I’ve Ditched Goodreads | Switching to The StoryGraph and never looking back

Discussion Time

Hello, my lovely lemons! 🍋 For all the years I’ve been in the bookish community, Goodreads has been a hot topic. As the only mainstream reading tracker and social media for books, it’s used by all but loved by few. Everyone has their own complaints about it, be it the dated brown interface or the nonsensical search bar, which brings up every book except the one you’re searching for. Yet, we all still use it. Why?

Well, the lack of a valid alternative. It may have been my starting point in the bookish community, but I feel no great sense of loyalty to Goodreads. It serves a purpose, but I don’t particularly relish my time spent there. Then, last year, I began to hear whispers among bloggers about a usurper. Rising from obscurity, ready to take on Goodreads and give readers what they’ve been crying out for. This hero is… The StoryGraph.

That was all very dramatic but I was feeling it, okay? Essentially, The StoryGraph is a new reading tracker, specifically designed to rival Goodreads and deliver everything they don’t – namely features users have been asking for for years. You want half stars? The StoryGraph even gives you quarter stars! Along with a working search bar, an easy-to-use, modern interface, helpful stats, and personalised reading recommendations. So, to convince you to come join me on the light side, here are my favourite things about The StoryGraph.

It’s less distracting

The biggest problem I always had with Goodreads was the distraction factor. I mainly used it as a reading tracker, but since it doubles as a social media the first page it opened on was always a newsfeed, AKA an endlessly scrolling pit of doom for my productivity. (My attention span is nonexistent.) I would instantly open it, see a post about some new book that looked interesting, and forget what I was supposed to be doing. This exact problem derailed pretty much every blog post I ever tried to write that involved referencing Goodreads.

The StoryGraph is first and foremost a reading tracker, and the clean, distraction-free interface reflects that. It has a social element, but you have to navigate to it very much on purpose. You can click on a book and it doesn’t lead you down an endless rabbit hole of similar suggestions. You see information about that book, and that book only. Even reviews are on a separate page, so you get only the most essential information about a book – it’s your choice if you want to delve further.

It keeps you on track

I always found Goodreads encouraged me to hoard book recommendations, building a TBR so large it could rival a dragon’s pile of gold. I then promptly forgot about most of them, only to dicover them again once I went sorting through my Want to Read shelf to discover why it had reached 400 books again. I find The StoryGraph keeps me a lot more accountable – every time you load it up the home page shows you a randomised selection of books that are on your TBR. I really like this, since it prompts me to consider books I haven’t thought of in a while. I like that it encourages me to read books I already have, rather than just shoving new ones at me.

It keeps things simple

On my Goodreads account I have – *checks* – 61 shelves. SIXTY ONE! And that’s barely anything compared to quite a lot of accounts on there. The StoryGraph has 4 shelves you can use – To Read, Currently Reading, Read, and Did Not Finish. And I’m perfectly happy with these 4. You can add extra tags to books if you wish, but I’ve never felt the need. Why? Because The StoryGraph automatically tells you details about every book that I was using those 61 Goodreads shelves to keep track of.

I don’t need an lgbtqia+ shelf to keep track of which books have representation – I can see that information at a glance. I can filter my list of books to find books that fit that category. And I don’t have to go searching online or through reviews to find out if a book has romance, or queer representation – StoryGraph supplies me with that information automatically. I can find out what genre a book belongs to just by looking, and filter by genre. On Goodreads I had to make individual shelves for each genre, and remember to tag a book when adding it to my shelves, just in case I ever wanted to search specifically for a contemporary book, or a fantasy. Unbelievably, GR has never had a way to filter your shelf by genre. Little features like this that have been missing from Goodreads for so long really do make all the difference.

You get fun stats!

Okay, I guess it depends on your personality whether you find stats “fun”, but I certainly do! I know some people love to use spreadsheets for this sort of thing, but if you don’t have that kind of dedication (hint: I don’t) it’s great to have all these stats integrated into your reading tracker. I’m really nerding out here but I honestly have so much fun looking through all the little pie charts and graphs. I just spent a rather long time setting all my books to the correct format so I could see what percentage of physical/digital/audio I read.

Improved functionality in basically every way

Life is complicated enough, and the less time it takes to record my reading, the more time I have to spend actually reading. And after years of dealing with Goodreads, using the StoryGraph is an absolute breeze. Here are just some of the ways it makes my life easier:

  • StoryGraph has much better support for audiobooks, replacing the page count with duration and adapting to the often square covers.
  • The review writer has a visual editor, so you don’t have to use HTML like Goodreads requires.
  • You can create or join reading challenges, then assign books to the prompts and it will automatically tick them off once you’ve read them.
  • The search bar actually works!!
  • You can enter your reading tastes and it will constantly generate personalised reading recommendations for you!
  • No ads! The StoryGraph is independent and ad-free.
  • You can import your reading history from Goodreads with no fuss for an easy switch-over.

So, have I convinced you yet? If you’ve not already made the switch, I highly recommend at least trying StoryGraph out. It’s super easy to set up, and you can transfer all your data from Goodreads so you won’t lose anything. I’ve been totally switched over for months now and I haven’t missed the old reading tracker one bit. Not to mention StoryGraph is still fairly young, and new features are being added all the time. So go on, save yourself from the world’s worst search bar. Join me on the good side.

Do you use Goodreads, StoryGraph, or both? Which do you prefer? Has the Goodreads search bar ever actually shown you the book you were looking for?? Let me know in the comments!

Love and lemons, Abi

3 thoughts on “I’ve Ditched Goodreads | Switching to The StoryGraph and never looking back

  1. I made a Storygraph accounts last year but it was so outdated that I wanted to import my Goodreads stat again. However when I downloaded my data it cannot be imported? I think Goodreads changed the way its data downloaded or something lol. I’ve been wanting to utilize Storygraph more though since the stats look so fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh no! I remember when I transferred my data over I had to open the download from Goodreads as a spreadsheet and change some things so the data would pull over properly, but honestly that was over a year ago adn I have no idea what I did anymore 🙈 The stats are super fun, I really recommend it if you do figure out how to import your data!

      Like

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