written by Ester
Are you, just like me, in the habit of keeping an online library, with your read books and your TBR (To Be Read) piles?
And is Goodreads – owned by Amazon – the only one you know? Then here are some great independent alternatives to look into. As independent booksellers, we love other independent initiatives.
First up: The StoryGraph. This one depends heavily on great recommendations and lots of statistics. They will help you choose your next book based on your mood and your favorite topics and themes, which you can add. Leave a review by filling out a list of questions; no need to write one if you don’t want to. This year they’ve also added reading challenges.
A paid option for even more stats and even better recommendations is also available. If you want to help The StoryGraph optimize its database and features, you have the opportunity to become a librarian and be active behind the scenes. Keep an eye out for announcements on their Instagram account. And of course, you can import your Goodreads library, so you don’t have to begin from scratch. Their app will keep you up-to-date on your phone or tablet.
Then there is the new Literal*, my personal favorite. Apart from tracking your reading and leaving reviews by selecting the site’s supplied keywords, Literal* also lets you start your own book club or join existing ones. They are still starting out and small, but they’re constantly working on new features. Having said that, there is already enough happening to satisfy your library needs.
You can also become a librarian to help them optimize their database, or a patron to help support their venture. Your Goodreads and StoryGraph library can be imported so you’re good to go from the start. They, too, have an app (iOS or Android) for your phone or tablet. Check them out on Instagram, Twitter or TikTok.
The StoryGraph and Literal* are web-based online libraries with apps, but there are also some strictly app-based options available.
Although Booksloth has a website you can use, if you want the full experience, you should use their app (iOS or Android). You can browse new books and get personalized recommendations, join discussions and chat about books you’re reading, find readers with similar tastes, ask questions and share recommendations. You can add reviews by using badges. There are also loads of achievements/book challenges to complete. This app is all about interaction with your fellow readers.
Bookly is a slightly different app. It is more a personal book and reading tracker with stats, goals and achievements. Its main feature is tracking your reading in real-time. But if you finish a book, you can generate an awesome infographic and share it with your friends.
For more options to keep your online library (and avoid Goodreads), here is a more comprehensive list of apps and websites.