jordangonen

@jordangonen

How We’re Reimagining Goodreads

Meet bookclub, your new digital bookshelf

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.” 
― George R.R Martin

Over the past few years, I have transitioned much of my content consumption away from 30-second headline pieces towards long-form narratives. Reading (and listening to) books has quickly become a fundamental component of my learning experience. I read everything from detailed biographies to science fiction to novels on self-awareness.

Why do I love reading books? Why do nearly all of my smartest friends obsess over the books they read?

In a world where modern forms of media are evolving at hyper-speed, why are books still around? Why do we even still care about them?

Books never expire. The good ones never go bad. Their words are forever.

It is this reason, combined with many personal motivations, that I continue to read books. And my impetus is always evolving.

I read to get lost in other people’s stories. I read to learn about concepts I never knew existed. I read to gain wisdom. To lose anxiety. To explore different worlds. To understand perspectives. To build empathy.

Of course, there are many reasons to consume books: each unique and none wrong.

I find myself coming back to this explanation often:

“We read to feel like we are not alone.” — William Nicholson

Humans love stories. For centuries, communities have been formed and inspired around engaging stories.

Today, we’re launching bookclub — so you can log and share the books you read.

It is a beautiful, simple alternative to Goodreads. Check out my profile here.

So how does it work?

In just a few clicks, you set up your bookclub profile (via Twitter/FB login). From there, you can begin filling out your personal library. Adding a book to your profile is very straightforward and easy to do (we query the Amazon API to find the book you read). You simply add a review, rating, and date.

From there, your profile is ready to share all over the internet.

We have numerous features on the roadmap (quite literally infinite things to build) and will share a more in-depth view of exactly what those are in our next update (reading statistics, community feed, etc.). We’re starting, though, with a simple “digital bookshelf creator.”

When we started piecing together bookclub a few months ago, we were inspired by the opportunity to bring people and knowledge together. While bookclub profiles represent just one component of a much larger problem-space, we are still very excited to see how the community feels about this direction.

Would love to hear what you think.

We’re live on @producthunt today!

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