Replacing Goodreads

Gavin over at Small Beer Press wrote a passionate post about Amazon buying Goodreads.  I just signed up for the Los Angeles AngelHack. Possibly I can get a new and exciting off the ground.  If you could have ANYTHING in an independent book tracking (and review and recommendation and …) tool, what would it be?  What would make you switch from Goodreads or Librarything?  What would make you use a new tool in addition to what you’re currently using to track your books? 

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~ by mentatjack on April 26, 2013.

7 Responses to “Replacing Goodreads”

  1. If Small Beer’s endorsing it, that’s really all I need. 🙂 Though a visible ‘to read’ list that can be reordered and added to at will, as well as a year in review list (for the books you’ve finished) would be really nice features.

    My main purpose sticking to GoodReads anymore (I stopped reviewing once Amazon bought them) is to keep track of what/how many books I’ve read in any given period.

    • Well, no official endorsement from Small Beer, but Gavin definitely planted the seed in my mind with that article. My stats page is definitely my favorite part of Goodreads. I look forward to improving on that by leaps and bounds! Playing with drag and drop sorting sounds like a ton of fun.

  2. Photograph the spine or cover to catalogue.

    Alert me when authors I follow publish new work.

    A cover-based display that I can order as I want to (i.e. drag/drop in ideosyncratic orderings) and browse like a bookshelf. Add annotations and a “share” option.

    Switching from LT: a decent iOS app, and (very very necessary) a *perfect* data import. Not re-entering my library.

  3. Think maybe WP ate my comment (if not, apologies for what will become double-posting). Some ideas:

    Photograph spines or covers to catalogue.

    Alert me when authors I follow (nb: not the same as everyone I own work by!) publish something new.

    Reorderable cover-based display (drag/drop, so arbitrary ordering possible); let me make a selection from my library, order and annotate, and publish.

    I would leave LT for a decent iOS app, but only if the bulk import from LT was *perfect*. Not re-entering my collection.

    Also I agree with L. Grabenstetter above on two points: *reorderable* to-read list, and time-based views are cool (date published, date acquired, date added to the system, date started/finished reading…).

    • Possibly I need to tweak the comment moderation settings 🙂

      Thanks for your suggestions. Various websites store cover scans including the spine for some books. I think it would be AWESOME to allow the spines to display on a shelf, and knowing that there’s some media available to test with means I could potentially use this as a way to distinguish my app!

      “new publications” is a very interesting problem … reprints, special editions, comic book versions, etc all make it interesting to define “new,” but simple problems aren’t fun problems to solve.

      The emphasis on “perfect” import is intriguing … goodreads and librarything both store data quite differently, but it’s all books, reviews, etc. Again, not a trivial problem, but one that I look forward to tackling.

      I’m an android user, but an app for all the major platforms is definitely a must for any project like this to get off the ground. I suspect that I’ll build an API for much of the functionality which should speed up the development of additional applications … possibly exposing the API early would allow for an ecosystem of apps to grow up around the project …

      As far as all the time stamps go, I’m 100% on board. I love being able to plot my reading habits … I’ve done that by hand at various points in my life (wish I could find some of those crazy graphs). I particularly want to be able to track reading subsets of a book. I read a TON of short fiction and I read collections and anthologies pretty erratically, but there’s no good way to track that in goodreads…

      • Comment moderation: I think it’s just that WP got confused when I logged in and decided I wasn’t the same person who entered the first comment, so it didn’t show me the “awaiting moderation” message for that one.

        Think you’re definitely on the right track to start with an API. I offered Gavin and the same goes for you: if you’d find it helpful to brainstorm some ideas I’d be happy to help. (I work on web app backends most days.)

        One suggestion for the API: if you planning for mobile support, try to design in a “changes feed” to make syncing easy: if this doesn’t get in on the ground floor it can be difficult to bolt on later.

  4. […] went to the event with the ambition to pitch Replacing Goodreads as the inspiration for a project, but I chickened out when the mic was open for pitches. I was […]

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