The StoryGraph: An App By Booklovers for Booklovers

Are you the type of person eager to meet your reading goals? Or, perhaps you want to finally categorize an ever-growing bookshelf? Or maybe you’re like me, and above all, want to support the independent bookstore industry. If any of these are the case, you really should check out: https://www.thestorygraph.com


Why The StoryGraph, and not Goodreads?

Not many people are consciously aware of this, but Goodreads is one branch of the Amazon mega-corporation tree. And while utilizing Goodreads’s services is easy and convenient, Amazon sells books cheaper than brick and mortar shops, not because they make a profit, but because they’re hoping to secure your business. Amazon can afford to dip to those low-price points when small businesses can’t, because small businesses worry about paying their employees, and about the cost of maintaining their shop.


This uneasy relationship between those who love books and Amazon has led to many different alternatives being generated. The StoryGraph is a Black-owned and operated supporter of independent bookstores. You can learn more about their founders Nadia Odunayo and Rob Frelow at https://www.thestorygraph.com/team


Positives:

  • Upon making an account, The StoryGraph offers a fun questionnaire to get a feel for your likes and dislikes

  • It’s possible to import your Goodreads library if you already have one started up, so you don’t have to re-enter all your progress manually

  • The design of the interface is noticeably clean and modern

  • Large book covers and buttons are easy to read at a glance

  • Content warnings allow you to know what you’re getting into, before diving headfirst into a book

  • Book tracking is incredibly simple

  • Lists or “piles” are unlimited

  • All that reading data is automatically totaled for you in clear and interesting graphs

  • There are entertaining reading goals to try with the community or by yourself

  • Books can be rated in halves and quarters, so you can be as specific as you like

  • You can record private notes or post public reviews

  • Pro memberships are gift-able!

Negatives:

  • The app is not as polished as the website

  • It’s not yet possible to add friends from other social media platforms, you have to add them via their StoryGraph username

  • There’s no cross-over between your Kindle app or device, so it’s up to you to update your profile, such as marking a book as ‘Finished’

  • The most personalized experience is behind a paywall

  • 50 USD annually or 5 USD monthly


Overall, The StoryGraph is a website that values readers and values books. The ultimate goal is not to rate and rank these books, but to provide a space where people can find the right book just when they need it.


Give StoryGraph a try, and let us at the RWC know what you think!


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