Welcome Visual Bookshelf Members!

Posted by Patrick Brown on July 26, 2011
visual bookshelf logoAt Goodreads, we've never focused on our competition, choosing instead to devote all of our energy to building a vibrant community and delivering a great experience to our 5.4 million members. That said, we were sad to see the popular Facebook App Visual Bookshelf, which was one of our largest rivals, close its doors over the weekend. We were honored, however, to be chosen as their preferred successor to their millions of users. In the past few days, a flood of new people have joined Goodreads and cataloged over 1 million books. This meant some extra work for us—it's no joke adding a million books to the database in two days!—but we're very happy to welcome these new readers to Goodreads.

Since this influx of new books was unexpected, our book importer has been running quite a bit behind (sometimes as much as 12 hours behind). We apologize for this inconvenience, but we assure you that the importer has now caught up and anyone who has imported books should now see them on their shelves (We are still importing books that lacked ISBN numbers. The process takes a bit longer, as we have to match them by title and author).

UPDATE: We now have a one-click solution for importing your books from Living Social's Visual Bookshelf. Simply click the Visual Bookshelf link that says "export your books to Goodreads." Alternatively, you can paste any of your export URLs into our importer (rather than all three), and let us do the rest.

Many of you were likely using Visual Bookshelf primarily as a Facebook app. Goodreads is a stand-alone social network and community, but we do offer deep integration with Facebook through Facebook Connect, which means posting your book reviews to Facebook is easy to do. If you are already connected, you'll see an option to post to Facebook as you write a review. If you aren't, a button to connect and post will be on the next page. Goodreads also makes it easy to post ratings, to-read books, trivia questions, and reading progress to Facebook: Simply navigate to the apps tab to edit your settings.



Goodreads is much more than a mere cataloging site. We feature over 40,000 book clubs organized along a variety of topics and genres. There are book clubs dedicated to specific parts of the world, young adult book clubs, fiction book clubs and much, much more. If you are looking to exchange ideas with other readers, you're in the right place.

You can also become a fan of your favorite author on Goodreads. There are more than 24,000 Goodreads Authors on the site, including bestselling authors like Neil Gaiman, Paulo Coelho, Cassandra Clare, Richelle Mead, Audrey Niffenegger, and more. Read their blogs, follow their reviews, and keep up with all their latest tour stops, all on one convenient author profile page. Each month, we feature discussion groups with authors and live video chats. Join us next week for a live video chat with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jennifer Egan.

If any Visual Bookshelf members want to request features they miss or report any bugs, please let us know in the Goodreads Feedback Group. In fact, we started a thread discussing the key differences between the two sites. Let us know what features you're missing!

Comments Showing 1-15 of 15 (15 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Janelle (new)

Janelle Welcome new members! You will love Goodreads once you get used to it; which shouldn't take long, it's quite easy. I've been on here for over two years and have never been disappointed by this site.


message 2: by Dimity (new)

Dimity I made the switch from Visual Bookshelf in January...the only thing I miss from Visual Bookshelf is the .5 rating system :). Goodreads is an amazingly vibrant reading community and my involvement in groups here has been a very fulfilling way to meet like minded people. Not to mention the millions of new book recommendations I now have on my to-read list!

Visual Bookshelf started out as a really neat app but with Living Social's switch to a social coupon site, the maintenance and innovation definitely suffered. I have high hopes Goodreads will be around for years to come!


message 3: by Sharon (new)

Sharon I'm with Dimity; I switched over to Goodreads full-time more than a year ago. Welcome aboard, VB folk; I look forward to getting to know you, both as an author and a commenter.


message 4: by Jo (new)

Jo I didn't realise Visual Bookshelf had ceased - I started out over there before I found Goodreads.


message 5: by David (new)

David It may already be here - I'm only new, having recently just switched over - but one of the things I liked about VB was the "It's a Hit!" vs "It's a Miss!" feature, where it would display a review from somebody who had given it a good rating alongside a review from somebody who hadn't.

Anything like that here? Just asking ...


message 6: by Randie (new)

Randie D. Camp, M.S. David wrote: "It may already be here - I'm only new, having recently just switched over - but one of the things I liked about VB was the "It's a Hit!" vs "It's a Miss!" feature, where it would display a review f..."

That sounds awesome :)


message 7: by Sana (last edited Jul 30, 2011 04:46AM) (new)

Sana Well, I was sad to see VB go but I am adjusting fine to the looks and feel of GR!
There are things I really liked on VB and I will be discussing them in the specific discussion thread.
Overall, I am happy with GoodReads!


message 8: by Johara (new)

Johara I had no idea visual bookshelf was closed down! I have been a member with goodreads for sometime now, but have always used visual bookshelf. It's a good move, however its sad that I lost all my book reviews in VB :(


message 9: by Arda (new)

Arda I had my books saved in visual bookshop and only realized, NOW, that all my savings were lost. Is there any way to import my books from there, or is it too late? :(


message 10: by rivka, Goodreads employee (new)

rivka Arda, that depends of whether it's still possible to export from VB. You'd have to ask them about that.


message 11: by Gaston (new)

Gaston Ugh. Are you kidding me?? All it shows up to me is this message:

"It's not you. It's us.

First of all, thank you for your enthusiastic support over the past four years. Your continued engagement with our these applications means a lot to us here at LivingSocial, and we're sad that we haven't been able to dedicate the time and effort you deserve to keep this community alive and thriving.

It's not you. It's us. You see — about two years ago — we tried a new idea, which has taken our team and company in a new direction. This community needs tools and products that are fully supported and continually improved, and unfortunately, this is something we just can't support right now.

We know your data is important to you. Before we discontinue the service, we gave you 30 days to save it.

We have helped many of you do just that and migrate to other applications around the internet, such as GoodReads, LibraryThing, etc.

On August 12th, 2011, we shut down this suite of applications.

If you have any concerns/questions or just want to say hi (or grr!), you can reach us at interests@livingsocial.com"

Someone please help me!! I at least need to retrieve information on what books I've already read because it means a lot to me. =(
I shouldn't have trusted that Visual Bookshelf app in the first place and devoted myself instead to this unique website. *sighs*


message 12: by rivka, Goodreads employee (new)

rivka Unfortunately, Goodreads has no access to your book data unless you import it here. You'll need to email Living Social.


message 13: by Annie (new)

Annie Martie Same. Would be interested to know if you ever managed this successfully.
I found out about the move about a day before it 'closed' last year, spent a while frantically trying to export my booklist to Goodreads, which never eventuated.
Gutted that I lost over 3 years of reading which I faithfully documented the books I read, enjoyed, or wanted to come back to, not to mention favourite authors I had found etc etc.
Just realised I actually stopped reading books about that point as I was disillusioned (and time constrained) with not being able to 'add to my collection' - never realised this was as important to me as it was till recently! I know there's bigger things in life to get rarked off about, but losing 3-4 years of 'work' would piss anyone off, I reckon!
Have restarted reading again in the last 2 weeks, feels like reinventing the wheel. Never again to place my faith in anything but my own documentation


message 14: by Miriam (new)

Miriam Yes, I'm incredibly frustrated that I lost every single record of books I read in high school.


message 15: by Tina (new)

Tina Milledge Sat here this evening trying to remember the name of the facebook app that no longer exists where I used to record books I had read, before I discovered goodreads this year. After much Googling of random search phrases like "facebook app that recorded books" and trailing back through my Facebook apps I discover it disappeared a long time ago without me realising and I am another one who is too late to retrieve years of books :(
Anyone had any luck?


back to top