So, a little while ago, there was a BIG hoopla over Goodreads starting to censor its users. From what I gathered, if a review says anything negative about an author, it could be deleted (and some perfectly normal reviews have ALSO been deleted, from what I’ve seen). Also, if you have shelves that put attention towards bad author behaviour, they could be deleted, too.
Now, I don’t think I actually write any reviews that say anything negative about authors, nor do I have any questionable shelves, but it’s the whole idea of censoring that bugs me. The reason I loved Goodreads was because it allowed me to get the honest truth from readers about books and authors. I used to get books based on Amazon reviews, but a lot of them turned out to be crap, but I’ve gotten way better results after using Goodreads to help me with my book finding.
There are some GREAT bloggers out there who’s reviews and shelves are being deleted and I think it’s just wrong.
At any rate, I decided to stop using Goodreads for my reviews. I’ve slowly begun the import to BookLikes and have really been enjoying it. I will still use Goodreads for shelving my books, reading discussions, and whatnot. I will also (hopefully) post links to my reviews, but not the full review. Ultimately, my blog will ALWAYS have my reviews, but it’s nice to crosspost and help out the awesome authors who are out there.
Total confusion. I joined one afternoon and set up my page and started the LONG process of uploading my books. Naturally, I started uploading when everyone else would upload, so I’m thinking it will take MONTHS to get all my books in it. But I’ve been going in bit by bit and making sure my book covers are there, my reviews are formatted correctly, etc. It’s kind of tedious, but kind of fun, as well. To me, BookLikes seemed to be like a Tumblr, but for total bookishness, which is awesome. Read on for more thoughts!
What I Like:
- The look. I love that I can say which page is the front page for my BookLikes account — the timeline, the blog, or the shelf. I think that the blog looks the cleanest and I can have my reviews and reblogs from other users on it. Not only am I sharing my reviews, but I’m sharing the bookish love of OTHERS’ posts as well.
- The customization. Just like Tumblr, I can add in links to my other pages, including my official blog, change the colours, and the look of my page. I can add a background picture, or a header picture, as well as my Twitter feed.
- The linking. When I add a review, I can add in a link of the source of the review — I link back to my own page where the review was originally posted, or to another blogger’s blog if I’ve guest reviewed it there.
- Spoiler alerts. I like that I can just click a button for this. I mean, sure that’s what you did in Goodreads, but it’s nice that it’s still so simple.
- Half stars! So many times, I’d write “More like 3.5 stars” or the like in Goodreads. It’s nice that I can finally use half stars! I also like the look of the rating on my page. It’s fancy.
What I Don’t Like:
- The look. While there are certain things I like, I wish that I was savvy enough to do things like change the font of my ‘blog’ name on BookLikes, just to make it stand out more. There’s also room for a tagline, but there’s no real customization for that (like colours, etc.).
- The customization. I wish that I could add in more than one custom URL, as well as arrange the order of the links I have on my page.
- The import. Not only does it take FOREVER (maybe not when it’s in such high demand), but I have to go through and update my reviews because there’s no line spacing and it looks horrible. I don’t mind doing this, but eventually, it’s going to be a pain in the butt.
- Spoiler alerts. Whereas in Goodreads, the review would be hidden for spoilers, in BookLikes, there’s a small red warning above the review to alert readers of spoilers. I’m not sure if I would catch it right off the bat.
- Unable to select different versions of books on your shelf. This might be because they’re being imported — obviously I could select a certain version when adding a book in manually, but I wish I could click on a cover and select a different version right from my shelves.
- Feature shelves. On the blog, you can share your recently added, currently reading, or favourites shelf. I want to show a recently read shelf. I can’t figure out how to do that.
- Customizing posts. It still seems limited on what you can do when customizing posts. I’m not sure if it’s easier if you understand CSS (which I do not), but it would be nice to have the option of centering photos when posting images.
- Searching. I really, really wish I could search my shelves when I go to add a review. I’m not usually one to write and post a review immediately after reading, so this would be great.
So far, I’m really liking BookLikes. I might not stop using my Goodreads account, but like I said, I’ll be limiting what I do in Goodreads. BookLikes seems like it’s a fun thing to use, mainly because I can post things OTHER than my reviews on it (like sharing bookish pictures, or new covers and the like). While it might not have discussion boards or anything, it’ll still be a nice way to stay social in the community.
Are you using BookLikes? What do you like and dislike about it?