Wednesday, September 20, 2017

On adding textbooks to Goodreads

I’m a student, so obviously, I do a lot of reading - textbooks, journal articles, non-fiction books, Powerpoint slides, syllabuses, notes from class, essays, pertinent newspaper articles….you get it. Once school started, my reading-for-fun time got significantly diminished and that hurt my heart a bit. And then I started to fall behind on my Goodreads challenge. For me, this was the worst part -I was doing A TON of reading, but most of it was not something that I could count for Goodreads...or was it?
Here are my thoughts on why you should add textbooks and other school books to your Goodreads (and why I’ll be adding all my textbook at the end of the semester):
  1. You took the time to read them, didn’t you? If you spent hours reading a huge textbook on human development and you legitimately read every chapter in that book, you definitely deserve to add it. You spent the time and energy to read it and you deserve to show off and reap the benefits for your Goodreads challenge.
  2. Show off your skills. Taking classes on subjects that interest you can be fun, but difficult to find people who want to discuss your new-found opinions and knowledge. Goodreads is an excellent place to not just brag a bit that you’ve done a lot of intellectual reading, but to connect with people who also care about this topic and are interested in discussing it at greater length. A lot of Goodreads comments are more “Oh, that looks like a cool book!” or “Congrats on reading something so long!” but I’ve seen plenty of comments more along the lines of “What did you think of the author’s argument that blah blah blah?” or “I was really intrigued by the final anecdote in this book and the implications of that,” or even “There’s a better textbook out there for this topic.” Goodreads can be your place to start these discussions.
  3. Keeping track and branching out. Learning more about any topic can be difficult and classes help to make that easier. If you’re interested in learning more on a topic (maybe a few years after the class is finished), looking back on the books you needed for a class is a good starting place. Not only will you be able to see which books you’ve already read on a certain topic, but Goodreads can help suggest similar books or guide you to lists on a specific topic. This is especially useful once some time has passed and you’ve forgotten exactly which materials you’ve already consumed.
  4. Teach your children. Even if you aren’t seeking to become a formal teacher, you will be given opportunities to teach individuals in your life. It might be your kids, your nieces and nephews, your friends, your peers, your family, your classmates - whoever. Having access to the materials that you used to learn more about a topic gives you something to reference back to when trying to teach someone else and it also gives you something to suggest to an interested learner. And then, if you are in a position to formally teach a class, you’ll have access to exactly what textbook you used when you learned about that topic and textbooks you used in other classes that may complement the lessons in your less.

Do you add textbooks to your Goodreads? Why or why not?

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