Goodreads Bookshelves

Goodreads has a lot of options for organizing books. So many in fact that I decided when I joined up that I would have to wait until summer, when I would have more time, to create tags for my books. Goodreads calls their tags “shelves,” which is appropriate for a social network/organization system focused on books. After shelving all my books, I checked out the book tag cloud feature. Here is a screenshot of my book cloud as it looks today:

I feel as though I should explain some of my tags. I labeled some books “fantasy/sci-fi” when other people might not have, but my reasoning is that if there is any element of the supernatural, it’s fantasy or sci-fi. Thus, I tagged Macbeth as fantasy because of the witches (I also labeled it “feminist” because Lady Macbeth is an unusually strong female character for both the time in which the play is set as well as written). I probably should have tagged it gothic also, but for some reason, my definition for gothic was more precise. I tagged some books “feminist” when others might not consider them feminist. For my purposes, a feminist book is any book that has a strong female character for her time — someone who stands up for herself. Feminist books are also books that criticize patriarchal attitudes and structures (which, I think, is probably the more standard definition). Therefore, I labeled The Scarlet Letter as feminist even though I believe it might give Nathaniel Hawthorne a heart attack (if he were alive to have one, that is) to hear me say that about his book. However, books with modern women who stand up for themselves and hold their own I didn’t label feminist because I think that’s what modern women do and it’s acceptable for modern women to do. If, however, that modern woman lives in a society that suppresses women, that’s a different story. I used the tag “taught” for any books I have taught in the past or will teach this year. I cannot believe I have taught that many books.

I have to watch it. I can login to Goodreads and wind up spending hours fiddling with my books and reading reviews.