Goodreads Dilemma

Side, long, slightly angled view of a library book shelf. Light bulbs are hanging from the ceiling in front of the shelf, attached with rope.

I find out that Goodreads is owned by the evil, corporate giant, Amazon. I should delete Goodreads immediately. But. I can’t.

Sure, there are parts of Goodreads that drive me mad. For instance, that you can’t give half star ratings or mark a book as DNF. It’s also really frustrating that the app allows people to leave reviews before a book has even been published. But the app feels homely. It feels like curling up on an arm chair by a fire with a hot mug of coco after getting caught in the rain.

Then a dear bookworm compradore informs me that, shock, horror, there are actually other book tracking apps available to use.

The StoryGraph

The StoryGraph is an independent book app that goes beyond the realms what Goodreads can do. You can choose what book you want to read next using the mood function. Or, analyse how your reading has changed over time with charts and graphs. There are also challenges beyond how many books you read in a year, like their genre challenge, prompting you to read 10 books, each one from a different genre.

When you set up StoryGraph you can transfer your data from Goodreads so that your reading history isn’t lost. It’s great when I realise pretty quickly that I am not going to finish reading a book and can shelf it as DNF. It’s also nice for another book that get’s 4.5 stars because, you guessed it, they allow half star ratings.

The trouble is that using StoryGraph doesn’t feel like snuggling down to get lost in a good book. It feels like I am at work analysing data. I find the look of the app to be cold. The problem, I realise, is that StoryGraph makes me feel less like I am reading for pleasure and more like I am reading for analytics – to get those numbers in. All the pie charts with the breakdowns of the themes and genres you read are only really interesting for about five minutes.

BookSloth

So, The StoryGraph didn’t work out for me, however there are still other alternatives. I decide to try one more that’s more aesthetically pleasing. BookSloth which has a very Instagram esque look, is a book app about introducing you to new authors and being part of a bookish community. You can collect fun award badges when you reach certain goals. Like on The StoryGraph, there is also a stats function.

All is well until I stumble across a pretty big problem – I can’t transfer data from Goodreads to BookSloth. My Goodreads history spans over 300 books and I don’t want to lose it. Manually adding every book i’ve read or want to read would take hours or even a good couple of days. I then realise that you can’t add in the dates you’ve read a book on BookSloth, so it thinks that all the books I’ve read were read in 2020. When searching for books you can only search by the book title which makes it difficult to find books.

This is my long winded way of saying that I am sticking with GoodReads but it’s good to know that there are other alternatives out there. The functionality is simple. I can have a nosey at what my friends are reading and, more importantly focus on what I am reading.

Yes, Amazon is corrupt and awful, in desperate need of dismantling. However, boycotting GoodReads won’t affect them in the slightest. After all it is a free platform. The way to boycott Amazon is simply not to buy from them.

9 Comments

  1. ***k I didn’t know Goodreads was owned by amazon🤯🤯
    You are right goodreads feels so homey —it encourages me to read more. It’s just recently I uploaded the app before I used to write all the books I am reading in my notebook.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know! I only found out a couple of weeks ago. Like I said though, I think it’s OK because it’s a free service, just have to avoid buying books from them. I also used to have a notebook just for recording my reading in ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post! I have faced a very similar dilemma with Goodreads. There are alternatives out there, but none that offer the same quality of experience that Goodreads does. I created a StoryGraph account at the start of January, but just haven’t been able to make that full transition from Goodreads to StoryGraph. In theory, I think StoryGraph could become the superior and preferred platform for me, but it’s still so early in its development and there’s a lot of work that needs to be done.

    For me, the biggest advantage of Goodreads is the amount of users that it has, because it means there’s more ratings and reviews are they’re more representative. There’s also more editions of books with all of the necessary information included.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Yes, I agree. I have now deleted my StoryGraph account but can see me moving over permanently in the future but I think they need to make it more aesthetically pleasing and user friendly first.
      I do love that you can change the book cover to the edition you are reading on Goodreads. And very true about more reviews. On the others some of them only had one or two.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I know that Amazon is an evil corporation but IDK I sort of applaud Bezos’ business acumen. Acquiring Goodreads was such an amazing business move. 🙈
    While it’s policies, how it treats employees, use of fossil fuels, wastage, facial recognition app etc. are evil but honestly I wouldn’t have survived the lockdown without Amazon supplying me groceries. (Didn’t have any stores in walking distance, no car, no public transport – my flatmate and I didn’t hoard supplies and it was a mess!) So I’m not jumping on the boycott Amazon bandwagon anytime soon. 🙈
    I wish things were black and white but most often things are grey – if you get what I mean. I also think there has to be a better way to make Amazon more responsible for their ways?

    I use Goodreads on & off. When I can’t make time for reading – Goodreads makes me feel more guilty. But otherwise I feel so excited to mark books as completed. I’m not sure but is there a way to connect our Kindles to Goodreads? That would be so much more convenient to keep Goodreads or any such app updated! 🙈

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I completely get your points. I work for a charity that supports adults with learning disabilities and Amazon is often one of the only companies where we can get the personalised technology that will help them live more independently. So, I understand that it’s not so black and white which would be super helpful. Also if you have to use them for your livelihood than that’s more important!!!
      I also have a Kindle so am by no means perfect. Also have had to buy things from Amazon because I can’t find them anywhere else.
      In order for them to really change their ways it needs to come from Governments holding them accountable for their actions but can’t see that ever happening.

      I know that there is a way to link Kindle to Goodreads but not sure how you do it. My Kindle is so old it probably doesn’t have that functionality anyway! x

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi – just a small correction – you can make a DNF shelf on Goodreads (& call it anything you like!) I have mine as a regular shelf, but if you prefer not to have your DNFs count towards your shelves you can make it an exclusive shelf. I don’t use the app, so I don’t know how simple it is to create shelves on it, but on the desktop view go to My Books 👉Bookshelves are the left hand column 👉click on edit. It should be self explanatory by that point, but if not, there will probably be directions in the Help area.

    Liked by 1 person

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