LibraryThing and Good Reads

Recently I saw on Bernadette’s blog that she had joined the Good Reads 2011 Reading Challenge, which asks members to nominate the number of books they would read during the year and if you did so then every time you log in to the site you see your own progress towards your goal.

This reminded me that I had joined Good Reads in April last year and had done very little with it, just adding a few books because I’ve got most of my books entered in LibraryThing. I’ve never set myself a target of books to read in a year and I’m not too fussed about doing so, mostly because that depends on a) the number of pages in each book – I’d read short books if I wanted it to look as though I read loads and b) I don’t actually care whether I read more or less than I did in other years or how it compares with other readers. But it seems an interesting exercise to set a target and see yourself moving towards it – or not as the case may be. So I had another look at Good Reads and realised that I could import my list of books from LibraryThing, which I’ve now done and signed up for the 2011 Reading Challenge.

2011 Reading Challenge

I’m not too familiar with Good Reads and I’m wondering what benefits it has over LibraryThing – or vice versa! Can anyone let me know what they think?

13 thoughts on “LibraryThing and Good Reads

  1. I joined it, I think probably because of Bernadette’s recommendation also! I use it to log the books I read and to rank them according to how much I enjoy them – more as an aide memoire than anything else, though I have a link on my blog in case anyone wants to see what I’m reading. I have to admit I don’t use the social features – I did look for some online discussion groups when I first joined but although there are a few they aren’t quite what I was looking for. Most of the people I am connected to on GoodReads are people whose blogs I already read anyway. I haven’t joined Library Thing, I do think it is good and would have done if it existed when I learned to read, but I feel I’ve read so much and not logged it, that I’ve missed the online bookmark boat, really, so far as “what I’ve read” is concerned.


  2. The thing I like about Goodreads is that it’s easy to see what your friends over there are reading, and you can comment on it if you want. You can see their updates when you log in and follow their progress as well as track your own. It’s a little more social and interactive than LibraryThing is (if that’s the kind of thing you like!).


  3. I can’t really comment on what advantages Good Reads has over Library Thing because I’ve forgotten what made me choose GR when I looked at them both (plus Shelfari). Here are some things I really like (but Library Thing may have them too)

    I use it to keep track of books I want to read – wishlist stuff – I’ve got a separate shelf called wishlist (it’s a fourth ‘exclusive’ shelf in addition to the existing ‘read’, ‘currently reading’, ‘to-read’) that I use for all the books I hear about on blogs that I like the sound of – you can even add private notes that only you can see which might prompt you to remember why you wanted to read it (so you can say who recommended it to you or copy a review that you’ve read or whatever). I have found this really helpful and if you have a smart phone or some other kind of mobile device with a web browser you can have the list available whenever you’re in a bookstore (if not like me you just have to look it up before you go or take a printout)

    I have a few real-world friends who are big readers too and we’re all friends on GR too – keeping up with what books they’re adding to their own shelves and what they’re currently reading is good fun – we don’t all live in the same town so don’t talk that often and keeping track of each other’s reading this way is an easy way of keeping in touch

    I am a member of a few groups though really the only one I do anything much with is the Aussie Readers one and that’s been relatively recent – it’s a big group and much of the discussion is non-book related but it’s easy to weed out these topics and I do enjoy keeping up with book related news that’s relevant locally – so many of the blogs I visit are US or UK based and we face slightly different issues ‘down here’ – pricing, geographic restrictions etc – so the GR group has become a great place for me to get tips on local discounts and news relevant to us. I would guarantee that there is a discussion group for any purpose you need but they’re not always easy to find.

    I do love the stats/widgets – if you look at your My Books screen on the left underneath your list of shelves there are several links to things like STATS, MOST READ AUTHORS and a couple of others (growing changing all the time) – clicking on these will give you different views of the books you’ve read/on your shelves – I love charts and other visible ways of looking at data

    The never ending trivia quiz – it’s fun and completely time wasting – you can tell it to only give you questions about books you have on your shelves so you at least have a hope of answering them


  4. Margaret – I’m afraid I can’t compare Goodreads to Library Thing because I’ve not joined the latter. But I really like the fact that Goodreads allows all sorts of opportunities for readers to interact with each other and with their favourite authors who are also on the network. I enjoy learning what others are reading, too.


  5. I am on GoodReads, but I mainly use it to see which interesting books my friends are reading – and how they rated them. I don´t use any of the other features really, but Bernadette reminded me I should make an author page. My main social media are my friendfeed room and facebook.


  6. I’m on both goodreads and librarything, and of the 2 I prefer goodreads. I find it easier to negotiate, easier to comment, quicker to find reviews. I joined 3 groups: Constant Reader, The Next Best Book Club, and Bright Young Things. Of the 3, I most participate in CR, though that depends on how busy I am. I tend to like the books that CR chooses, or be interested in reading them, but I’d recommend all 3 and if I had time would participate more in them. I like to see what my friends are reading and what they’ve thought of books, and that’s easy because I get an email with updates on that.


  7. Well spoken, Margaret! I also have my books listed on Library Thing to keep track of my book collection; I read a lot of books from my public library too.
    I have always wondered about readers book tally. Sometimes I read Simonon (160 pages) at other times it is Dostojevskij (700) og Ken Follett (1000). Even if Dostojevskij and Follett has the same amount of pages the former takes a lot more time to read. So I stick to the titles. Everyone has her/his own way of reading. The main thing i the pleasure of tucking in with a good book.


  8. I like LibraryThing because instead of fancy displays and tchotkes they bring silly inflated rhinos to the American Library Association conference. And I just like their geeky zeitgeist. Also very principled folk. And they live in Maine.


  9. Many thanks for your comments. You’ve given me lots to think about and explore on Good Reads!

    At the moment I need to update my book entries – ratings etc. There are many it records as being read when I haven’t read them. I can see it’s going to be a long job, but enjoyable, even if it takes away some of my reading time.

    I’ve already had go at the never ending trivia quiz, but didn’t know I could limit it to questions about just my books!


  10. I’m a LT fan. I’ve only dabbled lightly in Goodreads, but there is only so much time for social networking and I don’t have any spare to add another strand! Even now I’m using LT only as a catalogue really, I still copy my reviews over, but that’s it, I’ve stopped visiting other users and commenting for the most part.


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