Shelfari Sad Goodbye

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After more than eight years of being a member of Shelfari community I logged to find this message.

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The only thing that was missing was a loud wailing siren and the message above blinking in more brighter red tones.

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I admit I got a bit panicked at first and after panic depression settled in…

I tried Goodreads years ago but I didn’t like it and I stayed on Shelfari for a reason.

I like the user friendly interface where I have my virtual bookshelf presented as a wooden bookshelf in the color of wood of my choosing.

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I like the fact that there are just a few shelf categories which makes it look neat and uniform. I like how simple adding books and shelving them is in Shelfari.

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Truth be told I have grown fond of the senior citizen user friendly ability to enlarge book covers on my shelves and I love how they look. In comparison Goodreads shelving looks bleak and tiny.

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Just as reading is a personal activity so is this preferance to Shelfari. I read books for my own pleasure and I am not accustomed to this many types of online social interference the Goodreads community has to offer.

In fact it all makes me want to take a pen and paper for keeping track of my reading goals and statistics.

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Initial interface and book categories remind me of paid databases I researched in for college. This is what makes them even more off-putting. The paranoid in me wants to shout that it all just clicks too close to giving out too much free information to companies that can use it for making profit. Goodreads 2

I know that this Shelfari ending has been in the coming for a few years. I’ve been expecting it trough announcements from Shelfari editors who were all saying goodbye one by one.

Learning my way trough the Goodreads will be slow and painful since I know what I’m missing. I’ve been trying to update form one platform to the other but there are too many books unaccounted for and too many reviews lost. These things don’t mater to anyone else but me and that makes me see just how much I relied on Shelfari. This is not the first time I’m trying to synchronize Shelfari and Goodreads. It grates on my nerves and makes a loving past-time activity into something painful and tiresome. The less painful solution seems to just stop trying to synchronize and delete all and start from zero.

I have few ideas of starting anew and it will probably be a long journey to place as safe and relaxing as Shelfari was to me.

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No bad books in sight

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I have worked on a book challenge for 2015 for a community group I am a part of. It was more or less simple to pick out some challenge categories for books to read. I put out 20 categories for people to chose from. The whole thing is in Croatian and here is a link.

In my enthusiasm I posted one category that is giving me trouble now. Under number 10 there states:

READ A BOOK THAT WAS GIVEN A BAD REVIEW BY THE CRITICS

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I have searched high and low for some kind of a list of books that are BAD.

After having found some wonderful (IMHO) books on these lists I have learned a valuable lesson and decided to write this post. There are some issues I should have taken into account when discussing books that are considered NOT GOOD.

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1. Reading is a personal process and as such it can only be valued trough personal experience.

Most of the lists I have found that categorized books as bad were on social networks like Goodreads. These were given tags like: worst books, bad books and some more colorful adjectives to describe the books that generally annoyed the reader. Here is an example of one such list.

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2. Books that end up described as bad by one reader are marked as favorites by another reader.

It can be seen in some articles like this one that books that ruffle the most feathers and have “bad” tags also have a strong supporters that love them. This love-hate response is generally often with some bestsellers that have famous movie adaptations or are in some other way connected to mainstream commercial venues.

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3. The term BAD BOOK is questioned by the critics.

In my search I have come across many lists that offered “THE BEST BOOKS” summaries by genre, date or some other limitation. Generally, there is an accent on the promotion of positive and “GOOD” what literary world has to offer. I have even come across a few articles like this one that were giving reasons for abandoning the bad reviews altogether.

In conclusion

I am still looking for a book to read that has been reviewed as BAD. What seemed the best way to find it at first was  by asking a friend for a book that they thought was bad. I’m also looking on other peoples shelves on Goodreads or Shelfari. If you have a bad book for me to read please comment here or send me a message about it!

I appreciate any book you consider bad that you throw my way!

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