Let's all be goodreads friends.

Same as the letterboxd thread. Goodreads is kinda shit and wonky and amazon owns it but whatev.

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this is a good idea


i forgot i had one!

i remember making someone really mad with my john carter of mars book review
anyway i have a stack of books i need to read maybe this will help

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A lot of it’s just comics

so this isn’t goodreads, but i got on thestorygraph which is basically a goodreads alternative, independently owned, the pitch is they focus a lot more on readership, recommendations, your reader profile (stats etc) and community (reviews, challenges). the business model is a paid pro account similar to letterboxd.

it seems a lot lot better tbh? altho still some basic UI stuff I would like to see fixed

The StoryGraph, A Goodreads Competitor, Is Nadia Odunayo’s Passion & Business (bustle.com)

anyways here’s my profile, add me and let’s be friends yeah



Tempted to use this, I just like websites like that and after (happily) losing access to my Goodreads account I went to LibraryThing which is just too much. Hard to tell what having an account on that website looks like though, they don’t really surface any bit about its usability without having you make an account and sign in. Hmm.

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i have a librarything and a goodreads but i don’t keep up with either tbh. just a mess really.

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it’s pretty straight forward, it’s kind of like letterboxd, you just add all the books you’ve ever read and then (the cool part) it spits out stats for you about what you prefer. there’s an aggregated database of book length, pacing, ‘moods,’ etc.

if you select a book as “currently reading” then change it to “read” it will log that as a completed attempt with the date you finished. (you can go back and edit afterwards) and you can leave a star review, tags, content warnings, etc.

you can wishlist books as ‘to read’ and then there’s several tools to filter and search your ‘to-read pile’.
there’s also user-created ‘reading challenges’ which are a community feature, basically like little reading quests you can do and check off each one as you go. e.g. if you want to read every Hugo award winning novel from 2000-2021, it’ll give you a little checklist.

I think on the book discovery side of things, it’s pretty impressive with recommendations.the part i find annoying is the way it splits out different editions of a book, it should really aggregate them better as a UX thing. Another UX issue is that it takes way too many clicks to add books to challenges.
They also don’t have great tools to spotlight user reviews of books. If they do a better job with reviews I’m hoping it can be like the Letterboxd of books, but that depends on the community as much as anything. I notice the culture of book people seems like… not to write like a literature critic, but instead to write like you’re writing a blog post. i’m generalizing though.

here’s their dev roadmap, I don’t really understand most of it but I hope they’ll prioritize some of these things. The StoryGraph Feedback


I realize a lot of book lovers really want a website to track which books they ‘own’ - like there’s some prestige in owning bound paper - that’s really not a thing I care about for this, for me it’s really about finding good criticism and thinking about art. I hope there can be a website that prioritizes that aspect of literature

OOh thanks for taking the time to show me what’s on the other side of the signup wall. I’ll make an account as this just sounds nicer than LibraryThing, which is def for those book owners and library collectors out there. Way too power user for me.

Yeah this is a bit disappointing to me too. Book reviews and criticism seem to have adapted to the post-box format of blog or social media sites in the most whiny and unfocused way. Most reviews you see on those places feel like people ranting even when they are ambivalent or in love with the work. It’s like they have no sense of audience and so they don’t care to communicate anything really. For some philosophy books and non-fiction I have found this is a little bit different, but basically all fiction user reviews suck. There’s that popular format on goodreads where people break up really long and terribly written sentences with cringey office gifs, which no doubt evolved from tumblr.

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it’s funny bc most tumblr longposts I read are significantly superior to the average internet book review

I don’t know if movie people feel a stronger sense of ‘audience’ because people actually read reviews to figure out whether to watch a movie. it seems like the critical culture is much more flourishing there. whereas there’s a bajillion books coming out every day and the peak problem is discoverability, which maybe incentivizes the gush/rant style of writing.

i wonder if the reviews for classic literature are like this too. I actually got a lot more proper reviewing out of this reddit post about classic SFF (here’s one about helicopter story) compared to the actual book sites.

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I think you are right about discoverability really stifling user review writing. And no disrespect to tumblr meant, the form just seems so strongly linked in my head. I am lucky to have a friend or two who is really into one of the kinds of fiction I like, and another who can speak thoughtfully about any book he’s given to read even if he doesn’t like it. Between them and the books thread here and recs from random directions, I somehow find good books to read. I really like the effort posts we see in the books thread here!

I made an account. Add me if you’d like!

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