19 Responses to “LibraryThing or Goodreads?”

  1. Sayuri January 14, 2009 at 1:34 PM #

    I use Goodreads and love it. I do find it much more active, I get very little spam other than group or friend updates which are easy to stop if I don’t want them and I find it really easy to use. I love the trivia quiz and I am such a geek, I spend hours making up questions for fellow romance readers.

    As for cataloging e-books on Goodreads, if you ask for Librarian status, you can manually add books, change incorrect biblographic detail and change or upload book covers.

  2. Memory January 14, 2009 at 1:34 PM #

    I lovelovelove LibraryThing. I’ve been using it for about two and a half years now, and I find it a great resource. They allow you to pull data from scads of different sources, so it’s usually easy enough to find the book you want to add to your library. If it doesn’t appear in any of their sources, you can add it manually. Changing and adding new covers is a snap, too.

    As far as the community aspect goes, some groups are more active than others. The trick is to join or watch some catch-all groups like Book Talk or What You’re Reading Now, then branch out from there. Active groups get mentioned pretty often. If you notice that another user has tastes similar to your own, you can also check out their profile and see which groups they belong to.

    On the downside, there’s not much point to resources like friending and the like right now, but almost everything on LT is undergoing further development. The site owners are really open to users’ input and do their best to work on and improve features that everyone wants to see.

  3. MB (Leah) January 14, 2009 at 1:37 PM #

    After DA’s post on Calibre, I decided to organize my ebooks, which were getting out of hand. Then I found out about Librarything and started to add books. But what frustrated me with them is that somehow I wasn’t able to add books to my library that were already on someone else’s library or their database even though there is a “add to my library” button.

    Then Sarah twittered about Goodreads and I found them to be much more user friendly, easily adding books to my library that people have put in the database already. And easy to edit a book’s information as well. Plus, as you say, it just seems more friendly with people easily talking and connecting about books.

    So, I have to go with Goodreads. 😛

  4. Angie January 14, 2009 at 1:46 PM #

    Leah, I had the same problem with LibraryThing. In a previous blog post here, I’d mentioned something about ebooks, and was told by commenters that I could add it to my library if someone else had it added, but I could never figure out how. Clicking the “add to my library” button just takes you back to the regular add a book page, rather than adding that specific book and details to your library.

  5. Joan January 14, 2009 at 4:06 PM #

    I use LibraryThing and love it. I have around 500 books added so far. I haven’t put in my ebooks yet, but I don’t think it should be difficult as you can manually add books. The only problem I expect with the ebooks is missing covers.

  6. Tiffany January 14, 2009 at 4:23 PM #

    I use Goodreads and actually I love using it. It keeps me updated on which groups have the most recent posts. I usually try to get on Goodreads once or twice a day. Right now I have over 800 books on Goodreads.

  7. December January 14, 2009 at 4:27 PM #

    I actually use both. I like Goodreads for my TBR list, which is huge. But I like Librarything’s blog widget.
    Librarything has a limit for your library list or you have to pay, so that’s why I put my TBR list into Goodreads.

  8. Nonny January 14, 2009 at 4:41 PM #

    I use GoodReads and love it. It actually has a blog widget these days, though I haven’t used it myself yet.

  9. kerry January 14, 2009 at 4:41 PM #

    I use goodreads and love it. I tried Library Thing, but was frustrated by the book limit and some of the other issues.

    I’ve met some really great people on goodreads who recommended some awesome books, and have discovered a lot of great authors there. Highly recommend.

  10. Bree January 14, 2009 at 4:43 PM #

    I’ve been using GR for a while, before I started writing, actually. And once I became an author it was really easy to transition my account over. To be honest, I have been avoiding adding my books to LibraryThing because it has really seemed a little counter-intuitive to me. I can’t seem to figure it out, and I’m NOT usually foiled by web interfaces. GR is just so much easier for me.

    And getting Librarian status so you can update books/covers etc is not difficult at all.

  11. Karen January 14, 2009 at 10:25 PM #

    I set up accounts at Shelfari, LibraryThing and GoodReads, then added a pile of books to SF (over 400) and LT (nearly 200). GR only ended up with a few, it seems. I don’t know about spam from SF (my ISP is very aggressive about this), as I don’t get many message from any of them, just the newsletters I agreed to receive. It’s easy enough to set up a filter to delete messages, though, so would not even count that as a factor in deciding which to use.

    SF is free, but a bear to use – even with 150 titles per page in list mode, it takes three pages to display my library and that is the ONLY way you can search for a book by author or title (sure, you could set up tags for each of those, but that’s insane for a library app and would clutter up your tags so that they are pretty much unusable). I ended up bookmarking the pages displayed in that manner, as getting to your library listing takes many clicks before being searchable. SF seems to be meant only for those who want to keep track of a very small number of books they haven’t gotten around to reading yet, who then delete the books as they go, not for someone to keep track of a vast library (so you can look it up while at a bookstore and not re-purchase the same books, for example).

    LT is free only up to 200 titles (thus the smaller number I have there, so far, but I’ll be upgrading it at the lifetime rate). You can tell this application was designed by librarians. Adding books is a snap (type in the ISBN, title or author to search – or get a cuecat and let it scan the ISBN for typeless and fast entry). Once there, you can search library list by title or author or use tags. Fast searches, it doesn’t matter how many books are in the library and getting to that search box is only one click after logging in. Plus there are the widgets for your blog and even the monthly chance of getting a review copy of a book (odds may be low, but not impossible, as I’ve received three books thru them in the last year).

    I haven’t really played much with GR and probably won’t – LT does everything I want. Perhaps the “friends” and “community” features are a big deal there, but they are not anything I’d ever look at all, nor participate in (I know I’m not the only one annoyed by the requests from those on GR to be my friend because we have a book in common – these emails are automatically routed to the deleted folder, as are such requests from any other groups I am on). I want to keep track of my books. Secondarily, I’d like to read reviews of others on those books or books I am considering purchasing, get lists of books by the same author and perhaps see a suggestion of books I might like, based on a sophisticated algorithm that takes into account both the books I have and any ratings I’ve given them. Forums may be nice as well (if at least searchable and it is easy to skip threads/categories of no interest), but are not essential. Books clubs, ditto – most are more annoying than helpful and remind me of the average high school teacher/college professor’s attempt to destroy good literature by dissecting it thru the lens of their own agendas.

  12. Ann January 14, 2009 at 11:52 PM #

    I’ve been adding titles to my LT list, but haven’t tried adding ebooks. I’ve friended a couple of people, just haven’t done much with it since (but I could drop by and say hi). I’ll probably play with it some more this weekend, try adding ebooks and maybe start using tags. 😀

  13. rebyj January 15, 2009 at 1:16 PM #

    I’ve had a Shelfari for awhile but am exploring Goodreads now. It’ll take me awhile to get all my books added but it does look much more active than Shelfari. I can sure add books a heck of a lot faster than Shelfari.

    Anyones welcome to friend me at GR.

  14. Jules Jones January 18, 2009 at 10:48 AM #

    In LT you used to be able to add a copy of a specific edition listed in someone else’s account, but Tim took the feature out because some people were misusing it in such a way as to badly corrupt the database for everyone else (stuff like leaving the ISBN and author the same and then changing the title to another book by that author).

    It’s possible to add ebooks, but if the ebook in question isn’t listed in one of the big book databases LT draws from, you’ll have to add it manually. So if your title is listed in Amazon (e.g. via Kindle), LT can find the details there. It’s easy to upload covers yourself if LT doesn’t pick it up from Amazon, and if you do so, other people can select that cover to use on their own catalogue entry for the book.

  15. Sarah January 18, 2009 at 7:03 PM #

    I have both and neither widgets work in my sidebar which blows but apparently they’re working on it at Librarything and are beta testing at the moment.

    ebooks are easier to add in goodreads I’ve found but the functionality and what you’re able to do with the books at librarything is far better. I think goodreads is a little limited in that respect.

    There is also advertising on goodreads that is not apparent on librarything. Their lifetime membership is cheap as chips. Also, you can give books 1/2 stars at librarthing but not at goodreads. The community at goodreads is better and more user friendly and it seems more visible. But the librarything communities are there, they just does not look like the friend spaces you’d find at other online sites like myspace or facebook – goodreads does a bit.

    I also have both. Think I’d prefer to just have one!

  16. KristieJ January 19, 2009 at 6:33 AM #

    It’s a few months later and I still add books to all 3 – and I still prefer LibraryThing 🙂

  17. Deborah Smith January 19, 2009 at 4:54 PM #

    As an editor and small press publisher I’ve begun seeking out bloggers for reviews and also giving away lots of free books on the social sites. My early experiences are this: the Library Thing “early review” readers are far more responsive and enthusiastic than those on Goodreads. I don’t mean they gave my titles better reviews, I mean they seemed to correspond with me more often and more of them posted reviews online, which was the point of giving them the books. To get word of mouth. All in all, I plan to devote my efforts to Library Thing for now.

  18. Jules Jones January 19, 2009 at 5:08 PM #

    Deborah, I’m a member of the Early Reviewers programme, and what I see on the ER discussion group is booklovers who are very enthusiastic about bringing their experience of the ARCs they receive to a wider audience. There’s a fairly good rate of people reviewing received books, and some fairly organised passing on of copies amongst members on the understanding that if you get a passed-on copy you should review it. Of course, some of us manage to lose our ARC for a week or two over Christmas (feels guilty about late review)…

  19. Natalie Munn May 6, 2010 at 2:17 PM #

    I’ve recently been comparing Goodreads and Library thing and today noticed The Windup Girl had 148 reviews on GR compared to only 15 on LT. That’s quite a difference for a popular, fairly new title. I enjoy discovering new books to read through friends’ and user reviews so it was interesting to me to notice such a big difference in the number of users reviewing a particular title. Anyone experienced similar or completely different levels of participation for other genres/titles?

About Me

Angela James

There is nothing worse than writing a bio. And writing one for your blog sidebar? Blech. Maybe you landed here via Google, followed me from Twitter (does that make you a stalker?) or maybe we met at a conference or you clicked a link from a comment I made at a blog you visited. Hopefully whatever I said didn't make you so mad you came looking for a picture to throw darts at (yep, that's me up above, in my favorite cowboy hat) but instead drove you to find out more about the amazingly witty and intelligent person behind the amazingly witty and intelligent comment.

However you found me, who you found is Angela James, executive editor of Carina Press, Harlequin's new digital-first press. I'm passionate about digital publishing, my mission is to drag people to the digital dark side, one reader (and author) at a time. I'm also Brianna's mommy. At my blog you'll get an odd mix of personal and professional posts about parenting, publishing, books, cooking, sewing and life in general. Come back often, comment frequently and go green—buy ebooks!

Please note that this is my personal blog and my opinions are neither that of Harlequin, nor representative of their opinions.


Find Me Here

First, I blog once or twice a week at theCarina Press blog, talking about the job, the authors, the books and other things Carina Press. And, of course, you can always find me on Twitter. Or Facebook, if you prefer (mostly the same content, one feeds the other). I also run the Carina Press Twitter and Facebook accounts. Social media, it's where it's at (well, it's where I'm at, anyway).

Follow me on Twitter


Recent Comments

  • Blythe Gifford:
    "Let me reiterate the point about knowing where the exits/fire stairs are. If there is smoke in the..."
  • Ella Quinn:
    "Great advice. I’ll be there with business cards, and I’m excited to meet people I know from..."
  • Maria Powers:
    "Stay aware of who is around you especially in the evenings. Carry a smaller purse that you can wear..."
  • Yasmine Galenorn:
    "Hell yes. Very good post and also, keep an eye on who might be following you as you head back to..."
  • Jeffe Kennedy:
    "Good advice, Angela! As a woman who travels a lot by herself for work, too, I totally agree. I also..."