May 27, 2022
How Do You Track Your Reading?
Or Do You Track Your Reading?
*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.
This post is inspired by the Let’s Talk Bookish topic hosted by Aria @ Book Nook Bits. This post is also an entry for the 2022 Discussion Challenge hosted by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight. Finally, Bec @ Bec&Books has also inspired me to share my experiment and thoughts about Goodreads and Story Graph.
In my opinion, tracking your reading is a satisfying part of the reading life. Why?
- Tracking allows you to notice how your tastes and habits change over time
- Tracking encourages you to balance your reading life (fiction vs nonfiction, diverse reads, etc.)
- Tracking holds you accountable (in the very best ways)
- Tracking appeals to readers who love stats and lists
- Tracking encourages reflection
How do you track your reading?
- Some readers track their reading by creating a unique hashtag on Instagram for their pictures
- Some readers use a commercial Reading Journal (like this one for example)
- Some readers make their own reading journals using a blank notebook like this one (Bullet Journal approach)
- Some readers use an app such as Goodreads
- Some readers use an Excel spreadsheet
- Some readers take screenshots and save them in their camera rolls
- Some readers simply make a list somewhere
There is not one preferred method for tracking. It’s whatever works for you. I use Goodreads, Story Graph, and an Excel Spreadsheet. Overkill?!?!
Tracking Apps: GoodReads Vs. Story Graph
For years, I have used Goodreads (GR). Other book tracking platforms have attracted my attention from time to time, but I was never tempted until Story Graph (SG).
Story Graph seems to be gaining a great deal of traction in the book community, so I devoted last year to using BOTH Goodreads and Story Graph to compare and contrast.
Pros and Cons of GR and SG:
Ownership: GR is owned by Amazon and SG is independently and black-owned. This one difference has caused many readers to switch to SG in an effort to support independent and black-owned businesses.
Finding Books: Because I read a multitude of new releases, I have more difficulty finding them in SG’s database than in GR. It’s easy enough to add any title to SG but it’s a time-consuming extra step.
Bookshelves: I really enjoy creating virtual bookshelves on GR, and I like that I can see the bookshelves of the readers I follow. I enjoy shelving books in genres and categories. SG utilizes tags in lieu of shelving books. These tags are private so your friends on SG do not have access to your tags like followers on GR would have access to browse your shelves.
Reading Challenges: You can set reading challenges on GR and SG. Although in SG, you also have the option of setting page goals which some readers prefer.
Reading Community: GR has a robust and active reading community you can join and I have joined several groups. SG has a buddy read option that looks fun! For either app, you need to cultivate friends and followers to fill your feed.
The App: I have found that to do certain things on Goodreads, I need to be in the website version (and not the app). I keep both icons side by side on my ipad for this purpose. As far as I can tell, I can do everything I want to do on the SG app without having to go to a website.
Making Notes: Even though it’s been explained to me, I cannot figure out how to make notes on a book I’m reading while using GR. Because I use the highlighting feature on my kindle for actual notes, I’ve given up using this feature on GR … but the SG notes/journal option is much easier to find!
Graphs: Here’s where SG SHINES! With the click of a button, you can generate graphs that represent your reading. Here are some examples from my 2021 End of Year Report.
Support: I have had good luck receiving prompt and helpful support from GR on the very few occasions I have contacted them. On SG, I like that the support option is right there at the bottom of every page so that you won’t have to wonder how to contact support or look for contact information. I have never contacted SG, but I’ve heard they are responsive.
Switching Over to Story Graph: Getting set up with SG was straightforward and I was able to import my GR data into SG with the click of a button. (shelves came over as “tagged”).
Interface: GR app opens to your “feed” (community page) and from there you can navigate to your books page (currently reading, read, shelves, etc). The SG app has all your reading data on your home page. From there you can visit your “community” page. For me, SG seems a bit more intuitive and easier to maneuver compared with GR (where I often need to use the actual website to use certain settings). Goodreads (when you consider the website options) seems a bit more sophisticated in its settings. In both GR and RG, readers can DNF books and become “librarians.”
Friends and Followers: Because GR opens in the “news feed” section, you have the ability to interact with other readers immediately by liking their reviews or commenting. I gain friends and followers on GR without exerting any effort. In 6 years on GR, I have 663 friends/followers. On SG after 1 1/2 years, I have 6 friends. My experience is that GR is more social than SG. I’m here at Goodreads and you can find me on SG @ reading_ladies_blog.
Reviews: On both GR and SG you have the option of star ratings. However, SG offers .5, .25, and.75 star options whereas GR has only a full star rating system. Many readers feel this one feature is a significant benefit for switching to SG. After you enter a star rating on GR you have the opportunity to leave a written review and/or to select a shelf or shelves for your book. When you write a review on goodreads, the only place to put Trigger Warnings is into the text of your review….. there is a “spoiler” option that will hide your review if it contains spoilers. When you want to review a book on SG, you are presented with many options (checkboxes) such as mood/tone, pace, plot/character notes, and star rating. There is also a pull-down menu for trigger or content warnings. Finally, you are given the option of formulating an actual written review. When you are searching for a book on SG, the Content Warnings are hidden until you choose to see them. This is an advantage over GR where the content warning can appear in the text of a review and may contain spoilers.
Name Recognition: Goodreads is more commonly used and recognized. Story Graph is growing in popularity. However, when readers think about tracking apps, Goodreads is most likely the first name that comes to mind. Readers who have switched over to the Story Graph app seem to have done so primarily because they reject Amazon (who owns Goodreads).
Well…..after one year of using both, I couldn’t decide to use one over the other, so I’m still using both. I will likely continue using both for the foreseeable future. One thing to note is that SG is always making improvements, so if you haven’t used it for a while, you might want to check it out again! How about you? Have you tried one or the other…or both?
Do you track your reading?
What method do you use for tracking reading?
Happy Reading Book Buddies!
“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke
“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes
“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text
Let’s Get Social!
Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.
***Blog posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.
Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.
Book Cover and author photos are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.