Goodreads is a social network that is structured around books and book reading. Users of Goodreads keep track of their reading progress day by day, and they can share their progress with their friends. This way, we can learn about the book of our friends. Also, users can register new books to the system, and they can vote for an existing book: this mechanism is very similar to IMDB where people vote for movies. Every year Goodreads conducts reading challenges, and if a user accepts the challenge he or she pledges several books to read that year. In this post, I want to talk about the reading challenges of Goodreads’ and I want to express my thoughts about them. Finally, I propose a way to improve the reading challenge mechanism.
As I have already explained, in Goodreads, a user can accept the reading challenge and can pledge a number of books to read in a year. I have been attending these challenges since 2016, and I never manage to read as many books as I have pledged. First of all, I believe this mechanism is very motivating because committing to something puts positive pressure on me. This year, I am targeting to read 24 books as the previous year. Last year I managed to read 20 books out of 24: which I consider a success because some of the books that I have read are very long, and counting a long book as a single book is not enough.
I believe, Goodreads can improve the challenge mechanism by considering the volume of books: when I say volume, I mean the number of pages and the density of the book in terms of reading effort. Considering the number of pages alone might not work because a book can have many pages but too few words to read. One alternative could be collecting new votes for different purposes: people can vote for ease of reading, and a multiplication coefficient can be calculated according to collected votes. Another alternative could be assigning a constant coefficient to each book according to the registered number of pages. Another alternative could be selecting a custom coefficient for a book: a user can select its multiplication factor according to the experienced difficulty or length of the book. This way, a long book or a book difficult to read can have more effect on the reading challenge. Alternatively, short and easy t read books can have a smaller effect on the reading challenge.
That is all from me today. I hope you like my post. If you have never tried to attend a reading challenge, you should try it this year. Happy new year. See you soon.