Goodreads is a great way to record your reading activity and discover what others are reading or planning to read. Over 90 million readers and authors have a Goodreads account. But the service has its problems and many readers are concerned with its ownership by Amazon, and the lack of transparency around its recommendations. For readers who enjoy ebooks and are looking for an alternative to Goodreads, Libreture could be the answer.
Libreture is an ebook cloud library for all your digital reading. Store your DRM-free ebooks, digital comics, magazines, and RPGs; track your reading, and discover new favourites. Display where you bought your collection to help other readers discover DRM-free bookshops.
- Libreture vs. Goodreads comparison: What are the differences?
- Family-run business, or multinational corporation?
- Reading Privacy
- Recording indie ebooks and comics
- Payment Models
- Book Recommendations
- Who gets to review and rate the books?
- Why is Libreture a great Goodreads alternative?
Libreture vs. Goodreads comparison: What are the differences?
Family-run business, or multinational corporation?
Goodreads hosts millions of readers and is a great resource for tracking your reading. But it's owned by Amazon. Amazon is an US corporation that actively avoids paying taxes, hides profits offshore, and exploits workers and the environment, while the owner sends rockets into space.
Libreture is an independent, family-run business in the UK. We pay our taxes, and we direct hundreds of readers a month to independent DRM-free bookshops to buy their ebooks. We've signed up to the Fair Tax Pledge, and we spend our income as locally as possible.
There's no way to keep your reading activity completely private on Goodreads, because it doesn't allow fully private accounts. Your reviews, ratings, and other bits can appear publicly, even if you make your profile as private as possible. This can make it awkward to record your honest thoughts about books for yourself or your friends list, and we believe this risks your privacy and your ability to truly be yourself online.
Libreture lets you make your entire library and reading activity private. Nobody can see your username, your avatar, your book collection, or what you're reading or plan to read - unless you choose to share it. Even if you choose to make your library public so that you can share information about your books and reading activity, you can still keep individual books private. You have full control over what others can see of your Libreture activity. Libreture is fully GDPR compliant and registered as a Data Controller with the ICO. Your books say a lot about you, and that's your business not ours!
Recording indie ebooks and comics
Goodreads doesn't always have a record of the books you want to add, especially independent titles. But there are so many independent ebooks available, many of them self-published, standalone and without a print version. Ebooks sold through Gumroad, Payhip, Itch.io and many other digital marketplaces often don't have ISBNs, but they're still ebooks, still valid, and often high-quality titles by well-known authors. If you can't find them on Goodreads, you have to manually add them yourself.
All of Libreture's book information comes from the books readers upload to their libraries. Every time you upload an ebook to your Libreture library, it's scanned for important information: title, author, ISBN, description, and especially important, cover image. This information is recorded and displayed in your own library to help you manage your book collection. Here's more information about how Libreture works.
One of the issues Goodreads has is how they make their money. Goodreads displays advertisements, as well as charging publishers and authors to promote their books. The ads track visitors' activity, impacting on their privacy. This income model means the needs of readers aren't always the priority for Goodreads.
At Libreture, everyone gets a free account with 500MB of ebook cloud storage to start their library. If they need more space for their growing book, digital comic, or magazine collection, or for their new found love of digital RPGs, they can upgrade their storage a bit at a time. Everyone gets all the same great features, regardless of if they pay or not. You only pay for the extra space for your lovely books. And we don't do ads!
Word-of-mouth recommendations are the absolutely best way to find new books to read. But Goodreads isn't always the best place to help with that. Its recommendations are driven by algorithms, and usually only amplify already popular titles. This creates a vicious circle of the same constantly promoted books (promotions often paid for by publishers), while new independent titles rarely get a look-in.
Libreture's recommendations are 100% human! If a reader enjoys a particular book, comic, or magazine, they can promote it in a number of ways. They can write a short recommendation that tells everyone why they loved the book. They can add it to one of their ten favourites slots. And they can share their book page far and wide online on social media. Each book page on Libreture is unique to the particular book file a reader uploads, so only shows that reader's feelings for a book, and not an aggregated score.
Who gets to review and rate books?
Anyone can review or rate any book on Goodreads. This can lead to groups attacking a particular book by giving it a low score, sometimes before it's even been published. Other times a book can receive over-inflated prominence by groups scoring a book highly when they haven't even read it. All this 'games' the scores Goodreads uses to highlight and recommend books, making much of the process meaningless.
Libreture's cloud storage is made up of thousands of ebooks, digital comics, magazines, RPGs, articles, and more uploaded by readers to their own libraries. Each book generates its own page where readers can change the book's reading status, write their recommendation, add it to their favourites, select which bookshop they bought it from, and download the book to read. If the reader's library is public, other readers can see the book's information and learn where they can buy it. If they buy their own ebook copy, they can upload it to their own library, and recommend it themselves when they've read it. Only readers who have a copy of a book can recommend it, add it to their favourites, and share information about a book. No more 'gaming' the system!
Why is Libreture a great Goodreads alternative?
Libreture offers readers not only a place to record accurate ebook information and track reading activity, but also:
- No need to input information. Your ebook files do all the work, but you can always edit details later.
- A back-up and archive of all your ebooks with a stunning library showing off the covers of your beautiful books.
- Easy book discovery, with direct links to independent bookstores for each book.
- Easy access to your books on any device, no matter where you are, and an OPDS feed so you can access your books from any compatible reading app or service.
Readers are storing 12,003 DRM-free ebooks with Libreture!
Prefer paper books? Find your perfect book tracking service with our huge list of Goodreads alternatives.