Thursday, March 13, 2014

Book Girls Don’t Cry… Nor Accept Annoying Friend Requests!

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Book Girls Don’t Cry is a feature where we will discuss/vent/advise on a bookish topic. This feature is co-hosted with the lovely Amy at Book Loving Mom.


To Friend, or Not to Friend?

How do you decide if you approve or ignore (deny) friend requests on Goodreads  – or other bookish sites? Do you automatically add everyone who requests, or are you meticulous with your friends list like I am?

Am I just picky and anal and, in turn, a bitch for not approving everyone? How about those who don’t even bother answering the friending question? That has to be my #1 pet peeve about Goodreads friending. I actually have a question set up just to easily identify those who are spamming friend requests to every single Goodreads user. If the question is not answered, I don’t even look at the name of the user, I hit ignore. Is that mean? *shrug* I want my friends list to mean something to me. I don’t want to have a million “friends” filled with people I don’t know, have never spoken to, or don’t even read books but only want to promote their own. What I want, is to see reviews and discussions on books/genres I’m actually interested in in my feed. I want to communicate with users who are social on the site. And you know that “Friends Reviews” section? I want that average rating to tell me something, and to show me reviews from all these people I actually know and trust!

What else would make me “ignore” a friend request on Goodreads? (And yes these are all actual friend request responses to my “Why do you want to be my friend?” question!)

  • Having 50% more friends than books on your shelves
  • Having no profile picture (yeah that creeps me out for some reason). At least put a generic stock image!
  • Thinking Goodreads is a dating site:
    • “i like your profile picture”
    • “hi bb”
  • Thinking you’re the CIA:
    • “I am only interested in identifying you, I hope that my friendship request receptive”
  • Friending me for promotional purposes:
    • “Hi, Giselle… As an author, I find it’s best to be friends with great reviewers, rather than the opposite! Looking forward to sending you a new story for review soon!”
    • “I would love to have you review my book when it comes out in January”
    • “Dear Respected I would like to request a review for my latest book release (…)”
  • If they creep me out:
    • “coz friendship iz lovely!”
    • “to discover you”
  • If they don’t even know why they’re friending:
    • “hmmmm i guess we haev teh same tastes maybe”
    • “What u think?”
  • If they want a pity party:
    • “i need more friends :-(“
  • If they don’t really seem to know what the question means:
    • “hi”
    • “reader ….”
    • “d”
  • If they are too mysterious for me:
    • “لانها تعجبنى فى تعليقاتها”


Also, you might want to be patient because I only go through my friend request list every couple of months. Bad habit, I know. >.<

How do you go about accepting friend requests?

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XOXO, Book Girl

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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

Latest posts by Giselle (see all)

53 Responses to “Book Girls Don’t Cry… Nor Accept Annoying Friend Requests!”

  1. Bethzaida (bookittyblog)

    This post is pretty funny, Giselle! I’ve been debating to add a question to my Goodreads friend request. I think I will now. There’s so many weird people there but I feel bad if I don’t friend them. :-/

  2. Kelsey

    When I first joined I didn’t know there was the option of a question, and I accepted everyone, even authors. I even did the thing where it automatically tries to add people from my Twitter peeps, but back then I didn’t know any better. It probably tried to add you too now that I think of it. Oops.

    But after a while the author requests and people with thousands of friends got on my nerves so I added a question on there myself. I eventually got rid of 300 people that I didn’t know, and now I only keep bloggers/friends I know of online, and authors I actually talk to. Now if they don’t answer my question, I delete the request. Unless I just told them to add me and I know it’s coming.

    Great topic this week!

  3. mariska

    Oh wow. Do you get people who thing GR is a dating site? And creepy friends? Poor you. That is creepy. I only except friend requist when we got books in common. Or people of my country. Because there are not so many dutch people on goodreads who love reading the same books. Or I don’t look that often for friends in my country. Lol.

  4. Jessica @ Rabid Reads

    Hahahaha. I recently added the friending question and for the same reason you did. Other than that I haven’t had nearly the problems you’ve had. There was this one creeper last week who added me and said something about reading a script (my question is “what book are you reading right now?”)which I thought was suspect, so I checked out his page and he was reading something, something Playboy . . .

    Gross man.

  5. Michelle @ Book Briefs

    This is something that has only recently come across my radar. I used to just accept everyone on goodreads. But now I am seeing what you mean about tons of friends. So I have been pickier about it lately. And now I am left with the even possibly “bitchier” option of having to clean house of my friends list. But like you said, I just want people that have the similar interests in books as me and ones that I read and trust their reviews.

    Great post Giselle.

    Michelle @ Book Briefs

  6. Alysia @My Little Poketbooks

    I never really thought about it and I just accept any and everyone. Then go about my day. I find the questions odd at times. I can just picture two little girls in the playground. One says…”Can I play with you?” The other one says…”Why do you want to play with ME?” I don’t take the social media stuff that seriously. If someone from the UAE friend request me then I have a new interesting list of books on my feed now. I love having new books on my Goodreads feed because after awhile it can become a YA fest. Great topic today! I never really put that much thought into it.

  7. Cayce

    Lol. You get some interesting friend-vites, Giselle! 😛 I have yet get a really creepy one, but sometimes I also feel like a magnet for authors (whose books I’d never in a million years would be interested in). I don’t have a question set up but I only approve people I know and/or whom I have a lot of books in common, and are NOT (self-published) authors. 😛

  8. Amanda @ Book Badger

    This is totally understandable Giselle, I can see why it’s an important topic. Personally, I don’t mind who friends me at the moment, but I do think I’ll start to mind soon. I also don’t have a questions, but I’m considering it. If people want to see your thoughts on things, they can follow instead of trying to send a rubbish friend request, and you’re within your rights to not accept someone if you genuinely don’t think you’ll ever speak to them or gain any insight from them. It’s a fair decision, and I think people should respect that 🙂

  9. Julie S.

    I think I friend pretty much everyone on bookish sites, unless their account seems spammy. To me, the bookish site is a way to get my blog name out there, so I don’t want to turn away potential friends and readers. I’m a lot more picky with my personal profiles like facebook.

  10. Siiri

    “How about those who don’t even bother answering the friending question?” This is like a pet peeve of mine. Okay, if I know you like from Twitter or visit your blog every day and you add me on GR? Ok. I can make an exception for that, but if people don’t even bother to answer then clearly they are just idk. I have no words. Sometimes I’ve had to ignore some well-known authors like.. Idk. That’s my #1 pet peeve on GR as well. That “friends reviews” section? The same! Plus, sometimes people GR adore a book but when my friends’ average is 3.00 or lower from multiple people then I know not to bother because we [usually] like the same stuff. “I would love to have you review my book when it comes out in January”–this has happened to me on multiple occasions. Like can we fucking not? *pulls at her hair* It clearly says on my profile that if you have more friends than books *authors looking to promote their books, I’m looking at you* and the STILL send the invite? OMFG. Like you did not even read my profile bio about that so why in the world would I accept you? Especially when you write erotica or middle grade books which I don’t even read for cyring out loud >.< “hi” hahaha. Oh, you have it worse than I do. Oh, and I ignore everyone who says that their favorite book is FSoG. Like, no, just. No.

  11. Kristin@Blood,Sweat and Books

    I have a question asking why they want to friend me. If they fail to answer, the request is deleted. If the answer is something silly, to the delete pile they go. Usually though people leave thoughtful responses so they of course get added unless they have more friends than books read or basically no information on their profile then delete they go.

  12. AH@badassbookreviews

    I tend to agree with you. I pick my friends on GR very carefully now. If I get spammed, I delete that “friend.” If they can’t make a coherent response to a simple question – “Why do you want to be my friend?” (and believe me, I’ve had some wacko responses) then I just ignore.

    I also go through that friend’s list every 6 months or so and remove people who are not active on the site. You have to do that otherwise your feed gets bogged down.

  13. Alexa

    I think I accept people on Goodreads pretty easily. It is just a book site so I don’t monitor everyone who adds me in the way that I do with my personal Facebook account. I would say I don’t take Goodreads friends that serious cause it is my blogging personality not my personal life profile.

  14. Faye @ The Social Potato

    LMAO! I totally snorted at the last bit regarding the person wanting to be mysterious with you! Thankfully I haven’t gotten that yet, but gosh, I have a question too and there are many people out there who friend me without answering them. Insta-ignore in my case as well. As long as you answer my question, I’ll approve, but if I see you don’t have much reviews and stuff, I uncheck “Top Friend”. I only top friends those who I know really use the site for discussion.

  15. P.E. @ The Sirenic Codex

    I don’t really use the “social” side of Goodreads. I usually just use it as a database and to keep track of the books I’ve read. I pretty much accept anyone because I figure people that ask just want to know what I’m reading. Interesting post though!

  16. Nereyda @Mostly YA Book Obsessed

    When I first started on GR I was like ‘sure! accept! accept!’ Now I wish I could go back and delete plenty of those but I am way too lazy to do it.
    Your pet peeves are the same as mine. The no profile pic weirds me out the most. Even if you don’t wanna a put up a picture of yourself (like me) you can put SOMETHING! The more friends and 15 books thing is also a big no no.
    There’s nothing wrong with being a picky bitch 🙂

  17. tonyalee

    I don’t have a question for friend request. I think they are odd, but then again, if I was getting a LOT of weird requests that you have, I would add one.

    I don’t add everyone though. Like you, if they have more friends than books. It can even be ONE more. Nope.

    Their reading preferences. Obviously, if we don’t read the same things…

  18. Michelle

    I ALWAYS get weirdos trying to use Goodreads as a dating site!! It is SO annoying. I’m here to read, not pick up dudes! WTF! It really really angers me.

  19. Mel@thedailyprophecy

    Hahaha, I’ve had several of these type of strange friend requests. I sometimes don’t know why someone would bother, because I’m not going to accept them. I’m pretty picky now, because I don’t like to be friends with just random people. I also have the rules to not accept anyone who doesn’t take the time to answer the question, even if we have a 100% in common.

  20. Michelle M.

    On Goodreads, I tend to accept all friend requests if I have either friends in common, or books/genres/authors we like in common. On Twitter, I only follow those people I am interested in following. Whether or not they follow me, is immaterial. But, on Facebook, I have different levels of privacy set. Actual friends, family members and colleagues may see everything on my page. Acquaintances, co-workers or people who I am getting to know, may see only those items I designated as “public.”

  21. Kayla (The Bookish Owl)

    Ok, this post is too hilarious for words! I definitely agree with your pet peeve. My Goodreads question was “What would you do in a zombie apocalypse?” and most people don’t even answer it! One user said “Die” and I was laughing for five minutes, lol.

  22. Sudha

    I agree with a lot of what you’re saying and don’t want to be a creepy person. How do I put up a profile picture on Goodreads? I’m really confused and want to have my picture to identify more than my name. Can anyone give me instructions for a profile picture?

  23. Roro

    I read “hi bb” in a Joey tribianni type of voice . Sorry to hear you’ve been harassed by people on bookish sites . Way back , in 2011 I accepted every request and I’m slowly deleting people but I look at the profile and if they are active of course . Great discussion post

  24. Eileen @ Singing and Reading in the Rain

    Haha I’m so picky about friend requests like you! I agree, when I see my “friend reviews” section, I want to actually believe what I’m seeing and be able to take all of the ratings seriously. I just find it really pointless if I’m friends with someone who don’t read the same books as I do because I feel like I can’t even talk to them about anything. And whenever I look for friend requests, I always want to look for how many reviews they write because for me a rating means nothing compared to reasons why they liked it, even it is just a short paragraph. I just feel like it’s ten times easier if I have friends who make it a habit to review their books. Fantastic post, Giselle! <33

  25. Jasprit

    I don’t tend to go through my friend requests that often either, but when they first come through I go to check if I’ve interacted with them some place else, be that Twitter or the blog, then I have no problems in accepting them. Ones which leave the question blank annoy me the most, I usually leave them hanging, as I’ve noticed a few times, when I’ve clicked ignore, they re-add me again with no answer 🙁 And answers which go on off on a tangent and don’t answer the question bug me too. Or ones which answer by saying we have loads of books in common and when I check we usually don’t 🙁 Thanks for sharing another great discussion post with us Giselle!

  26. Jenea @ Books Live Forever

    I look and see if the person reads some of the same books or has any of the books that I have on my TBR list that I might read too. I haven’t thought about putting a question on there, might help to weed out some requests. 🙂

  27. Pili

    I get annoyed when I get friends requests from people that I doubt I have anything in common with, and even more when they have tons of friends and very few books… I think I really need to add a question there!
    I usually only friend request fellow bloggers that I follow and trust with their reviews and people I usually chat with on Twitter.

  28. Sophia Rose

    I was amused by your post though I can see where you’re coming from. I have more trouble with this on other sites than GoodReads. I accept every friend request that appears legit even if their home page is in a foreign language. But…I have no trouble unfriending someone if they repeatedly solicit (I don’t mind requests to read a book or check on out so long as its just once and its clear that they are okay with a negative answer) or get creepy or pornographic (had a gal sending me naked selfies…uh uh not cool). GR seems to have a way of pulling up all the regular users to my feed anyway so that I end up chatting and hanging out with those that are truly interested instead of the lurkers.

    You probably get more requests than I do so its probably not a bad thing to be a bit more selective. Nice discussion!

  29. Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

    LOL…this post is so hilarious and amazing Giselle! 😉
    I want my friends list to mean something to me. I don’t want to have a million “friends” filled with people I don’t know, have never spoken to, or don’t even read books but only want to promote their own. What I want, is to see reviews and discussions on books/genres I’m actually interested in in my feed. I want to communicate with users who are social on the site. And you know that “Friends Reviews” section? I want that average rating to tell me something, and to show me reviews from all these people I actually know and trust! Bingo. You completely hit the nail on the head right there Giselle! I can’t tell you how much I agree with that statement, especially being someone who is picky with her Goodreads friend list as well.

    Thanks so much for this amazing, informative post Giselle! I wish every Goodreads reviewer could read this…it’s like gold! <3

  30. Cait @ Notebook Sisters

    I don’t mind being friends with anybody on Goodreads. I’m pretty cool about just excepting people. I do have a question on mine that’s just “how do you know me”, because I spend HALF MY LIFE talking to people like we’re old buds and I can’t for the life of me remember how I know them. >.< It is the most embarrassing thing of ever. I was chatting away with someone for aaaages on Twitter/Goodreads and then I finally figured out that I DID know them through some blog and yeah. I felt very stupid. lol
    But omg, I hate spam. I HATE being invited to enter giveaways. Because it's always the same people who invite me…and omg, I don't even read the stuff they're inviting me to entire. *shakes fist* STOP. Okay, um, ahem, rage over. 😉

  31. Melliane

    Ah that’s a good question, I used to accept many people but it wasn’t interesting. Why accepting someone when the person doesn’t even read one book I have? It’s just for friends and it’s not interesting. So a few months ago I checked my friend list and I deleted many persons. Now, I look at the books we have in common and if it’s more than 20 and if they’re actually read or things like that, I can accept, otherwise it’s no.

  32. Holly Letson

    I’m not really bad picky about friending people on GR. But, I do like for the people I am friends with on GR to, at least, like similar books/mangas or to be from a blog/site I enjoy reading.

    I have had to turn down some requests lately, since they come from people with 230 friends, and 15 books. There’s not really anything there for me to compare.

    That being said, I do love the “Compare Books” function on GR friendvites, and I use it to decide whether or not to be friends with people on GR. I really want friends that like similar books/mangas as friends. People that will not feel bad about commenting on/liking my reviews or making recommendations. I love getting recommendations from others….even moreso, when it’s obvious that they looked at my shelves and know what I like. I also like getting comments on my profile, and always hope that people I add on GR will talk with me about books I have read or have on my TBR.

  33. Emily

    Oh dear. Honestly, I don’t really accept Goodreads friend requests when people don’t answer my questions or give a (really really) freaky answer ><)
    Great post, Giselle!! 😀 Thanks for sharing ^^

  34. Emily

    Oh dear. Honestly, I don’t really accept Goodreads friend requests when people don’t answer my questions or give a (really really) freaky answer >< Great post, Giselle!! 😀 Thanks for sharing ^^

    • Emily

      Oops! Sorry for commenting so many times! I don’t know what happened 🙁 But I was trying to say something else but it seems that part got cut off D: Oh well…

  35. Melanie (YA Midnight Reads)

    I get a lot of friend requests where they don’t answer my challenge question AT ALL (don’t even see how that’s an option on GR) or just answer with: 🙂 because that is totally going to make me click the accept button! And I agree about no avatar. It just doesn’t feel really comforting.

    Awesome post! <33

  36. S. J. Pajonas (spajonas)

    LOL. This cracked me up, especially all your examples. My friend “question” is “Don’t pimp your book to me and we can be friends”. I assume they see it and tacitly agree to it when they make the request. If I don’t know them, they don’t go in the “Top Friends” category. Do you use that? That’s a nice feature. I only put people in Top Friends if I’m interested in their viewpoints because I’ll see their activity in my feed. I then unfriend people who try to flirt with me via message (OMG this one guy would not give up. Goodreads is not a dating site!) or pimp their book to me when I told them not to. So far it’s working 🙂

  37. Savannah

    I pretty much accept more people so long as they don’t bug me. Like always recommending a book to me, always sending me messages, to spamming me to review their book. Once that all starts, I hit delete real fast.

  38. Michelle

    I have almost the same challenge question: Why do you want to be my friend instead of just following my reviews? Anyone can read my reviews. What benefit do they hope to make by friending me? I’m pretty meticulous with friend requests. I want to accessible, but there are limits.

  39. Jesse @ Pretty in Fiction

    Yes! All of this! I usually only friend people I know or follow on other sites. If you’re a reviewer who’s reviews I trust then I’ll send a request, but other than that I don’t friend people much. As for accepting friend requests I usually agree with ALL of your points. Some of that is just too creepy for me and I don’t accept people who have like a thousand friends and 50 books. I usually compare books with the person to see if we have similar tastes in books, or of they even read the same sorts of books as me.

  40. Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

    I have a question users should answer when they send me a friend request as well, Giselle, and I ignore all users who don’t answer. I have had some strange answers, too, and then I usually ignore as well – I don’t want to have a gazillion ‘friends’ whom I don’t really have much in common with.

    I agree with you about having more friends than books, too – Goodreads is a site for booklovers, and if a user doesn’t seem to read very much, I don’t see why they would want me on their friend list anyway.

    Great topic, and I really don’t think you’re mean. But I might just send you a strange little request right now 😉

  41. Jen

    Interesting post. I’m not nearly as picky when it comes to accepting friend requests, but some of those are just hilarious! Definitely wouldn’t accept any creepy ones.

  42. Jenn @ A Glo-Worm Reads

    I’m really picky about my Goodreads friends and ignore almost all my friend

    Mostly I just get authors trying to friend me and I auto ignore them because I don’t want to be harassed to read or buy their books. Unless it’s an author I’ve actually talked to.

    Also, people who have next to no books in common with me. Sorry but no.

    People with no books read and like 5000 friends. I don’t get why people accept them, I really don’t.

    I have about 80 friends on Goodreads right now and I’m thinking of purging through my list again and knocking a bunch off..

  43. Charleen

    I don’t add authors.

    I don’t add anyone who has more friends than books.

    Other than that I’ll pretty much approve anyone who asks. I’m not exactly bombarded with requests that meet those two criteria, so I haven’t had to give it much more thought than that.

    I’m also on LibraryThing and BookLikes, and so far I’ve just been approving all requests since I’m new to those sites. If it becomes an issue, I’m sure I’ll purge and change my policy, but so far it hasn’t been.

  44. Amy @ Book Loving Mom

    Lol!!! OMG I get some of the weirdest ones too.

    “You look like my cousin.”
    “Your pic is pretty.”
    “I want to make some friends.”
    “UR Hott.”

    People are dumb. I am there for my enjoyment of books and others who enjoy books, not to make random friends or people who think it’s a dating site. I am friends with a few authors, but that’s just because I want to be, not because they want me to review their books. I also won’t accept anyone who doesn’t answer my question in a reasonable way, or has like a gazillion friends and 2 books.

  45. Ashley @ Dr. Pepper Diva

    I don’t blame you for not adding people that don’t answer your question. All it takes is a couple of minutes to give an actual, thoughtful answer. I used to be bad about adding anybody and everybody but now I’m much more selective. I’m also not afraid to delete someone if they spam me with their book, group, events, etc. I don’t mind getting some of these but when it’s the same thing over and over from the same person it gets old really fast.

  46. peedy

    don’t blame you for not adding people that don’t answer your question. All it takes is a couple of minutes to give an actual, thoughtful answer. I used to be bad about adding anybody and everybody but now I’m much more selective. I’m also not afraid to delete someone if they spam me with their book, group, events, etc. I don’t mind getting some of these but when it’s the same thing over and over from the same person it gets old really fast.