Goodreads Hack: Scan a Book Cover!

Have you ever been inspired by a friend’s book collection and wanted to immediately add a slew of her books to your Want to Read list? Or, maybe you’d like a way to quickly check a book’s ratings on Goodreads as you browse through the stacks at your local bookstore or library?

Well, now you only need to point your phone at a book to add it to your Want to Read list, rate it, or see its Goodreads’ reviews. Goodreads recently added a fun new feature to our iOS smartphone app: The ability to scan book covers and barcodes. And as a bonus, several of our readers also seem to like the sparking blue dots feature for their selfies!


New to the feature? Here’s how to use it:

1) When you tap on the ‘scan’ icon on the Goodreads app, you’ll be taken to a screen that activates your device’s camera. If you haven’t given the app permission to use the camera, you’ll be prompted to do so.

2) If you’re using the scanner for the first time, you’ll see a message telling you to point the camera at a book cover (or barcode).

3) You will see sparkling blue dots appear on the screen as the scanner attempts to identify the book cover (or barcode). When the book is recognized, a card will appear on the screen with the book cover, title, and the option to shelve the book to your Want to Read shelf or to rate the book.

4) If more than one match is found, a card will appear on the screen with multiple book covers and you’ll be asked to choose the correct book.

5) Whether or not you shelve the book, all recognized books will be saved in your ‘history’ tab. Your scanned ‘history’ will store up to 100 books.

6) If the book doesn’t load after a few scan attempts, it’s probably because it hasn’t been added to our database yet. In this case, feel free to let our librarians know by contacting them here.

We love the fun our readers are having with this feature! How are you using it?



Cover Scan 2


Cover Scan 2

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posted by Cybil
on May, 16