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Looking for a Replacement for Goodreads? Try Booklikes

booklikes logoWhether you agree with the new review policy or not, the latest dust-up at Goodreads is inspiring a number of members to go look for an alternative. Some are ending up at LibraryThing, others at Shelfari, and a few are trying a relatively new community called Booklikes.

Booklikes is best described as a Tumblr inspired online book community. In the words of the LATimes, which interviewed the founder back in June:

Its interface is part Tumblr, particularly in two aspects: each user has a blog within the site, and the main dashboard page includes a Tumblr-like feed from other blogs. And it’s also part Goodreads, with a visual bookshelf that users can fill with books they’ve read and add reviews.

I have not had a reason to use Booklikes yet, but LitReactor had this to say when they covered the launch back in May:

The biggest difference between this and the many similar sites out there: BookLikes is geared more toward book blogging and reviews. When you sign up, your Dashboard page features a slew of Tumblr-style posts from various users, who you can decide to follow or hide. I saw a few internet-mandated gifs and pithy blurbs, but this Literary Explorations person offers some astute analysis of book covers and classic reads, so it seems there’s some quality there.

I’ve looked over Booklikes once or twice since it launched and I can see the value in an explicit blog focus – and that goes double after Goodreads latest policy change. Many people are defending the new Goodreads policy against reviewers discussing author behavior by arguing that the topic is beyond the purview of a book review. This is true, but thanks to Booklikes' focus more on blogging and less on book-related reviews it doesn’t matter.

On Booklikes a book reviewers is more of a book blogger, and there is very little that is beyond the purview of a blog post.  If a member wants to write about a theme that shows up in a half dozen unrelated novels, or point out how a character in author’s book is arguably the same character as one in another author’s book, they can.

Booklikes is in effect giving reviewers tools that Goodreads reserves for authors (who can start blogs), and that is probably the first and biggest difference between the 2 sites. If you are a reviewer or reader and you value independence and/or not being a second-class member, I think you should look at Booklikes.

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Linda Polovchik September 21, 2013 um 5:42 pm

Is it better than the library thing? That site just had default books covers and when u have hundreds or thousands of books that just doesn’t cut it.

David Haywood Young September 21, 2013 um 6:23 pm

Gonna check it out. I’ve never liked Goodreads.

Fbone September 21, 2013 um 6:53 pm

Booklikes is one big Amazon affiliate program. Use with caution.

Dawid Piaskowski – BookLikes CEO September 22, 2013 um 4:58 pm

You can use one of over 30 booksellers like Kobo, Indigo, Barnes&Noble. It’s up to the user which bookstore will he/she use. +you can user your own affiliate id

Fbone September 22, 2013 um 11:02 pm

In one day I have 25 unsolicited "Followings." All are affiliate review blogs, self-published or erotic/porn authors. Every one of them was in this only for financial gain. There should be a way to block all Friend requests.

I’ve found when money is involved (affiliates) integrity is lacking.

Dawid Piaskowski – BookLikes CEO September 23, 2013 um 7:12 am

You can unfollow all "Followings" – it’s just to show you how Dashboard works. When you logged in for the first time – there was a tutorial overlay.

About the money: On BookLikes we belive that every user is his/her own brand and followers might noticed if something is done just for the money (and stop following). The standard for sites like ours (e.g. Goodreads) is to use affiliate programs. The difference is that we are giving that money to our users. It might not be much but it might be just right to buy some more books to read&review.

Gary September 22, 2013 um 10:09 am

I don’t want to blog about how I liked one book, and I don’t want to read other peoples blogs about how they liked some other book.

I keep hoping that someone will develop a "favorite authors" book recommendation system.

If a million people who read a lot each submitted a list of their 50 favorite authors, you could do some interesting things with the data. In particular you could look for lists that overlap. If if my list matches 45 names on someone else’s list, then I would like to check out the 5 authors on the stranger’s list that I have never heard of.

If anyone out there knows of such a system, please let me know. If anyone reading this works for Goodreads or Booklikes, or any other book recommendation web site, please think about adding this to your search and recommendation engines.

Dawid Piaskowski – BookLikes CEO September 22, 2013 um 5:00 pm

Thank you Nate for such a great review! What I would like to mention is that we are listening to our user and release new features every Thursday so if anyone have any request please mail me at [email protected]

Michelle Louring September 23, 2013 um 6:21 am

Looks promising. Never really got that much into Goodreads(and didn’t really try after reading so many horror stories), but I might give this a try.

fifi October 6, 2013 um 2:17 am

thanks for the info hun! I’m thinking bout moving to Booklikes because Goodreads just deleted my review (it’s negative, but I didn’t even mention about the author being suck or something like that) without a notification whatsoever. :/

Ars October 10, 2013 um 8:19 pm

I still can’t leave goodreads…

May October 30, 2013 um 8:14 pm

I’m now at, really enjoy their design.

So, the whole Goodreads thing … | Stewartry March 16, 2015 um 8:34 am

[…] Looking for a Replacement for Goodreads? Try Booklikes ( […]

Katharina Gerlach July 24, 2015 um 12:51 am

Thanks for this information. I’m one of those Indie authors trying to reach out to people who might like my books, and I always found Goodreads hard to use. Of course it can be useful, but it also has a lot of unfair discussions. True, there are authors who behave like a-word-I-don’t-say bags, but there are similar readers too. I agree that moderating is the problem there, not the pre-change policies.

I believe strongly that if I as an author behave like a sensible, tolerant person should, I will be able to build up relationships with potential readers, and some of them might even check out my books. There’s no way I can force them to do that. All I can be is another human being (and that’s hard enough without bullying or being bullied, isn’t it?)

Jerry Sonenblick July 10, 2016 um 3:18 pm

How does one go about obtaining book reviews on Book Likes?

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