Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Goodreads or LibraryThing?


I've been a member of a free account at LibraryThing since 2007. I'm not sure if I'd want to upgrade to a lifetime membership at a fee of $25. That will be around RM84.70 (Malaysian Ringgit). Lots of book bloggers have been steadfastly using LibraryThing but what's all the hype around Goodreads???

Now I'm confused. Which one is better? Okay, Goodreads earns one point as it's free to use whereas LibraryThing only allows us to catalogue up to 200 books for free. After that, it's $10/year or $25 for life.

BUT, from some of the reviews and analyses I've found through Google regarding these two book cataloging sites, some users prefer LibraryThing as it provides detailed information on a book. It also enables book searches from more sources than Goodreads. Let's say you want to catalog a rare book, then chances are that it'll be 'found' via LibraryThing.

If social networking is what you're looking for, then Goodreads will be the better choice as its focus is more on making friends. LibraryThing, it seems, attracts serious readers who don't give one-word reviews like those, supposedly, in Goodreads.

Therefore, I decided to do a search on Google for user reviews of these online library sites! :) These were some of the sites and blogs that I came upon:

1. Felicity from delved into the pros and cons of the two sites. Do read the comments on her post too. Pretty interesting feedback she's got there.

2. For a quick comparison, then check out DearMYRTLE's post.

3. Matt from Spudart lists out the effectiveness of available features from LibraryThing and Goodreads.

4. Ryan Burrell not only reviews two but THREE popular online libraries, which are LibraryThing, Goodreads and Shelfari. I haven't used Shelfari and don't intend to create an account there anyway.

5. And finally, hop on over to Kristie (J)'s post, Book Cataloguing - An analysis of online sites where she compares LibraryThing, Shelfari and Goodreads. She has even included snapshots of her excel spreadsheet that she's been using for over 10 years! Now, that's cataloging for you.

Well, I guess it all boils down to what you need. Each online library caters to different target groups who'll know how to make the most out of it. If one site ain't enough for you, there's no harm in creating accounts in other sites too. :) Though it'll definitely take more time to maintain all those accounts.


  1. I use Goodreads and I agree that it's great for social networking. I like the way it's organized better than LibraryThing or Shelfari. Although I post reviews there, I depend more on Amazon for reviews.

  2. Personally, I love goodreads. I would hate for someone to tell me I'm not a serious reader because I just like GR more.

    I also think there's a big difference between being a serious reader and being a serious cataloguer.

    Although, perhaps I am focusing on just one thing. I like goodreads' interface. I like the people I've met on GR, I like discussing books in groups I've joined on GR.

    While I do have an LT account and Shelfari, I think my heart remains with GR.

  3. Hi! It's Matt from Spudart. Thanks for the link!

    Yup, I think it really comes down to do you want to catalogue your books for yourself? or do you want to share book reviews with friends?

    Now if you could get your friends to join librarything, then you get all benefits of goodreads. It just happens that I have friends on goodreads and not on librarything.

    And then it's funny, one day last year I accidentally emailed my entire address book invites to goodreads. If I was gonna spam everyone, I wish it was at least with librarything instead. But alas, goodreads is nice. And now I know a TON of people on goodreads. So that's kinda nice.

    Actually, now i have to import a bunch of new books. Hmmm, I guess I'll be doing it to both librarything and goodreads.

  4. StephanieD: Amazon does have better and more critical reviews. Oh, Goodreads has better organisation? Will check that out! Thanks!

    April: Actually nobody can tell us if we're serious readers or not. They don't have the right to do so and we can be serious or casual readers if we want to! :) Well, we can't really generalize that everyone who's a serious reader uses LibraryThing. It's absurd.

    Wow, you have 3 accounts??? :D Hope it doesn't take a lot of time to manage them.

    Matt: Hey there, thanks for dropping by! Hmm, if I wanted to read reviews, I'll just go blog-hopping. :) Reviews will be more detailed.

    LOL. That's an interesting story you have there. Perhaps you could 'spam' them with LibraryThing next.

    I tried to import my books from LT to Goodreads but it failed. So I gave up.

  5. I much prefer Shelfari..probably because I started with it. I also have an account with LibraryThing and Book Blogs.

    I am not sure, it is very time-consuming maintaining lists on all these things. I do wish there was one app that would let me upload my book titles to all 3 sites at once

    Sigh! if wishes were horses :(

    Thanks for posting all these links. I will definitely be reading these posts to find out what exactlty is it that I am missing

  6. Hi Josette! I have both but am more active on LibraryThing. My complete book catalog is on LT. :)

  7. I honestly have had accounts on all three, and I like GoodReads best. I didn't know that LibraryThing is pay now! Having more than 600 books, that wouldn't work for me.


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