[CONSUMER GUIDE] Level up the reading experience with Goodreads or Storygraph
January 17, 2023
Whether a fan of fiction or nonfiction, graphic novels or poetry, romance or mystery, book tracking apps can be a great addition to every reader’s cellphone. Tracking books and building a digital library helps to keep the reading process organized and fun, and is simple to do. There are many apps on the market that manage reading progress, generate book recommendations, and more, but two of the best options available are Goodreads and Storygraph. What are the pros and cons of these platforms, and which one is the best personal fit? Keep reading to learn more.
Available on: App Store, Play Store, website
Goodreads has been around since 2006 and is one of the most popular book-tracking apps among readers, sitting at No. 4 on the App Store in the Books category. Goodreads is straight-forward to use with many excellent features for any book-lover.
Upon opening the app, users will see different tabs, including Home, My Books, Discover and My Profile.
The Profile page displays the user’s preferred genres and reading lists to anyone else on the app who clicks on their profile. Users are able to interact with others in the Goodreads community easily, whether joining a group centered around a particular author or genre, or simply adding friends on the app. This is beneficial for readers who enjoy discussing their favorite stories with others.
The Discover page is highly personalized, providing recommendations based on books each user has read and which genres they prefer. This page also offers lists of books such as “Most read this week” or “Trending with Goodreads members” to give further suggestions and keep readers up to date on the latest releases and most popular novels.
The Home page offers a feed personalized similarly to the Discover page. When scrolling through this tab, readers will find the newest and hottest books in their favorite genres. Additionally, the Home page is where readers can see friend activity, including their friends’ reviews and books they mark to read later.
The My Books tab displays the user’s shelves and reading activity. Goodreads auto-generates the Read, Want to Read and Currently Reading shelves, but creating additional shelves to further digitally organize books is also an option. Once a book enters the Currently Reading category, the reader can track their progress by entering what page number they are on, which also allows Goodreads to generate the percentage of the book that is finished. These statistics provide helpful information throughout the reading process. When the book is finished, the reader can also give it a public review through a star rating, a written description, or both. In the My Books tab, other features included are the Year in Books and the Reading Challenge, in which users can set reading goals for the year.
Though all aspects of the app are high-quality, one notable downside to choosing Goodreads to track books is that the app is owned by Amazon, a company with some controversy behind its name. Not only is Amazon a giant corporation, but it has been known to treat its employees poorly, which may be a reason to think twice before downloading Goodreads.
Overall, though, Goodreads offers a robust collection of tools to boost the reading experience for its users. Much of the app can be personalized and it is easy to switch between tabs, search for books, and write reviews.
Available on: App Store, Play Store, website
Storygraph was created in 2019, making it a much newer, lesser-known book-tracking app than Goodreads. However, it still sits at No. 6 on the App Store in the Books category, making itself a legitimate competitor. Storygraph has a lot of similarities to Goodreads, with a more basic app layout and a few different features.
When users open the app, they can switch between four tabs—the Home page, Statistics page, Community page and Profile page.
The Home page displays any books the user is currently reading, as well as the To-Read Pile, recommendations, and popular books. Just as Goodreads does, book progress is tracked through inputting page numbers which then translate to the percentage of the book that is finished.
The Statistics page is the most unique part of Storygraph that sets it apart from competitors in the book tracking world. This tab shows statistics for years or months of reading through colorful graphs. The information tracked and shared by Storygraph includes the average moods, pace, page number, and genre of the books read by the app’s user. Providing specific statistics to readers, and their visual presentation, are certainly advantages Storygraph can provide.
The Community tab does not have much in it aside from updates of what other users have been reading and reviewing, as well as a search bar to find friends on the app.
Finally, the Profile page displays some of the same information as the Home page, like recently read books, to-read books, and books the user is currently reading. The one unique addition to the profile is a brief summary of the genre, mood, pace, and length of books that the reader engages in most, which gives others viewing the profile an idea of the type of reader they are.
In contrast with Goodreads, it is worth noting that Storygraph is a woman-owned business founded by Nadia Odunayo. This aspect of the company makes it more advantageous to support than some of its competitors, and perhaps more ethically sound than supporting Goodreads and Amazon.
In all, Storygraph is a simple app that is user-friendly and offers the unique feature of personalized reading statistics that can take the reading game to the next level. Though it doesn’t have many differences from the ever-popular Goodreads, Storygraph is worth considering when downloading a reading tracker.
Storygraph’s statistics page is a great feature, but aside from that, Goodreads offers a higher-quality experience for the user because Storygraph has such a simple app design”
Both Storygraph and Goodreads have functional, useful tools for tracking books and reading progress, but they do have some key differences that set one apart from the other. From an ethicality standpoint, Storygraph is the clear choice to support a smaller, female-owned business, rather than a massive, abusive corporation.
However, in terms of the app itself, the favor lies with Goodreads. Storygraph’s statistics page is a great feature, but aside from that, Goodreads offers a higher-quality experience for the user because Storygraph has such a simple app design. Goodreads places a greater emphasis on community through reading and provides more ways for readers to connect with one another. Additionally, the app gives each reader much more robust recommendations and book lists to browse for reading material. Finally, Goodreads is more aesthetically-pleasing with a fun and clever layout.