing, if I read a book I don’t end up liking, I have become pretty obsessed with reading wayyyy too many reviews on GoodReads trying to understand why other people liked it. I know, I need a life!

  12. Heidi Wilson

    I love GoodReads as well! I’ve sent you a request and look forward to sharing more with you about books and reading! I also must read for a few minutes at least before I go to bed. I exceeded my goal of 12 books for last year so set myself a goal of 25 books for this year and I’m on track so far! Through reading your comments and your post I’ve thought of a good reason to have a kindle or e-reader… it would be easier to read while breastfeeding a restless and wiggly (grabby) toddler – my baby will be 13 months tomorrow!! Can’t wait to browse your lists of books…

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      Heidi, the Kindle also allows me to take my books anywhere! Much easier than hauling around a stack of books!

      • Heidi Wilson

        I assume you still use and love REAL books as well though? I fear that the Kindle (and other e-readers) will be the end of books!! 🙁

        • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

          Yes, I just love the portability of an entire library on my Kindle. It has been especially helpful when I’ve had long hospital stays.

  13. sarah

    i was wondering what name you’re under on GoodReads? I tried finding you and obviously would never make it as a detective because I couldn’t.

    Thanks 🙂

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