Diary of a Bookseller #22
I’ve been looking to cut Amazon out of my bookish life for quite some time now, but because of a cruel twist of fate from the publishers during the pandemic, I’ll never be able to go fully without it (one of these days I’ll share why I had to break out my 10+ year old Kindle to do my job as an independent bookseller). But what I can do, is stop using Goodreads.
In searching for an alternative, I was hesitant to leave a platform that is frequently people’s first stop in adding new releases to their TBR since a lot of my reading is for books that aren’t being publisher for a good 3-12 months (I’m reading books coming out in September 2022 right now) and I feared going to a platform where I would continuously need to be the one adding titles that weren’t yet out.
I also, for being a bookseller, have pretty crappy retention – if I don’t write about a book right away, I tend not to remember it at all, and because I write less objective plot reviews and more about the feelings and moods a book inspires in me, my reviews aren’t that helpful to me months down the road when I’m trying to remember what a book is actually about. I haven’t found anything better than Goodreads for helping me to remember the content of a book.
Enter Farrah from Buzzfeed. I’m kind of obsessed with Buzzfeed, being the millennial that I am, and my husband’s artwork was once featured in one of their listicles so that was also pretty cool. I follow their book recommendation lists a lot (market research for my job!) and was really excited when Farrah wrote about this new thing called StoryGraph.
Now I’m still quite new to the platform and she explains it far better than I probably will, but from a real user perspective, I’m really liking it. It allows not only for reviewing books, but tags and categories, as well as sharing any content warnings or positives in the book. The rating system is super detailed (1-5 but with quarter ratings in between so you can rate a book 3.25 if you want!) and it lets you share the overall emotional feel of the book. Add to that the ability to rate the pacing, character development and diversity and you’ve got me hooked!
From now on, instead of linking to the book page on Goodreads, I’m going to link to the book page on The StoryGraph. So I encourage you, think about making the switch, or, as I’m likely to do for awhile, use both until you see which you like better. I, for one, have tried many other reading apps and websites and none has had me this excited since, well, Goodreads.