The Tracking Battle: GR vs LT vs LITSY vs Spreadsheets

Sometimes, tracking your reading can be a chore. A horrible chore, if, like me, you can’t decide between Goodreads, LibraryThing, Litsy or a spreadsheet. These are the ones I know how to use, so I’m sorry if there were others you know that I didn’t cover πŸ™‚

Of course it’s out of the question to use them all at the same time ( unless you want to spend 20 minutes just making the statement that you finished a book everywhere, and by then I’m too much in my feels to do anything else than sit and weep 😭😭), so I’ll be listing some good old pros and cons for each one of them, and you be the judge !

1. GoodReads

This is the most popular ( and so most chosen by members and authors) website out there.

Pros:

  • Yearly Reading Challenge that calculates how many books ahead or behind schedule you are. I am a big fan of this challenge, and can know how fast I’m reading by looking at it. There’s something satisfying about hitting the 100-books milestone and seeing it online πŸ’™
  • It’s really neat: Something I love about GR is that it’s organized. It has a gigantic database of books. I haven’t come across many books that I haven’t found on Goodreads.
  • Library shelves; I mean, it’s extremely helpful to have shelves by genre or year or common element or publisher or something. Points for organization πŸ™Œ
  • Bookish newsletter: This is my favorite email! You can choose to subscribe to a variety of newsletters. Personally, I look forward to the monthly YA newsletter and ‘releases by authors you’ve read’. There’s a daily quote one too, but I’m often too busy to read them and they start to feel like spam.
  • Lists: There’s a list for almost everything there. (Speaking of, isn’t it annoying when people include like, the whole series in a list instead of just the first book?!)
  • Goodreads Choice Awards: I’m yet to read last year’s best books, but the ones I read, I really liked.
  • Widgets: There’s one right below here xD

Cons:

  • NO HALF-STARS, Y U NO HALF-STARS, GR ? Half stars would be super helpful. 2 books can both be 4 stars but one can be better than the other in different ways. So what do we do then ? Rate them 4 stars and deceive people ? Tsk. This is why Goodreads’ average rating is inaccurate.
  • Yearly Reading Challenge; As much as I like being quite a few books ahead of schedule, this challenge is sort of a con too. You see, dear friends *pats you on the back*, when you want to read as many books as possible in a year: you end up reading more short books, and neglecting the others. Don’t get me wrong, there are so many amazing shorties out there, but you’ll be terribly missing out on must-read longer books ( Like All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr *nudge nudge* READ IT AND FIND ME)
  • It’s mostly English. There are books in other languages on Goodreads, but their editions and organization in series just isn’t as neat. I wish that when you get an account, GR would ask what languages can you read in, and recommend you books in that language too, not recommend you based on if you’ve read a book in that language before or not. Hope that made sense πŸ˜‚
  • The app is slower than the website: I really wish they can fix this u.u You also can’t edit your own discussion thread on the app ??? why? Oh yes, also; Why is there no ‘X books ahead/behind schedule’ or ‘you’re on schedule!’ in the app ?

2. LibraryThing

Pros:

  • Book Haikus ! There’s a whole page for haiku summariesπŸ’™
  • LibraryThing early reviewers: It’s a program you can sign up for to get review copies, both paper books and ebooks. The thing is, literally no paper books offered there ship to my country and I hate it 😭
  • Cool statistics: On your stats page there’s a cool way to see your library, like how many bathtubs it fills, how tall it would be if it was in one pile (mine is between Big Ben and the Great Pyramid of Giza πŸ˜‚), percentage of weight compared to an elephant, if the papers would be in one line how much percent would it cover of the distance from Earth to the Moon. Cool stuff!

Cons:

  • It’s not as neat as GR. The book profile is encumbered and you have to scroll down to see the synopsis and it’s not terribly nice.
  • When you import from GR it puts them all in one shelf. Like, I want my TBR separated from my read list, please.
  • That’s all I can think of xD

3. Litsy

This is my second love after my spreadsheet for tracking my reading πŸ’™

Pros:

  • It’s fast. Faster for me than it would be to go to GR or LT.
  • It’s an independant version of bookstagram + Read, TBR and Currently Reading shelves for tracking your reading.
  • SPOILER CENSOR BUTTON πŸ˜πŸ’™
  • Content Categories: you can choose to submit content as Review, Blurb or Quote.
  • When you first open it, it tells you Welcome Home πŸ’™ IT MAKES ME FEEL COZY

Cons:

  • Character limit: I wish the limit was higher than 450 characters. Sometimes it feels like you’re on Twitter πŸ˜‚
  • There’s no Direct Message. It’s not as much of a social media, but maybe that’s a pro for introverts like meπŸ˜‚
  • Doesn’t save the date you read a book: the date is, like, 69% why I track my reading D:

4. Spreadsheets

My loveπŸ’™

Pros:

  • It’s offline: my network connection is second only to the one on Pluto. So this is a huge advantage.
  • Highly customizable. Only you control what it looks like.
  • You can filter the books by almost anything: By alphabetical or reverse alphabetical order, author, pages, publisher…
  • Stats! I’m a big fan of statistics, and Spreadsheets can quickly and efficiently calculate me the sum of pages I read in any amount of time ( While Goodreads only gives me the stats at the end of the year ), the average, number of books read, most pages in a read book, least pages in a read book. THERE’S EVEN PIE CHARTS !! I love pie β™₯ and charts β™₯ and pie charts β™₯. I also made a column for my progress in books by the percentage ( Which is a big reason I used Goodreads before, more than I do now. ) and I use it all the time to know it when I’m past the half ( motivational purposes xD)
  • You can make a progress bar too; for example, if you’re on page 50 and the book has 100 pages, it’d be 5 stacks like this πŸ“šπŸ“šπŸ“šπŸ“šπŸ“š, so one stack for every 10 pages you read. ( You’re welcome to ask me if you want to know the formula ! I use Google Sheets, so I’m not sure it would work with other spreadsheets ) It’s not terribly accurate, but it’s cute πŸ’™
  • Also, if you have a Goodreads, you can export your library and it will save as a spreadsheet, everything already organized and done and filled out for you ! I started from there, because there’s no way I’m filling 500 books or something manually from Goodreads and from scratch to a new spreadsheet, haha xD)

Cons:

  • There’s just you xD maybe this is a pro too *identity crisis*
  • No book covers, or you have to put them yourself ( if it can be done on a spreadsheet, I dunno)
  • No visual shelf separation, unless you use another tab ( Which literally just occurred to me 😨 )

That’s all I could think of ! I hope this helped make your life a little bit easier ! Which one of these do you use ? Or do you use another way entirely ? Have any tips and tricks to share ? Gush all about it in the comments ❀ !!

One thought on “The Tracking Battle: GR vs LT vs LITSY vs Spreadsheets

Add yours

  1. I realize this is an older post, but, if you want covers along with database functionality, you can always use the free program Calibre. It is created as an ebook manager but can be perfectly adapted to using as a review holder, with covers and everything.

    Liked by 1 person

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