Goodreads Librarians Group discussion

Questions > Goodreads vs. LibraryThing

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message 1: by Marcel (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:10PM) (new)

Marcel | 2 comments I discovered Goodreads when a classmate invited me to join. Previously I had been an active member of LibraryThing. Right now I am duplicating books that I read in each, and have noticed several differences between the sites. Goodreads has the social functionality missing from LibaryThing, while LibraryThing does much more when it comes to locating books, changing views, etc. Has anyone done any formal comparisons of the two sites? Does anyone wish to comment on why they prefer Goodreads to LibaryThing or vice versa? As a social person, I am spending more time on Goodreads now, but need a few good reasons to abandon LibraryThing. Let me hear from you, please. Why should I stay with LibraryThing? Should I abandon it?

message 2: by Michael (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:10PM) (new)

Michael | 4 comments I use LT for cataloging what I own and goodreads for what I've read. I definitely spend more time here.

message 3: by Laura (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:10PM) (new)

Laura (laurahogan) | 38 comments I don't think it's necessary to abandon one or the other. I use both for different purposes. I think LibraryThing is better for cataloging because it offers far more graphics of covers, and it's a lot of fun to be able to catalog your books with the covers of the editions you actually read back in 1974 or whenever -- I use it for that. But as you note, Goodreads' social networking function is head and shoulders above LibraryThing's.

message 4: by Caroline (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:10PM) (new)

Caroline | 58 comments I've avoided LibraryThing, mainly put-off by the fact that they charge you if you go over a certain number of books (which I definitely would. I buy so many books!). It's kind of ironic for me, then, that I'd be willing to pay for the services here at Goodreads. I just like that this site is centered around community, as opposed to showing off your extensive libraries. I have Excel to catalog my books, so I see no point in LT for me.

The main thing I was interested in with LT is the Book Suggester, but I didn't find that to be all that useful. I much prefer finding friends with similar tastes (or close enough tastes that I'm interested in what they're reading) and reading their reviews. I've found some great books through the people here, while on LT it just lists similar books without the input.

Unless you have a specific reason to dump your LT account, I don't see any reason you can't keep both. They both serve different purposes, after all. ^^

message 5: by Otis, Chief Architect (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:12PM) (new)

Otis Chandler | 315 comments Mod
While I won't weigh in on differences (my preference is clear :), I will point out that both Goodreads & LT allow you to import and export your books, so many people find it easy to use both.

LT covers are definitely impressive, and there is even a thread requesting the same feature for Goodreads here.

message 6: by Fibrowitch (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:12PM) (new)

Fibrowitch | 5 comments I am working on a panel for a science fiction convention, where I am comparing Gr, Lt and every other book organization software I can find (including ones for palm and access)

I would love to hear more about what other book catalog programs or method people have used.

message 7: by Matt (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:12PM) (new)

Matt Mazenauer (provlear) | 11 comments I was a hardcore LibraryThing user until a friend invited me here. As everyone else has said, Goodseads is significatly better socially, and that's why I use it more. I also think, maybe in the minority here, that GoodReads's database is cleaner, easier to use, with fewer errors and a clear strong force of us Librarians ready to scour out every detail.

LibraryThing, on the other hand, is the frontrunner on statistics. The Zeitgeist page over there has every little niggling factoid about books and use habits that us OCD catalogers love. Because of this, they also have an amazing Book Suggester (previously panned in this thread) which I have found countless books I'd never heard of and loved. I still use LibraryThing for findign new stuff to reead, but I certainly don't keep a clean library updated or bother to hand-enter books over there.

In response to Fibrowitch - I tried Shelfari for like 10 minutes and hated it. Also BookMooch seems to be trying to implement more social find books and find people and review books sort of features, though it's not really a book cataloging service.

message 8: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:12PM) (new)

rivka | 41052 comments Mod
There's also Google's new service. While I generally like Google products (I adore Gmail, and Google Calendar is splendiferous), I'm not real impressed with Google Book Search (

Actually, that's not entirely accurate. It's useful enough as a search engine. I just have no plans whatsoever to create a "library" (

message 9: by Fibrowitch (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:13PM) (new)

Fibrowitch | 5 comments Why did you dislike shelfari? It is on my list of web sites to play with, if you could give me some feedback, I can skip looking at it.

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