21 Best Goodreads Alternatives for Ethical Book Tracking

Options for Goodreads alternatives

This article is a part of an ongoing series on how to minimize or eliminate Amazon use from our lives. We’re highlighting the best Amazon alternatives for those with ethical, moral, or environmental qualms with the trillion-dollar company.

Goodreads is fine. It’s a simple tool that allows you to keep track of how many books you read from year to year, connect with other readers, and discover more books to add to your queue...

The only problem is that, since 2015, it’s been owned by Amazon — the multinational megacorporation with a number of environmental and ethical concerns. 

This is a problem for anyone concerned about handing over their data to Amazon — or for anyone working to completely divest from Amazon tools.

(For those who fall into that camp, we’ve already written guides on alternatives to: Prime Video, Audible, Amazon books, Amazon Kindle, and Amazon shopping.)

While there’s nothing inherently wrong with using Goodreads — I have 93 books logged on Goodreads this year alone — it’s natural to be curious about non-Amazon alternatives.

In my own quest to divest from Amazon wherever I can, I’ve put together a comprehensive list of all of the platforms I’ve tried and recommend — with everything from direct competitors to social networks, plus some out-of-the-box options, too.

First, a few reasons why you might consider switching away from Goodreads:

  • Amazon profits off of data — and everything you do on Goodreads gives them more data to work with.
  • Many authors report experiencing bullying and extortion on the platform. (If you’re a book lover, we’d really encourage you to be a human-who-writes-those-books lover, too.)
  • Goodreads subtly encourages you to buy books from Amazon and Audible… but you could be checking out books from your local library or supporting an independent bookstore.
  • Goodreads has lots of ads and all of that ad money goes back to Amazon. 
  • Ever since Goodreads was acquired by Amazon, users have reported that it’s been largely neglected and, at this point, lacks features that are now standard from competitors.

The Ultimate Guide To Goodreads Alternatives —

The StoryGraph

The StoryGraph, showing data about books

The StoryGraph is a website and app that allows users to discover and share books. Users can create a virtual bookshelf, rate and review books, and participate in online book clubs and discussions. The StoryGraph is a new platform that aims to be a more inclusive and community-focused alternative to Goodreads.

True to its name, The StoryGraph is known for its compelling graphs, turning your book data into helpful visuals. If you’re a data nerd like me, this is an especially enticing feature.

One thing that I found really helpful is that the platform makes it easy to import your entire Goodreads history to The StoryGraph — ensuring you don’t have to manually re-create years of book progress.

Most notably: The StoryGraph focuses on providing personalized recommendations based on a user’s preferences and interests. (Goodreads’ approach to book discovery is much more general and less personalized.) 

​​→ Check out The StoryGraph

Booksloth

Bookslot screenshot, showing book clubs and recommendations

Booksloth is a mobile and web app that makes it easy to log the books you read and discover new books based on personalized recommendations. 

As you log books, you can go beyond the traditional star-rating by rating books based on, for example, characters or worldbuilding.

It’s clear the platform has invested in its community-focused features; creating discussion boards to chat about books and allow you to connect with other readers (in a text message-type format). 

You can create a profile that looks a lot like Instagram for books. And you can also create and share book lists, which is a very helpful feature for anyone who has friends asking them what they should read next. 

​​→ Check out Booksloth

Basmo

Basmo’s primary goal is to help users “create a reading habit in no time.” 

The app includes features that feel like writing in the margins of your book or highlighting your favorite quotes — all without actually pulling out a pen or highlighter. You can log your emotions as you read to help you reflect on how a book is impacting you. Digital annotaters, unite!

Like Goodreads, Basmo makes it easy to keep track of the books you’re reading, you’ve completed, and want to read — all on a digital bookshelf. 

Basmo also features annual challenges — which makes achieving New Year’s resolutions easy! You can focus on how much time you want to read — or how many books you’d like to complete.

I actually originally found the platform on TikTok and was amazed at how many positive comments people had left about the app. I tried it out and it hooked me. Absolutely worth a download.

​​​​→ Check out Basmo

Libib

Libib: Automatic data for books, movies, music, and video games

While Libib is a cataloging tool meant to be used by libraries, schools, and organizations — it’s a really incredible tool for anyone with a big collection of books.

You can keep track of the books you own, the books you read, and even the books you loan out to friends — all in a comprehensive library management system. You can even take it further by tracking your DVD, vinyl, and board game collections.

If you want to get really nerdy about it, check out this TikTok about how one book lover uses a barcode scanner to add all of her books to Libib just like a library or bookstore.

​​→ Check out Libib

Bookly

Bookly is all about tracking reading sessions — not just books. Every time you read, open up the Bookly app to start your reading timer. This will help you keep track of your reading speed — which will tell you how much time it will take you to finish your book and other valuable data.

I also like that the timer feature keeps me motivated to stay focused on actually reading (instead of accidentally checking my notifications).

Bookly offers personalized reports with all of your reading stats — and helps motivate you to treat reading like a workout. As you read, you can save thoughts and quotes — and see how you’re measuring up against your goals.

​​→ Check out Bookly

Likewise

Likewise is the perfect app for anyone looking to track and discover all kinds of media in one place. The app can help you manage books, movies, TV shows, podcasts, and more.

As you add more media that you’ve read, watched, or listened to, Likewise learns what you like and offers better and better personalized recommendations. The app  also makes it easy to connect with community and find content about media. 

​​→ Check out Likewise

#Bookstagram & #BookTok

This one is a bit more out-of-the-box:

Bookstagram and BookTok are terms used to describe the community of book lovers and readers who share their passion for books on Instagram and TikTok, respectively. 

Bookstagrammers and BookTokkers, as they are often called, typically post pictures and videos of books, book-related items, and their own reading experiences on their accounts, and often use hashtags to connect with other book lovers. 

Bookstagram and BookTok are known for their vibrant and creative communities, and are seen as a way for readers to discover new books, share their love of reading, and connect with others who share their interests. At this point, it’s not uncommon to walk into a bookstore and see a shelf with a sign that says, “As seen on TikTok.”

Many people have begun using Instagram and TikTok as the primary place they track the books they’ve read. By posting a photo, video, screenshot, or review of every book you read on your dedicated book-related account, you can effectively create a complete database of the books you read and love.

Even if you don’t want to step in front of the camera, following other creators is a fantastic way to find new book recommendations. You can even create folders on your respective apps to save posts and curate your own TBR list, with the help of a diverse reading community.

(And who knows — if your account picks up enough steam, you’ll likely get publishers DMing you to send you free books to review!)

Notion, Airtable, or Google Sheets

Notion book tracker screenshot

Sometimes you just want to take things back to basics. Rather than using a high-powered app to track your reading, you can simply put together a database or spreadsheet to keep track of the books you read.

This is especially beneficial if you want to track custom metrics, like how many of your books were written by women authors or Indigenous authors. You can even use tags to organize books into curated lists.

It definitely takes a lot more manual action — but if you already love nerding out about databases and spreadsheets, you know this has the potential to be worth the effort.

→ Check out the Notion book tracker template

LibraryThing

Screenshot of LibraryThing's biggest Goodreads-related features

LibraryThing boasts its ability to help you “create and track a library-quality catalog” of all of your books (and other media). You can track the books you’ve read — or just manage your home library. 

The platform’s database pulls from the Library of Congress (and hundreds more places) and pulls in a ton of data for each listing.

You can also connect with a community of book lovers through groups and message boards — which seem to stay pretty active. 

​​→ Check out LibraryThing

BookTrib

Screenshot of BookTrib, showing 'Nightstand'

While BookTrip is primarily an online magazine for book news and reviews, the website has one fantastic feature we can’t help but recommend: My Nightstand.

As you read articles and reviews on BookTrib, you’ll see a small green button that simply says “Nightstand.” Tap that, and BookTrib will automatically add whatever book you’re reading about to… your nightstand — a list of books you’d like to read. 

Within a week of reading BookTrib stories, I’d already discovered a dozen books that piqued my interest — and added them to My Nightstand. This feature is perfect for book discovery and simple tracking.

​​→ Check out BookTrib

Google

Google (which is, of course, another multinational corporation with its own concerns) has, under-the-radar, created its own simple way to help you keep track of the content you consume. (As long as you’re on your phone, that is.)

From the mobile version of Google.com or the Google app, you can simply search for an author or book (or even an entire genre). Then, you should be able to tap to add the book to your reading list or mark it as already read.

You can also search (again, only on mobile) for “what to read” to find and update your reading lists. This also works for movies and TV shows. Over time, it’ll show recommendations too. (More details on the Google Help page.)

To be honest, I haven’t been able to make this work with every book, as the option to add it to my list doesn’t always show up. Google has a history of launching apps or tools only to discontinue them later — so I’m not ready to go all-in on this yet.

But, if this does end up working out in the long run, it could be a really simple way to log your reading history and — especially — easily add new discoveries to your to-read list.

Your Library

Library page showing the ability to mark books as in-progress or completed

An underrated way to keep track of your reading history is through your library’s website! Most libraries use a software (for mine, it’s BiblioCommons) that allows you to log into your account and add books to your reading history and other lists — whether or not you checked them out from the library. 

It may not be the most comprehensive tool out there, but there’s something special about logging into your library to log the newest book you’ve read.

Notes App

Notes app screenshot of a reading list

Last but not least, if you just want to log books as you read them, there’s nothing more simple than an ongoing note in your Notes app. Just type out the name of the book you just read and move on with your day. Add a few star emojis at the end if you want to get fancy. 

You can even take a screenshot and post to Instagram at the end of the year. Easy. 

Final Thoughts —

Based on my experience using Goodreads alternatives, I have a few final thoughts and recommendations:

  • The StoryGraph is the platform most poised to be a Goodreads-killer. It has all of the same benefits and features of Goodreads — just better. I especially think it’s better at providing data and insight about my reading habits — and recommending books I wouldn’t otherwise find.
  • The only thing that Goodreads still wins on is community. More of my friends use Goodreads than any other platform combined. I really value seeing what my friends are reading (and love when they comment on what I’ve read) and for that reason, I’m going to have a hard time fully quitting Goodreads anytime soon. (But definitely feel free to send your bibliophile friends this article, so they can jump on a new platform, too!)
  • If I had to pick a runner-up to The StoryGraph, I’d ultimately find a deadlocked tie between Basmo, Booksloth, and Bookly (wow, that’s a lot of b-words). They’re all great for different reasons, and have great design and simple apps.
  • If you want to track more than just books (like movies and shows), I think Likewise is the way to go.
  • And lastly, I really can’t speak highly enough of just picking a place to keep track of your books and sticking with it. No platform is perfect, but you’ll find the most success with just staying with a routine. For two years I posted an Instagram Story for every book I finished, and saved it to a Highlight. For a period of time I logged the books I read in my Notes app. You can even simply text the same friend every time you finish a new book. There’s no wrong way to do it.

More Alternatives —

I’ll also note that, during the course of writing this article I stumbled across a number of other platforms that I haven’t yet been able to formally review yet.

I’ll include them here and continue to update this article over time:

  • Lit Hit. — A young app that allows you to swipe left and right on books
  • Anobii — Intentionally positions itself as an independent alternative to Goodreads
  • BookBrowse — Seemingly comprehensive tool, but its design aesthetic feels older than Goodread’s already-old vibe
  • BookLikes — While other blogs recommend BookLikes, it doesn’t appear to be very active or up-to-date
  • TBR (Tailored Book Recommendations) — Pay them money to have a literary expert mail you three books they think you’ll love
  • Oku — A gorgeous, minimalist design and lots of features! I’ll definitely try this platform next.
  • BookWyrm — This proudly anti-corporate and decentralized platform can connect with other decentralized platforms like Mastodon
  • Hardcover — Another beautifully-designed platform with plenty of features (and Goodreads import capabilities)! I’ll be trying this one soon, as well.

Article Details

December 8, 2022 11:09 AM
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