Goodreads is among the best sites for writers and readers alike. It’s a book club, a recommendation engine, a news site, a scrapbook, an organizer for what you read, and so much more. But that also makes it overwhelming. For simpler sites for book lovers, check out these little-known choices.
Between the different sites, you’ll find ways to do one or more of the things Goodreads excels at. And who knows, you might just find something better too.
1. Riffle (Web): A Social Network for Book Lovers
Riffle looks a bit like it’s Twitter for bibliophiles, but not as overwhelming. The signup process actually adds value, as you get to build your library a bit, get recommendations of people to follow based on your reads, and even find a few book clubs in your physical vicinity.
Your Riffle profile includes what you’re currently reading, as well as what you’ve read in the past. You can also make lists of books that serve as recommendations for others. And as with any library, you are free to add reviews.
Riffle also provides updated lists of people you might like to follow, books you might like to read, and what’s on the New York Times Bestseller list at any time. Along the way, you can make some friends who share your interests and get to know of titles you wouldn’t have otherwise come across.
2. Bookstr (Web): Book News and Articles
Now here’s something Goodreads doesn’t have. As a bibliophile, you’ll want to know what’s releasing soon, which of your favorite authors is writing a new book, or whose novel is turning into a film. Bookstr has all the news and fun articles you’ll want.
As far as book news is concerned, Bookstr is on top of the game, tracking down all the momentous happenings. It also does a good job of giving you some of the more fun things related to books. A great example is this article about an artist who draws Harry Potter book scenes that didn’t make it to the movies.
And of course, there are quizzes, videos, photo galleries, and lists about anything and everything related to books. It might be worth following Bookstr on social media or in your RSS feed.
3. /r/52Book (Reddit): 52 Weeks, 52 Books
Goodreads hosts an annual reading challenge for its users. And “read more books” is one of the popular new year resolutions worldwide. Reddit loves books, and its /r/52Book community is a great support group to increase your reading.
The 52 Book Challenge is simple. You have to read one new book every week for a year. The community encourages you to report your progress, recommend books to each other based on your current mood or list, and generally help each other out.
It’s important to note that the reading challenge is about actually enjoying what you read, and not only completing the challenge. While the year has already started, feel free to jump in now and try to read a new book every week nonetheless.
We also have a few tips for you on how to read 50+ books in a year, if you want to start challenging yourself.
4. Postepic (iOS): Save Quotes From Physical or Ebooks
One of the best parts of Goodreads is that you can save quotes from books and read what others have saved. It obviously helps that Goodreads integrates with Kindle too. But Postepic can do that as well, along with letting you save quotes from physical books.
The above video shows how the app works. Point your phone camera at the page to take a photo, or grab a screenshot on your favourite ebook app. Postepic will turn the image into text, and then you can edit it as well as add things like the author, book title, and so on. Do it enough and you will be able to build a collection of your favourite quotes. And of course, you can share it or read what others have saved.
Postepic is only for iPhone, but Android users can try Google Keep. It has a similar image-to-text conversion, and a few choice tags can categorize your quotes well.
Download: Postepic for iOS (Free)
5. Book Club (Web): What You’ve Read and What You Thought
Book Club is a simple way to build a library of everything you have read so far, and record your thoughts on each one. Plus, this list can be instantly shared with anyone when they ask you for recommendations.
Here’s how it works. Sign up for Book Club and get a unique ID for yourself that is now your URL. For example, bookclub.cool/@mihirpatkar. Now search for the books you have read, add your rating, and an optional review. Over time, you can build the list so that you have tracked everything you’ve read.
When someone asks for recommendations, share your URL with them. They can read about any book, purchase it from Amazon, and even sort the list by your ratings. It’s one of the best news apps to track your ever-expanding book collection.
Try Our Ultimate List of Book Recommendations
Of course, Goodreads excels at book recommendations with its constant lists of what authors are suggesting, books similar to what you liked, and so on. Its huge community of users and their data makes Goodreads one of the best ways to get new stuff.