I find out that Goodreads is owned by the evil, corporate giant, Amazon. I should delete Goodreads immediately. But. I can’t.
Sure, there are parts of Goodreads that drive me mad. For instance, that you can’t give half star ratings or mark a book as DNF. It’s also really frustrating that the app allows people to leave reviews before a book has even been published. But the app feels homely. It feels like curling up on an arm chair by a fire with a hot mug of coco after getting caught in the rain.
Then a dear bookworm compradore informs me that, shock, horror, there are actually other book tracking apps available to use.
The StoryGraph is an independent book app that goes beyond the realms what Goodreads can do. You can choose what book you want to read next using the mood function. Or, analyse how your reading has changed over time with charts and graphs. There are also challenges beyond how many books you read in a year, like their genre challenge, prompting you to read 10 books, each one from a different genre.
When you set up StoryGraph you can transfer your data from Goodreads so that your reading history isn’t lost. It’s great when I realise pretty quickly that I am not going to finish reading a book and can shelf it as DNF. It’s also nice for another book that get’s 4.5 stars because, you guessed it, they allow half star ratings.
The trouble is that using StoryGraph doesn’t feel like snuggling down to get lost in a good book. It feels like I am at work analysing data. I find the look of the app to be cold. The problem, I realise, is that StoryGraph makes me feel less like I am reading for pleasure and more like I am reading for analytics – to get those numbers in. All the pie charts with the breakdowns of the themes and genres you read are only really interesting for about five minutes.
So, The StoryGraph didn’t work out for me, however there are still other alternatives. I decide to try one more that’s more aesthetically pleasing. BookSloth which has a very Instagram esque look, is a book app about introducing you to new authors and being part of a bookish community. You can collect fun award badges when you reach certain goals. Like on The StoryGraph, there is also a stats function.
All is well until I stumble across a pretty big problem – I can’t transfer data from Goodreads to BookSloth. My Goodreads history spans over 300 books and I don’t want to lose it. Manually adding every book i’ve read or want to read would take hours or even a good couple of days. I then realise that you can’t add in the dates you’ve read a book on BookSloth, so it thinks that all the books I’ve read were read in 2020. When searching for books you can only search by the book title which makes it difficult to find books.
This is my long winded way of saying that I am sticking with GoodReads but it’s good to know that there are other alternatives out there. The functionality is simple. I can have a nosey at what my friends are reading and, more importantly focus on what I am reading.
Yes, Amazon is corrupt and awful, in desperate need of dismantling. However, boycotting GoodReads won’t affect them in the slightest. After all it is a free platform. The way to boycott Amazon is simply not to buy from them.