33 votes

I compared all the goodreads alternatives so you don't have to

12 comments

  1. [2]
    rkcr
    Link
    As someone who has been completely unaware of any changes to Goodreads, does anyone have a good article summarizing what's changing?

    Goodreads will soon be absorbed by its parent company's marketing department.

    As someone who has been completely unaware of any changes to Goodreads, does anyone have a good article summarizing what's changing?

    12 votes
  2. [6]
    kfwyre
    (edited )
    Link
    LibraryThing is quite nice. I keep a private account there to log my reads and get algorithmic recommendations, so I can’t speak to their implementation of the social aspects, but it seems to be...

    LibraryThing is quite nice. I keep a private account there to log my reads and get algorithmic recommendations, so I can’t speak to their implementation of the social aspects, but it seems to be pretty much on par with Goodreads, but with fewer users.

    As the linked article identifies, its main downside is its interface, which has the feel of a site like old reddit, from the days before people did much internet stuff on their phone. I actually like and appreciate that aesthetic and its corresponding information density and functionality, but I acknowledge that it’s both dated and is not very mobile-friendly. LibraryThing is functional on phones, but it’s not the streamlined modern experience we’ve come to expect and instead just feels like the desktop site squished to a smaller viewport.

    6 votes
    1. [3]
      daltonlp
      Link Parent
      Unfortunately, LibraryThing doesn't lean into the social aspects. Or fortunately, depending on your perspective. Not everyone trusts or appreciates social-graph type services. Some people just...

      I can’t speak to their implementation of the social aspects

      Unfortunately, LibraryThing doesn't lean into the social aspects.

      Or fortunately, depending on your perspective. Not everyone trusts or appreciates social-graph type services. Some people just want a private catalog.

      By "the social aspects", I mean two things:

      • Making it easy to invite people. There's a legitimate distaste for sites that try to exfiltrate your phone or gmail contacts. But there's a legitimate benefit to typing someone's email into the site, and having the site draft the invitation. LibraryThing does not do this.

      • Sending email updates of friends' book activities. I get these mini-digests every few days from GoodReads, and they honestly are fantastic. This alone is GoodReads' core value. Arguably their core competency too, since most email marketing efforts are nowhere near as artfully composed.

      3 votes
      1. [2]
        pallas
        Link Parent
        I had thought that LibraryThing had rather different goals than GoodReads: whereas GoodReads was focused on tracking reading, and social interactions around reading, LibraryThing was focused on...

        Sending email updates of friends' book activities. I get these mini-digests every few days from GoodReads, and they honestly are fantastic. This alone is GoodReads' core value. Arguably their core competency too, since most email marketing efforts are nowhere near as artfully composed.

        I had thought that LibraryThing had rather different goals than GoodReads: whereas GoodReads was focused on tracking reading, and social interactions around reading, LibraryThing was focused on library cataloguing. As such, the feature set would likely reflect this different focus. This is why I used LibraryThing rather than GoodReads. I'm much more interested in keeping track of specific edition and copy information, location, and so on, rather than keeping track of what I have read, which often includes books that aren't in my library at all.

        Unfortunately for my use of it, I expect that the decline of GoodReads may cause LibraryThing to move more toward reading-focused rather than library-focused features. I've been thinking about moving to self-hosted system anyway. The impact on this for those interested in a GoodReads replacement, however, is that the deficiencies may be things that improve relatively quickly with a change in focus.

        With that said, I've just found that LibraryThing has also had a 40% stake purchased by Amazon (via Abebooks)... wonderful.

        2 votes
        1. daltonlp
          Link Parent
          That 40% stake via Abebooks gets repeated a lot. It's worth noting that the Abebooks investment came first, in 2006. Abebooks was bought wholesale by Amazon in 2008. I think that says more about...

          That 40% stake via Abebooks gets repeated a lot. It's worth noting that the Abebooks investment came first, in 2006. Abebooks was bought wholesale by Amazon in 2008.

          I think that says more about Amazon than LibraryThing.

          4 votes
    2. [2]
      thundergolfer
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      LibraryThing's interface has initially turned me off. When I think about what I want from a web application that tracks my reading, the UI that supports that functionality I could imagine being...

      LibraryThing's interface has initially turned me off. When I think about what I want from a web application that tracks my reading, the UI that supports that functionality I could imagine being very simple and easy to use. But when I hit librarything.com I find it quite difficult to locate the user-flow that has me add a book 'to read' or mark a book as 'read'. LibraryThing's information hierarchy is really quite bad. On my homepage the "Add books" link is the same font size as like 36 other links on the page.

      3 votes
      1. kfwyre
        Link Parent
        Yeah, it’s not great — you just kind of have to learn it. Don’t know if you’ve tried adding books yet, but if you haven’t that process is pretty clunky as well.

        Yeah, it’s not great — you just kind of have to learn it. Don’t know if you’ve tried adding books yet, but if you haven’t that process is pretty clunky as well.

        2 votes
  3. daturkel
    Link
    I signed up for Readng (one of the mentioned services). It's pretty looking (if a bit spartan) and has potential. I'll likely keep updating my Goodreads in the meantime while this spaces gets a...

    I signed up for Readng (one of the mentioned services). It's pretty looking (if a bit spartan) and has potential. I'll likely keep updating my Goodreads in the meantime while this spaces gets a bit more fleshed out. Here's another blog post about some of the potential Goodreads successsors.

    5 votes
  4. grapegoop
    Link
    Thank you for this. I will now investigate LibraryThing

    Thank you for this. I will now investigate LibraryThing

    3 votes
  5. moocow1452
    Link
    While we're on the subject, I was looking for something similar to Justwatch but for Comic Books, where I could start a list for books I'm interested in and runs that I was following, and see if...

    While we're on the subject, I was looking for something similar to Justwatch but for Comic Books, where I could start a list for books I'm interested in and runs that I was following, and see if it was available on a service like Hoopla, Comixology, Marvel/DC Unlimited, or something else out there. Might be an interesting project if nothing out there exists, but working with the APIs are bound to be a fun time.

    2 votes
  6. rish
    Link
    LibraryThing looks like a viable alternative in terms of both interface and features.

    LibraryThing looks like a viable alternative in terms of both interface and features.

    1 vote