Yes! I think Goodreads has done a very good job. You can improve your personal recommendations by rating more books and by creating shelves for your interests.
The books on your shelves you’ve rated three or more stars and books you haven’t rated that have an average rating of three or more stars are considered when generating your personal recommendations. There are two ways to remove a book from the recommendations, mark it as not interested or shelve it. If you click the want to read button, it will be added to your to-read shelf. Marking it as not interested will prevent it from ever being suggested to you again, not just for that shelf. You could create a shelf to hold books you aren’t sure about, so they won’t take up space on your recommendations page. Each shelf and each genre are limited to fifty recommended books.
There are three sections in the navigation column on the right. Recommendations by Shelf, Recommendations by Genre and Community Recommendations.
There have been some misunderstandings about the shelf based recommendations. The name of the shelf doesn’t have any bearing on the recommendations, they’re only based on the books that you’ve put on that shelf. Goodreads has said they want to take the subject of the shelf into consideration in the future, but I think that would be very difficult to implement correctly, especially with unusual or complicated subjects. The intended subject of a shelf is not always obvious from the name. Your favorites shelf might not give you the suggestions you’re looking for if it includes favorites from your childhood. However, looking at the recommendations for your DNF (Did Not Finish) shelf might give you a handy list to mark as not interested. You can exclude selected shelves from the Recommended by Shelf section on the edit bookshelves page.
The recommendations by genre are not as accurate as the shelf recommendations because the genre classifications are taken from all member created shelves and don’t consider your shelves. Explaining the use of genres on goodreads will take a separate post.
The default is cover view, but you can change it to list view. Hover over the cover to see a description box with more information, including the book or books the recommendation was based on. In list view, the description is always shown, but you have to hover over because you added to see the book or books the recommendation was based on.
If goodreads suggests a book you’ve already read and shelved, it’s probably because that particular edition hasn’t been correctly combined with the other editions. Combining editions is done mostly by volunteers and can be requested in the librarians group like any other edits.
I like that it only suggests the first book in a series. I hate the way Amazon suggests the newest books in a series whether I have read any of that series or not. If goodreads is suggesting a book later in a series, the book may not be correctly listed. Any time a book is missing from a series, please post the information in the librarians group so that someone can add it.
Are you having any other problems with the recommendations?
- Goodreads Introduces Netflix-Style Book Recommendations (mashable.com)
- Goodreads New Recommendation Engine & Discoverability (jwikert.typepad.com)
- Goodreads Launches Netflix-Style Book Recommendations [News] (makeuseof.com)
- Using 20 Billion Data Points, Goodreads Will Recommend Your Next Book (readwriteweb.com)