Hello! Today I wanted to talk about bookish social media! If you’ve been anywhere on book twitter over the last few days, you’ve learned about Readerly, an exciting new alternative to Goodreads. I managed to get a code and I’ve been fiddling with the platform for a few days and I wanted to make a post comparing it to the others so that y’all would have a good idea on what each offers and whether anything can truly stand up to Goodreads. We can’t be active on all the apps at once so I want to help y’all make a decision for yourselves. I also know a lot of y’all are confused as to what Readerly or Storygraph is so I hope this post is able to clear some of that confusion up for y’all. Let’s get into it.
Let’s start with the one we all know and love?? Well, maybe we don’t LOVE it. Basically, it’s been around the longest and we’ve all used it at least once before. It’s an excellent place for rating books and tracking your reading. However, it is owned by Amazon which we all know is a big cooperation that makes billions a year and yet, still pays employees the bare minimum. I have quite a bit to say when it comes to this platform so let’s get into the specific pros and cons.
- Easy to track and shelve everything on your TBR: one of my favorite things about this service is how simple it is to organize all your titles. And you can create customized shelves for certain TBRs which I love and do all the freaking time. Not to mention, you can literally categorize them any way you like (examples being: pub date, page count, read or added date, etc) which is incredibly helpful if your looking through your shelves for a specific title.
- The annual reading challenge: I know a lot of people aren’t a huge fan of the Goodreads reading challenge but it is such an easy thing to sign up for. You literally just need a Goodreads account and an idea for the amount of books you want to read. That’s it. And it tracks all the stats for you in your Year in Reading page which I check absolutely every single day because I want to see that pages read number tick higher and higher haha.
- Re-read feature: This is still a relatively new feature on Goodreads but it’s so helpful!!! I can list however many times I’ve read a book and each reread is counted towards my reading challenge.
- Your profile, bio, and featured shelves. I love being able to play around with it and I love how it allows readers to express themselves.
- The search feature: it will always recommend popular books and you never get the book your looking for unless you type out the exact title. I mean, it’s gotten better over the years. But it’s still not great. And newer releases often get lost in the mix of older stuff with similar names.
- The notifications: They are so hard to turn off and so annoying! Constantly going off if you have a friend request, a like, a comment, a poll a stranger sent you, literally everything at once.
- The website is clunky and old and that’s the main reason I don’t spend time trying to shut off notifications. It’s too much work because it’s all trapped in your settings.
- The groups! While you can make your own challenges and discuss things other than books, the whole thing feels very early 2000s. I simply don’t like the forum look and feel of it.
- Amazon literally controls it and controls what we see and what we are recommended. While this isn’t the worst thing in the world, it definitely influences more popular purchases and hinders debut or indie authors.
- The Goodreads Choice Awards. Once thought to be an incredibly exciting bookish moment quickly has turned into a rigged affair. Well, not quickly but definitely in the last five or six years. I like the idea of them but how it’s brought to life on Goodreads is quite shameful if I’m being honest.
- The rating system. Give me a .5 star option or I will riot!!!!!
Next is Storygraph, a more statistical version of Goodreads! I won’t pick on this one too much because if you go to https://roadmap.thestorygraph.com/, they’ve gotten a ton of feedback on the service and they are continuously planning on how to improve it so I have no doubt it will be an amazing service in the future.
I’ve spend very little time on this app but already I can see it’s great accomplishments and small flaws. I hope to get more experience with it and it’s rating systems in the future but until then, let’s break down the pros and the cons.
- Reading Preferences Survey: it’s so thoughtful to have a service that gives you specialized recommendations. And the recommendations are never simply popular titles, sometimes they’re indie or lesser known releases! And when you ask for a recommendation, you can tell it what you’re in the mood for!
- Writing reviews: It asks you in such detail exactly what you liked and what you disliked about a certain book. You rate it, you answer a certain amount of yes or no questions so people know what each book is like without it spoiling anything, AND you can add content warnings!
- Reading and Pages Challenges: This has your average reading challenge which I love BUT you can also set up a pages challenge so you can literally say you hope to read 10,000 pages this year and every book you read goes towards that goal! I love this idea SO much! And you can create your own reading challenges which is so great for readathons and even just personal goals.
- Re-reads count towards your reading goals which is my favorite thing ever because I’m constantly rereading books.
- All the stats and percentages!!! I love it so much! It shows you statistics on your own reading and it tells you exactly how many readers thought a book had diversity or character development or literally anything! It’s great stuff!
- Slow to load which I can’t fault too much since it is still in the beta stage. However, when I want to review and look for new books to read or buy, it can be annoying.
- There’s no links to purchase (or if there is, I still haven’t found them yet which is also troublesome.) (UPDATE: I finally found the links and they do ask you if you want to buy from independent retailers which is great however, it was still difficult for a newbie to find and I think it comes down to design and coloring)
- Not terribly attractive but again, we are in the beta stage. I don’t expect perfection but it’s definitely not the prettiest thing to look at. Just dreadfully boring and I hope they get to updating it soon.
- It feels bulky, unfinished, and unwelcoming when you first sign-up for it. Once you add on titles you’re currently reading, it becomes lighter but it sometimes still resembles something from ten or fifteen years ago.
- No app which is fine, I don’t believe this was developed to be a standard app store product but it would definitely make for a more accessible service.
- Goodreads transfers take a long time. I love that they give you the option of importing old data but I wish it was a simpler 1, 2 step. Again, this will probably be a thing later on in their development but right now, let’s just say it’s certainly not for impatient people.
- There’s no organization for audiobooks, ebooks, etc. I like being able to say if I read this kind of book or that kind and it would be nice if you could rate audiobooks in a similar fashion to how they have you rating average books (example being: how you’d rate narrators voices, what voice you’re in the mood for, what books did readers like on 1.5, 1.75, 2.0 speeds, etc, etc).
- A tad bit difficult to track your progress in books you are currently reading.
And lastly, Readerly! An app developed to replace Goodreads and to quickly sell books. I think it’s perfectly made for a technology dependent, attention sparing generation. Again, I’ve only had a handful of days to get accustomed to it but I think I’ve got the 😉gist😉of it so let’s get into my pros and cons!
- Gists are basically book tweets and they are how you review books and I love that! I think it’s so smart especially when I have trouble remembering all the details of a book when I want to write a review. These gists help you get straight to the point and they give you prompts so you can tell people exactly what you want them to know!
- You can pick specific genres you want recommended to you! I love this! Immediately when you sign up for an account, you are asked your preferences and the recommendations you get are never just the most popular releases which I love because I do get tired of being recommended The Hating Game or The Bridgerton books 3 million times a day simply because I read a lot of romance.
- The badge feature so anyone who views your page can know if your a reader, reviewer, or book seller! Every site needs to have this. I would doubly like it if the app was customized for each badge so that everyone could use it in the way they need to. But it’s still a very useful feature.
- When you click on a book to buy it, it recommends you buy from an independent bookstore! Not Amazon!! Halleluiah!
- On the Gists homepage, you can explore both your friends reviews and community ones so you can always get new insight into different books.
- You can label books as want to read, currently reading, or read which is fantastic but I’m still not 100% comfortable with it yet. It’s definitely a bit of a learning curve.
- Sometimes the page glitches when you try to save or create gists. This is a brand new app so I can’t really fault it for not being perfect but it’s something you ought to know.
- So many notifications! I’m sure we’ll be able to turn them off soon but right now, it’s annoying how often the pop up! Especially while you are in app.
- No way to organize your reading lists. You can add bookmark pages and name them for select things but it’s not simple enough, in my opinion. Again, this is a brand new development, I’m sure it’ll become more easily customizable soon.
- No reading challenge. I like my reading challenges and tracking and seeing how much I read and when and of what and all that so I wish it had it.
- Exclusive membership. Once more, this is a brand new app and they only want to test it on so many people so you either need a code or you have to wait on their waiting list until they officially launch. I’m sure the whole code only thing will go away afterwards but if it doesn’t that’ll be very annoying.
So, which app do I think is the best/has the most potential? Honestly, I think I like Storygraph the best! It has the most features / upcoming features. And I really like it’s review system! My only real qualm with it is that I think it’s terribly ugly. I think with a few adjustments, this could become my favorite book tracking site! I cannot wait to start using it a bit more after this.
Secondly, I do love Readerly. It’s such fun and I can’t wait to play around with it a bit more! It’s definitely an easy way to review and share books with your friends. Plus, it takes the whole stuffy quality about writing long reviews out of the equation. However, it’s definitely more useful for reviewers and book professionals rather than just the general public, at least in my opinion. I see this app as a good way to sell books rather than just talk about them.
Lastly, we have Goodreads. I think it’s simply getting too old and it doesn’t really listen or care for user feedback. While I won’t be abandoning my account anytime soon (because I’m a terrible creature of habit and I need these other platforms to be a bit more advanced before I make a change), it’s nice to know that there are options out there. My favorite thing about Goodreads is definitely it’s efficiency when it comes to the books you are currently reading. I love to post updates when I’m reading and Goodreads is the one that makes it easiest to do so.
All these platforms have basic TBR, currently reading, and read functions. They all allow you to follow your friends and receive recommendations. Some, however, do it better than others. I had so much fun doing this post! Thank you so much for reading! I hope this helped you in some way. Comment down below if you’ve used any of these services and what you thought about them! You can follow me on Goodreads at breegreen_books, Storygraph at Perusewithcoffee, and Readerly at perusewithcoffee. Until next time! BYE!!