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The StoryGraph: Why I Switched From Goodreads

Updated: Jun 11, 2023

Shelf on bookcase filled with books.

I know many bookworms out there that have already made the switch from Goodreads to StoryGraph like I have, but if you've had your nose in a book and are out of the loop here's the gist of it.

The StoryGraph

The StoryGraph is a book recommendation and tracking app, just like Goodreads, but there are few key differences. Their tagline: "because life's too short for a book you're not in the mood for," may capture the free app's initial goal, but it has since grown into something built for readers by readers.

#1 Supporting Minorities

One of the main reasons so many readers (including myself) made the switch from Goodreads was because they were looking for an app not owned by Amazon.

The bonus of StoryGraph, we quickly realized, was that it is not only a black-owned business, but a woman-owned one. The desktop site turned mobile app is run and built by Nadia Odunayo and Rob Frelow, and it started as a personal side project of Nadia's.

#2 Import from Goodreads

I noticed right away that I could import my Goodreads library into this new app and I wouldn't have to start from scratch.

I'd already been using Goodreads for several years and part of my hesitancy with switching was the sheer amount of time and energy I'd have to commit to switching over my online library of books. But all I had to do was export my library from Goodreads in an excel spreadsheet and upload it to StoryGraph. I think it took all of five minutes.

Story Graph Stats Mood screenshot.

#3 Actually Useful Book Stats

When I made the switch it was around the same time I was trying to understand my reading habits and refine what went on my TBR list, and what wouldn't make the cut. The feature that drove the app forward was the Mood filter.

I read 14 books in 2021, and the majority of them were reflective, inspiring, and adventurous with 57% at a medium pace. I also know that 43% of the books I read were under 300 pages and another 43% were between 300-499 pages. The stats also break down fiction vs. nonfiction, genre, and more. Now I actually have a clear idea of what books I gravitate towards.

Story Graph preferences page screenshot.

#4 AI Formed Recommendations

I think the coolest feature of Storygraph is the AI system. When you first sign up there is a short quiz to fill out that doesn't just ask about favourite genres or books you like, but also asks about books you don't like, characteristics you enjoy the most, books you're always in the mood for vs. one's you're really not.

And it acts as a simple tagging system, just separate everything with a comma (and you can go back and edit your answers anytime).

#5 The Community

While the community feature at present is limited as compared to Goodreads, you can still connect with friends, host or join book challenges and clubs, and keep a private reading journal to track your progress. Currently I'm also recording this journal over on the MicroBlog as I read through Bonfire by Krysten Ritter. Check it out here.

Story Graph Genres page.

#6 The Thoughtful Features

I also like the Content Warnings feature. It means I don't have to scour around the internet looking for specific content warnings I can simply select the book I want to read and see what other users have flagged. After having read so much fanfiction as a teen, this was a feature I really enjoyed seeing.

DNF and Owned tags are built-in and you can create different "shelves" or tags just like you can in Goodreads. You can also add in books not currently within their database, leave half and quarter stars on reviews, and are allowed five books on an Up Next queue.

#7 The Modern Interface

I'm a very visual person. I'm in marketing, I love web design. Goodreads is outdated. Visually it's old and boring. I'm not worrying about being nice here. So while Storygraph is plain black and white with a bit of blue, the interface is modern, clean, and so easy to navigate. And if you sign up for their Plus Plan you have access to beta features and can even submit new ideas of your own.

Final Thoughts

All in all, I strongly recommend StoryGraph. While it is still a new app and community, it is so much more user-focused than Goodreads (and it's not owned by Amazon!). It's truly built for readers by readers. You can follow me here.

Thanks for reading!

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