For many years, Goodreads has been the go-to book tracking platform among reading tracker websites and apps. The site has a huge database of books and readers, along with thousands of reviews and ratings on books, endless lists, personalized recommendations, and more. But at Writer’s Relief, we’ve noticed a challenger to Goodreads’ reign. The StoryGraph, which launched a beta version in 2019, exploded in popularity during January 2021 (before it was even officially launched). As avid readers and lovers of a good book tracking app, we’ve compared the features of Goodreads vs. The StoryGraph to determine which reading tracker is best.
Goodreads vs. The StoryGraph
Goodreads: The popular favorite
The benefits of using Goodreads are plentiful and solid—which is what you’d expect from a website/app that dominates its arena.
Goodreads allows users to create a profile, track the books they’ve read and are reading, write reviews, and find new books to read. There’s plenty of data on the site about thousands of books, making it easy to learn what a book is about and decide whether or not you want to read it. There’s also a recommendation box on the homepage that will get more and more suited to your tastes the more you log your reading habits.
Another fun feature: Goodreads lets you set an annual reading challenge for yourself each year and will keep you updated on how far behind or ahead of your goal you are at any time. There’s also a “Year in Books” summary at the end of each year that offers an overview of what you’ve read during that year.
Overall, the biggest appeal of Goodreads is probably its steady popularity: The site has been the staple book tracker for years and has over 90 million registered users. Since the Goodreads reading community provides an abundance of reviews and ratings, you can get insights into almost any book published. Many popular authors have their own Goodreads profiles: Roxane Gay is well-known for her voracious reading, which she logs on her account, along with frequent reviews.
It’s worth noting that Goodreads belongs to Amazon, so readers who use Kindles or the Kindle app are able to sync their reading with Goodreads to be tracked automatically. This is handy for those who read e-books, since you don’t have to manually add in what you’ve read and when you’ve read it.
The StoryGraph: The up-and-coming contender
The StoryGraph was designed by Nadia Odunayo to help readers find their next book, and it boasts a lot of other cool features too—which is why hundreds of thousands of people have made the switch.
The StoryGraph is fresh and fun. It’s visual, modern, and just different enough to stand out while still delivering the basics. Goodreads is dependable, but let’s be honest: The interface looks a bit dated. Meanwhile, The StoryGraph’s homepage is sleek and easy to navigate, with recommendations right at the top:
And The StoryGraph’s recommendations are really good, which is the highlight of this reading tracker and one of its biggest draws. There’s also an important difference in how readers are allowed to review books on this app. The StoryGraph lets readers choose half- and quarter-stars in ratings and note content and trigger warnings, and provides more detailed review options overall that help sort books into various categories.
When reviewing books on The StoryGraph, you’ll find questions about what kind of mood the book is good for, whether it’s plot- or character-driven, if the characters are likable, if they’re diverse, etc. You’re still allowed space to write your own free-form review, but the questions preceding help the platform sort what people are reading and deliver more accurate recommendations.
And The StoryGraph has a unique feature that you’d probably anticipate from its name: graphs! If you navigate to the stats page, you’ll see multiple graphs breaking down your reading habits for the year (you can also view them for all time), including the “moods” of the books you’ve read, the pace, the genres, the length, etc.:
You can also click on each segment of the pie chart to view which books were sorted into that category, which is pretty neat.
The StoryGraph also has book challenges, much like Goodreads, though there seems to be a bit more flexibility with regard to what kinds of challenges you can create.
If you’re considering trying The StoryGraph, you might be concerned about your current log of books you’ve read on Goodreads—how could you possibly leave all that behind to switch to a new app for some colorful graphs?
Easily! The StoryGraph has a way for you to import your Goodreads library, and it’s not too complicated.
Goodreads or The StoryGraph: Do You Have To Choose?
If you don’t want to abandon Goodreads but are intrigued enough to give The StoryGraph a try, you can simply use both! While there are differences, each platform is easy to use and a great option to track your reading, provide recommendations, and foster a reading community, which are all wins in our book!
Question: Which reading tracker do you use?