My #StoryGraph Year

In 2023 I decided to transfer my reading records to The StoryGraph – I still use Goodreads for selected reviews, but I wanted a non-Amazon-owned place to keep records, mainly for myself.

After a full year of using The StoryGraph, here’s my assessment:

What I like

  • Clean and simple interface.
  • Easy to keep track of reading challenges.
  • Pretty extensive book database (with some caveats, see below).
  • Independently owned.
  • Statistics are fun and graphically attractive.

Here’s my 2023 stats summary, which gives a few highlights:

What I don’t like

  • Book database has missing information and errors. It’s possible to add or correct information but this is time consuming.
  • Not all stats are useful for me and the problems with the book database play a role in this. For example, I’d like to keep track of which books I read in digital and which in paper form, but this info is not always there and I can’t be bothered to fix it.
  • I find questions on review page about book (e.g. Did you find the characters loveable? Flaws of main character a main focus?) silly and not useful.
  • No author information.

What I wish were different

  • Above all, I wish there were more ways to interact with other members, for example including a self-description, and a chance to comment on others’ reviews. Such social features could be optional for those who don’t want them. It’s the main thing I miss from Goodreads.
  • The Home Page should have Books Read on it, or an option to choose that instead of another section like Recommendations or Giveaways. This is the section I use the most and it’s annoying to always have to click to it through my Profile.
  • The Community page is overwhelming, I would like to be able to filter it so as to just see when someone leaves a review, for example. I don’t need to see every time someone starts or makes progress in a book.
  • I wish the book cover image was included on book review pages (they are text only). Also, the date the book was finished.
  • Wish there were a way to create one’s own questions for book reviews, to gather custom information and create personally useful stats.

These would be nice, but are not game-breakers for me, so I’ll stick with The StoryGraph for another year at least.

I took part in a few reading challenges created by the site:

  • The January Reading Challenge, which has a prize draw for those who read at least 1 page every day in the first month of the year. I completed this, but didn’t win. Better luck this year!
  • The Read the World Challenge, which has prompts for reading books from various countries — I completed only half of the prompts, but it did get me to read books from a couple of countries I might not have otherwise (Argentina, Trinidad). I’m signing up again this year.
  • The StoryGraph Onboarding Challenge, which has 6 prompts that encourage using StoryGraph features like Recommendations and Readalongs. I completed 5 out of 6 and it did help me to find some interesting reads. Haven by Emma Donoghue, for example, fit the category “A book published in the last three years that fits your reader profile.” I’ll do this again as well.

Last year, I created a page for my own Spiritual Memoir Challenge, and a few people signed up, though I don’t know if they carried through. This year, I’ve set up a Challenge page for Book’d Out’s Nonfiction Reader Challenge (since there wasn’t one already), and one for the Ozathon. I’ve also set up a Readalong page for the January Oz book, and if anybody makes use of this, I’ll keep doing it for the rest of the series.

Do you use The StoryGraph or have you thought about it? What has been your experience?

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23 thoughts on “My #StoryGraph Year

  1. I use Librarything, which is wonderful. It’s very rare for it to not find a book and it has UK editions. With the app, scanning in bar codes is a doozy, and you can add tags to books, and categorise however you want. You can customise your homepage, and it has fun stats like Huw tall your books are compared to buildings etc.

    1. I have Librarything too, but it’s a bit convoluted for me. Something between that and StoryGraph would be perfect.

  2. I’ve been waiting to join StoryGraph because it seems like most users want some features to be ironed out or added. Maybe in time the information will be more accurate and complete, and they’ll add things like the ability to comment on reviews (which would be a nice social component).

    1. I hope so too, but it seems there is also resistance to making it a social media platform (which I can also understand, given what happens to those). For my personal record-keeping it does what I need, so I may have to happy with that.

      1. I can see how they might not want to moderate comments or worry about how it might spiral out of control. But what if you could only comment on posts of people you were mutual friends with? I do think getting to talk books with people is a highlight, so maybe there is a way for them to go forward with it. We can hope!

  3. I’ve looked at a couple of your reviews on StoryGraph (I enjoyed them) but I didn’t find the format immediately user-friendly, for some of the reasons you mention – but maybe like most platforms it requires a bit of commitment and discipline in navigating through its idiosyncracies. Sadly I don’t have much energy or patience for that now, but I always believe ‘Never say never’!

  4. The lack of social features is the main reason I’ve kept Goodreads as my main platform, among other small but important to me useability features. I initiated a Goodreads import on Storygraph on Jan 1 because I’d like to try out their recommendation engine (although I tried it out on my sister’s profile and already wish there was a way to limit it to showing books which are already on your to-read shelf), but apparently nearly every other person in the world also tried to migrate to the site around the new year, so the import is still pending. I do like the buddy read and challenge features (wish you could add books to challenge promps directly from the challenge page), which are the only aspects of the site I’m currently using. It bothers me more than it should that I can’t put any self-description on my profile page…

    1. Yes, I think that should definitely be an option! Everybody is so anonymous unless I happen to know them from other platforms.

  5. I’m a huge GR user, like almost on a daily basis. I did try SG a few months ago and just found it tedious and annoying to set up. While I do love things about it (independently and Black-owned, all those fun stats graphics, etc.), I feel like GR does more of what I want than SG, at least at this point in its existence. I know SG is always changing things up and improving features, so maybe I’ll leave GR behind at some point, but for now, GR is what I know and love. Thanks for your assessment – it’s always nice to get an insider’s perspective on such things.


    1. Goodreads does do things that StoryGraph doesn’t at all, so it make sense to stick with it if those are important to you.

  6. Sounds interesting, I never heard of StoryGraph. My problem is, I have about 2,000 books on Goodreads and find it harder and harder to learn yet another new program. I’m getting too old for this stuff. But I’m glad there are other options.

    1. StoryGraph is way simpler than Goodreads, too simple in some ways. But I sympathize, I never want to learn new programs or platforms.

  7. Glad Story Graph is working well for you Lory, despite its problems. I am on GR and will continue to be since I’m part of various groups where I enjoy the book discussions and picking up recommendations just like from here. And like Marianne below, starting a catalogue from scratch does not seem something I can do right now. But i do like the idea of a non-amazon or just non-multinational owned space.

    1. I really like that, though the independents tend to get bought out eventually. Maybe this one will hold out.

  8. I’ve gotten way behind in blog reading so just now seeing this. I’ve been curious about StoryGraph so I appreciate your detailed explanation of it. Looks like it has both pros and cons, so I’ll probably just stick with Goodreads (which also has boths pros and cons), the devil that you know, as the saying goes. 🙂

    1. Definitely pros and cons. Agreed about the devil you know…he tends to get into everything, so not much hope of truly escaping. But we each have to choose what works best for us.

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