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?