BookendsSunday Salon

Which is better – GoodReads or Library Thing?





I joined both Goodreads and Library Thing a few months ago, only because I kept seeing these on other people’s blogs so thought they would be good communities in which to get involved. But I’ve not really done much with them – partly because I don’t fully understand how they work and also because I’m not sure which would suit my interests/needs the best.

By good fortune, I’ve been given a helping hand this last week. Firstly, Laura at Musings introduced me to the idea of tutored reads which are available at LibraryThing. (thank you Laura!) Unlike ‘readalongs’ there is no set timetable for these which is great because I don’t want to feel I have to read a certain number of pages by a certain date. I have enough deadlines at work thank you.  For those of you interested, there are some tutored reads within the 75 books in 2012 group.

And then I found an excellent review on Book Riot (which is a site I am getting to like more and more) in which Good Reads and Library Thing were compared – the two posts consider aspects such as ease of use, cataloguing and indexing, quality and range of groups, who the users are etc.

While both sites have their pluses and minuses, the conclusion I drew was that Good Reads is a bit like Facebook but if you want more ‘serious’ discussion, then Library Thing is probably the better option. So that’s the one that I’ll be using most – if any of you are users of LibraryThing and want to connect, I’m known as Mercury57 on that site.

Here are the links




What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

11 thoughts on “Which is better – GoodReads or Library Thing?

  • I know this site provides quality depending content
    and additional information, iis therfe any other web page which gives
    these kinds of things in quality?

  • I am not sure where you’re getting your information, but great topic.

    I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more.
    Thanks for excellent info I was looking for this info for my mission.

  • Thanks for the comparison. I will be looking into LibraryTHing and BookVibe more thoroughly once ABEA is over.

  • It seems like all the ratings on GoodReads wind up being about 3.5 to 4.0 stars – difficult to tell the losers from the winners. Haven’t really gotten into LibraryThing yet.
    My favorite for the Booker, ‘The Ublikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry’, has already been eliminated, so don’t have a favorite at this point.

    • I struggle with the whole ratings thing which is why I never do it on my own blog reviews. I understand the reason for only giving a 1-5 rating option is to force you to come down one way or another but it’s hard to rate books which are god in some parts and not so good in others.

  • I need to spend more time exploring Good Reads and Library Thing. I haven’t used them much yet. Thanks for the tips

  • I joined Goodreads last January 2011 mainly because I wanted to maintain an online catalogue of my books. With a little exploration, I stumbled upon an online-offline book club based in my country. Ever since, I’ve been an active member. We just had a book discussion this morning, and it’s great, as always.

    So I suggest that you take some time to explore the groups. You might find the right one where there are readers you’ll click with. 🙂

  • I signed up to Goodreads because I was using a Facebook app (My Bookshelf? I forget now) that closed up shop but allowed you to transfer all your data to Goodreads before it disappeared. I have one group on there that I interact with a lot (The Readers) but otherwise it’s a tracking tool for me mostly. Now that I have five years’ worth of data on there I’d rather not move to another site, even if the conversations are better/more in depth, but I can see why that appeals.

    • Was it called Shelfari? Having invested 5 years of effort I can see why you wouldn’t want to change now. Luckily I haven’t invested much in either so can easily change….

  • I have been with Goodreads since 2008. I post reviews, track books read, TBR, and current reads. And connect with other readers in groups.

    I am also on Library Thing, but only go there to check out upcoming books.

    Enjoy your explorations.


    • I think once you have got familiar with a particular tool or site and invested time in it, there is probably no compelling reason to change. Any recommendations for groups on Good Reads?


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