Pick Your Poison: Bookish Social Media Comparison

In order to make progress in any field, you have to continuously learn about relevant new developments. You might think that the only new thing that could happen in the literary realm would be new titles being published (after all, every literary scholar knows that there is really only one story being told). This, however, is profoundly untrue. Today I’m focusing on bookish social media sites: Goodreads, LibraryThing, and BookLikes, to be exact. Each is a unique social media platform intentionally geared towards bookworms. Read on to find out more about each one!

Until a few days ago, I did not realize how many social media sites there are revolving around books. I have been doing a bit of light research into some that were mentioned to me recently, but I’m curious as to what everyone else uses. What are your preferences when it comes to bookish social media? Do you have a favorite site or app? If you’ve used something other than your own personal blog or Goodreads, please tell me about it! I’d love to hear more about what’s out there, how it works, or what y’all like and dislike.

Here’s the rundown of what I know so far:

  • Goodreads is the giant of the group, so I have to talk about them first. Also, this is the only one that I currently use.
    • Has a website and app which keep user info across devices
    • Users can create bookshelves where they keep track of books they’ve read, are currently reading, or want to read through a tags system.
    • Search function leaves something to be desired.
    • Strong community/social aspect
    • Easy to find and post reviews
    • Affiliated with Amazon (and thus Audible)
  • LibraryThing is the next one that I heard about
    • Basically a huge cataloging system
    • When adding a book, you have to select exactly which book it is: deeper than which edition, you also have to know where you bought it and when it was published. I’ve read several people who are not very happy about this, and I can imagine I might be one of them as the majority of the books I read still come from the local library or are ARCs
    • Some library systems use data from LibraryThing to help them generate suggestions to patrons looking for books that are similar to something they enjoyed. I think this also comes from an elaborate tagging system.
    • Lots of reviews, but little interaction between members. Weak community aspect and difficult to find your friends’ reviews.
  • BookLikes is one that I have just heard about, but kind of wish I knew about it a few years ago
    • A blogroll style platform for book reviews
    • Stronger community than LibraryThing, but not as convenient as Goodreads
    • Easily add quotes, blurbs, full reviews, or just your thoughts in blog posts on your page. It sounds like it’s halfway between having a Goodreads account and having your own blog. I’m not sure of the value of having all three, though.

If you scroll through your app store or search something along the lines of “bookish social media” you can come across at least a dozen more, but these three seem to be the main ones. I would love to try them all out for myself, but I simply do not have time to set up another profile on a site or app that I may not even get that much value out of. However, if I come across one that has a lot of positive feedback I am quite willing to try something new! I just can’t try a dozen new things in one day in order to find the one that is worth my time at this point.

This doesn’t even account for sites like Book Riot and Fierce Reads, which are mostly bookish news sites but also have a social aspect. Plus, there are so many good book blogs across several different platforms. There is actually a lot of good content out there, if you are willing to sift through and find the things you want to see and follow. This can take some work though, so I am a firm believer in helping each other out. If you know of a really good blog, mention it to someone who likes the same topic! And if you know of a solid bookish social media platform form (or one to avoid), let me (and anyone else who cares) know! Leave a comment and let me know what your experience has been, and I’ll update the list above as I get more feedback.

Disclaimer: None of the websites or brands mentioned are in any way affiliated with this post. All opinions are my own, and while I have done my best to ensure accuracy, I am still human. Any incorrect information reflects solely on me.


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