Giving Goodreads Recommendations

Posted December 17, 2015 by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction in Blogging Tips, Let's Discuss / 37 Comments


Just the other day, I got a book recommendation via Goodreads from Joycedale, one of my longtime blog readers (she doesn’t have a blog or I’d link you up!). The book looked great, so I immediately added it to my TBR and requested it from the library. (Which reminds me, I have to go pick it up!)

It made me realize that the recommendation feature on Goodreads can be such a great tool when it’s used well – but it’s usually not.

99.9% of the time, I ignore my Goodreads recs from other users. Why? They’re completely random and don’t seem to be aimed at me at all. I’m pretty sure people just use it as a marketing tool, which is kind of annoying, since I don’t think that’s the spirit of the feature.

SO, I’m proposing that we all start using the recommendations feature, but we use it the way it SHOULD be used. (I’ve never recommended a book before – I think I’ll keep my eye out for good opportunities to do so now.)

Not sure how to recommend on Goodreads? It’s easy!


Go to the book you want to recommend and click the Recommend It link in the upper right hand corner (it’s circled in red above).


Start typing in the name of the person you want to make a recommendation to in the search box, and people who match that name will appear.


Click on the little add message link and type in a message to tell them WHY you’re recommending the book. This is a critical step! Without it, your rec seems like SPAM. Tell them why you think this book is perfect for them – and make it as personal as you can (just saying, “It’s a great book” won’t get anyone’s attention).


Next, click the Recommend button. And that’s it!

A few things to remember:
  • Don’t recommend a book to someone you’ve never interacted with in any other way. (This seems obvious, but I’m mentioning it anyway because it’s SO annoying!)
  • Make the rec personal. Your Goodreads friend loved a book that was similar to another one you read? Recommend it! Your friend is lamenting the fact that they haven’t found a good sci-fi dystopian and you know of the perfect one? Recommend it! You ADORED a certain book and you know your friend has similar tastes? Recommend it!
  • A great way to get great Goodreads recommendations from people is to request a specific recommendation (tell people you’re looking for a specific genre, etc). Not sure how? I’ll show you in next week’s discussion post!

Thanks for inspiring me to make some recommendations, Joycedale! (And for reminding me that the feature CAN be put to good use!)

Do you ever get recommendations via Goodreads? Are they real, or do they seem like SPAM? Have you ever made recommendations via Goodreads? I want to know!


Book Pic designed by Freepik


37 responses to “Giving Goodreads Recommendations

  1. I’ve never recommended through GoodReads, nor had anyone recommend a book to me through there. Part of that, I’m sure, is that I don’t have many GoodReads friends! But it’s also that a lot of the time, when I stumble on a book I’d totally recommend to everyone, they’re already reading the book or have it on their wishlists!

    Silvara recently posted: Valiant by Sarah McGuire (review)
  2. This is such a great post! I have only been the recipient of the spammy kind of recommendations, so I basically ignore them. I mean, why is some random person telling me to read a 5th book in a series I have never heard of!? So who knows, I might even be missing some legitimate ones because I just ignore them all. I will start paying attention though, because hopefully people will take your post to heart. It really WOULD be an awesome tool if people used it in a personal way instead of a mass-spam one!

    Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight recently posted: Books I’m Never Reviewing: Part Seven
  3. Jen

    I do get the random spam recommendation through Goodreads, but mainly it’s books that friends loved. And I only send recommendations to the few friends who send me ones back on Goodreads, whose tastes are similar and we don’t text. But for the most part I text my recommendations to a group of friends I have through Goodreads. We setup a group chat so we can buddyread, or chat about the book we’re reading. But there are times, after reading a book, where I want to send a recommendation to every single person on my Goodread friends list who loves that genre haha. But I never do. I do need to get better at using this feature, so thank you for the reminder and conversation about it. 🙂

  4. I wish that I got recs on goodreads that are books that I’m actually interested in rather than authors and bloggers trying to push certain books that I’m not about!

  5. I never pay attention to the Goodreads recommendation feature either, mainly because (like you) I never get any good ones. The ones I get are either books I would never read or like or they are ones that I have already read (these are clearly marked on my Goodreads page). I could start using it more, but I guess most of my recommendations come from blogs. Great post!

    Cynthia @ Bingeing On Books recently posted: BOOK REVIEW: Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
  6. I rarely get book recommendations that I actually pay attention to. I get one regularly from a certain user that I’ve never interacted with, and I never have any interest in the books they “recommend”. Instant Ignore. When an actual friend recommends a book though, I do get excited. It honestly doesn’t happen often, as you mentioned. It definitely is a great tool that should be used more often, and more appropriately. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  7. If I adore a book I often use Goodreads to recommend it, and when I’m dying to find a certain type of read, Goodreads is my go to. I think Goodreads in general is such a great tool all around!

  8. Joycedale

    I feel awesome, I inspired a post! Lol.

    I do get a lot of those spam recs too but occasionally I’ll get a legit one. I can always tell because the message they send with it. They either say why they loved it or why they think I will.

    I hope you enjoy the book!

  9. I completely agree! I’ve had only one or two “good” recs… the rest just seem random and/or very un-personal. I’m so picky about my books anyway, so it’s hard to rec me anything, but I think it can be a great tool, especially to spread the word about great but lesser known releases!

  10. tonyalee

    I think what a lot of people do is SELECT ALL when you rate a book 4 stars or more. It pops up all the time and it’s annoying. I don’t recommend many books unless i know for sure the person I am recommending it to will enjoy.

  11. It’s funny but I used to get those random GoodReads recommendations but I don’t any more…there used to be a feature where you could ask GR users for specific recs and ever since I did that, I only got helpful recs for fellow GR users. That feature isn’t there anymore but I’m glad I don’t get annoying recs anymore! I like your idea here, I have recommended books on there in the past, but I’d love to do it more regularily. It’d be a good way to push favorite books some more LOL! THIS NEEDS TO BE A THING! Also, good tips there, no one should get recs from people they don’t even know. What even?! Awesome post Nicole^^♥

    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted: ARC Review: Truthwitch
  12. AHH I COMPLETELY AGREE!! I hate Goodreads recs with a fiery passion because I can get like 30+ recs a day from random people who’ve never even talked to me and the books I haven’t even heard of and wouldn’t even like *dies* I guess that happens when you have a lot of GR friends? Either way I ignore them all now because of all the spam!! I wish it was done like this though and people could respect that, gahhh. But I just take my recs off blogs and things or if someone tweets me I HAVE to read a book. hehe. I believe them better that way. 😉

  13. I’ve never used this feature but have received a couple of recommendations myself – all without the personalisation. You’re right, it makes all the difference – I couldn’t figure out why this person was recommending a book to me, especially since I’ve never chatted with her on my blog or whatever, though I’m pretty sure she wasn’t trying to spam me.
    I’ll definitely give this a try, it’s an underused option of Goodreads. Thanks for pointing it out! 🙂

  14. All the recommendations I’ve ever received have been totally random and by people I hardly ever talked to. I have never actually used this feature to recommend books to others, but it’s actually a pretty great tool I should use more often!

  15. (The amount of comments on this post, before I post my comment, was the same amount of emails in my inbox! SWEET NUMERICAL SYNC UP ha cha cha xD sorry i’m a dork)

    Anyways, I’ve had a few books recommended to me before and they are NEVER ever hardly ever recommended because the person thoughtfully believed that I, Sj Bouquet, would love the story. It’s usually just a marketing thing. Hopefully, more people will start to use the rec button as how it was intended! I LOVE WHEN PEOPLE GENUINELY THINK I’LL LOVE A BOOK!

    SJ Bouquet recently posted: Warm Me Up For Winter Tag

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