There are several apps out there to find new books, track your reading, create virtual bookshelves, and do all things book-related. There are even Notion templates for the same, which let you have maximum customisability. I’ve tried out several of these options over the years, including the classic Goodreads, but have never been able to stick to them for a period longer than six months. At the start of 2021, I discover The StoryGraph, and there has been no going back since then.
Let me talk about three features that make The StoryGraph stick out from the rest, starting from my most favourite:
Stats, stats, and more stats than you know what to do with
The StoryGraph allows you to view various combinations of information about the books you’ve read, books on your TBR, books you own, and even books you’ve DNFed. There are breakdowns available by book length, genre, pacing, formats, year read, your rating, and even custom tags that you can create for every single book.
These stats are how I learned last year that I am an overtly generous reviewer. Most of my books were rated 4 and above when in retrospect I know I didn’t like a significant chunk of them.
Reading with buddies
This is probably, objectively, the best feature on The StoryGraph. If you’re anything like me, half the fun in reading a good book is gasping at all the right moments and ranting about it to people. And the only thing better than that is when they also know what you’re talking about and reply in kind.
With Buddy Read, you can pick a book and invite your friends (or The StoryGraph’s recommended users who want to read the book) to read with you. To share your thoughts, you specify the page number you’re on and then type out your comment. The comment remains locked for the other readers until they update their reading progress to the page you’ve mentioned or further. This is especially brilliant because it seamlessly brings together the readers who binge a book in four hours and the readers who diligently read 50 pages a day.
Open and interactive roadmap
The StoryGraph is a small company, and one of the ways they remain incredibly connected with their users is through their open roadmap. There is space to give feedback, report bugs, and even request new features. The team maintains transparency with a board where all these comments and responses by users are split up into categories based on their current status – ‘up next’, ‘in progress’, ‘long-term’, etc. A quick look at this board, especially the long list under ‘shipped’, renews confidence in The StoryGraph as a product.
There is a Plus version for the app, which lets you voice your comments on the roadmap and shape the direction it takes. There are some additional benefits like advanced stats and more personalised recommendations. However, the standard free version is more than amazing, and you don’t really miss out on much. I used The StoryGraph for free for a year, and I recently paid for a Plus subscription purely because it is an app I love and want to support.
P.S. The team is pretty active on Instagram at @the.storygraph if you would like to ask them any questions or see more of what happens behind the scenes.