Blogger: Janet Kobobel Grant
Okay, we’ve all heard about Goodreads being purchased by Amazon. I’d like to use that news as an opportunity to talk about alternative places online to connect with readers.
Some authors and readers are horrified that Goodreads has become part of “the beast” named Amazon. Others are cheerfully looking forward to connecting their Kindles in new ways to their Goodreads accounts. Whatever your stance, this is a great time to remind ourselves that maybe Goodreads isn’t all that; other options do exist.
LibraryThing doesn’t have the good looks of Goodreads, but it’s actually a great place to connect with or create a group of like-minded readers. WWI novels your thing? You can find a group on LibraryThing. Theology your thing? Lots of discussions are taking place on LibraryThing.
Goodreads has more people involved (by a lot!) than LibraryThing so you can find more discussions there, but the list of top discussions leans heavily toward YA. LibraryThing leans more toward brainier discussions or hot topics.
In terms of recommended books, Goodreads is better at helping you to widen your bookshelf. LibraryThing is the opposite. It offers more choices in topics you’re interested in rather than selecting subjects sidled up next to your interests.
In terms of your personal stats, your average rating and how many books are on all your shelves are on your profile page in Goodreads. If you go into your books and click “stats,” you can see your reading broken down by year, how many pages you’ve read, the longest book you’ve read, how many stars you’ve given books, etc.
LibraryThing has a dedicated page for statistics. It shows you how many books you have in your library, all the series in your library and whether your series is “complete.” You also can look at books based on events, characters and places. If you want to find books on your shelf that contain the 1906 California earthquake, you can. The research possibilities are pretty staggering. You also can compare how many of your books are fiction vs. nonfiction, male vs. female authors, live vs. dead authors, etc.
LibraryThing also has lots of discussion centered around spirituality and religion, while Goodreads didn’t even acknowledge inspirational reading as a category when it named its top 2012 books–in a gazillion other categories.
All in all, Goodreads is the popular beauty queen; LibraryThing the brainy stepsister.
Novel Crossing is a new online reading site started by WaterBrook Multnomah to bring readers of inspirational fiction together. Announced in fall 2012, the community is fledgling but a nice place to connect. Even though WaterBrook Multnomah initiated the site, any author can edit his or her own pages, and any publisher of inspirational fiction can place an ad or create a presence for its authors there.
weRead and Bookish also are newbies that you might want to connect with.
What online reading communities are you connected to? Do you go there as a reader or as an author? Will Amazon’s purchase of Goodreads change your preferences?
Will Amazon’s ownership of Goodreads change your “reading group” habits? Click to tweet.
Online reading groups beyond Goodreads. Click to tweet.
Online reading groups writers can connect to. Click to tweet.