The Unclassifiable Library Remix

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Goodreads v. LibraryThing

I came across the article below on Facebook via I Love Libraries.  I found it a very good read and breakdown of the pros and cons of each of the book lovers' sites Goodreads and LibraryThing.  The question posed on Facebook asked which site people tended to use.  My answer was that I use both of them - but for different reasons.  

If you aren't familiar with Goodreads and LibraryThing, I recommend reading the article, as I am really not going to delve into the ins and outs of the networks, but rather how I particularly use each one.  Even if you are familiar with the sites, it makes for an interesting read and I look forward to future installments.  The introduction is excerpted below.  

Goodreads v. LibraryThing- Part One | BOOK RIOT:

"If there’s one thing I love almost as much as books, it’s making lists of books. Books I own, books I own that I haven’t read, books I own that have purple covers- whatever. While I used to do this on a spreadsheet, the internet has kindly provided a digital way to catalogue my books with the ADDED BONUS of allowing me to interact with other bookish folks. The two most popular book cataloguing/social networking sites seem to be Goodreads and LibraryThing.So which one should you use? What are the benefits/drawbacks of each? I’ve got accounts on both sites and have done some major digging into their terms of service (TOS) and various functionalities to give you some (many) points to consider about both sites. It’s a ridiculous amount of information, so I’ll be splitting this over two weeks. This week, we’ll consider how to add books to your library, the book recommendation functions, stats, the user interfaces, and discussion/groups."

'via Blog this'

LibraryThing I use less as a social network, and more as an open source catalog for small collections.  I have both a personal free account, and an account for my church collections for which I purchased a lifetime membership.  I used LibraryThing to catalog my church choir's musical holdings, most of which had to be entered manually, but which nonetheless provided the choir direction with a much easier way of searching for the right music each week.  I look forward to adding the church library's print collection to the catalog in the upcoming year.  I see LibraryThing as more of a tool than a social network.  I also maintain a personal LibraryThing account, but am woefully behind in adding my materials to it, mostly because I need a new bookcase at home.  The member giveaways are pretty awesome too.

Goodreads is my social networking outlet for reading.  I monitor what my friends are reading or want to read, I maintain my own lists of books (to-read, currently reading, and read), belong to book groups related to my personal interests and location, look for forthcoming literature, and so much more.  I spend far more time on Goodreads than I do on LibraryThing, which I find incredibly useful in providing access to materials that might otherwise remain unknown in the hands of private collectors.

There is really so much more to both sites, I've only highlighted my main purposes here.  The author and I pretty much come to the same conclusion about the two sites, but I just don't see that one or the other is better - they are just different.

Click HERE to friend me on Goodreads.

My personal catalog is located at, but please keep in mind that it is rather empty at the moment, but my goal is to add at least half of my items by Christmas.

The church catalog is located at, and currently contains just the choir collection.  My goal is to have the remaining print collection added by the end of the academic year.

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