Ever since the change in T&C’s over at Goodreads (click here for more info), everyone has been squealing censorship and trying to find new alternatives. Although I whole heartedly agree with some of Goodread’s changes, I have looked for alternatives and one that has come up amongst all of the results (LibraryThing, Shefari, Riffle) was Booklikes.
Booklikes is very new to the book blog industry. As far as I can find, it was created only a few months ago. For me it is the bookish version of Tumblr. You can like people’s reviews, repost them (reblog – i.e post them on to your blog) and you can comment on them. Like Goodreads you can categorize your books and you can create shelves, but there are some additional features that I am a fan of.
For those who don’t have the time to read an in depth post about Booklikes, all I can say is that it is as Good as Goodreads. Due to the fact that there has been a tidal wave of people joining at the moment, it can be slow but apart from that you get all of the features you have with Goodreads and a lot more.
Here are some features of Booklikes that I have come across. These are the ones that are similar to Goodreads. The ones that are additional to Goodreads (and what make Booklikes better) I will discuss further on in the post.
When you have created your account this is the first thing you will come across. The home page is your main source of info. It allows you to post 5 kinds of posts: Text (in this option, you can click review and it changes it to a review where you can link it to a book and it adds a photo of the cover for you) Quote, Photo, Video, and URL. From here you can add books to your shelves (you automatically have 7 – 3 main ones: Read, panning to read, currently reading and 4 subs shelves: favourite, wishlist, reviewed and private)
2a. Features of the homepage: Friends Activity
As with Goodreads, the homepage is where most of your follower’s activity can be seen. It allows you to see them as they would be seen on their blog and from here you can repost, like and comment on people’s activity/posts. One of the main things I like about the “Dashboard” is that each post is given so much more space than in Goodreads and it allows you to scroll through your follower’s post with ease.
2b. Reading Challenge
As with Goodreads, on the left hand side of your homepage below what you are currently reading it displays your yearly reading challenge which can be updated in your settings. There is not much to be said with the feature as it is practically the same.
2c. Currently Reading
On the left side of your homepage just above the reading challenhe, it displays what you are currently reading if you mark it in to your shelf. Even though this feature is similar to that of Goodreads, I prefer this one as it actually shows a bigger picture of the cover. When you click finished, it automatically adds it to your read shelf with the date you finished reading it.
Now on to the additional features! With Boolikes, not only do you get a place where you can see your friends activity, shelve books and display what you are reading, but you also get a blog that comes with it (which is the same as Tumblr) you get given a web address with you user name: username.booklikes.com (mine is http://alexsarahlouise.booklikes.com/) and within the blog you have you shelves, timeline and Booklikes blog which contains all of your activity)
3. Your blog
Your blog will look something like this. There are 3 themes to choose from which you can customise in terms of fonts and colours. This is my favourite part of Booklikes as it takes all that you would do on Goodreads and make it in to a blog for you. I can’t post that often on here but it is nice to know that I can just put what I am reading on Booklikes and it comes up as a post.
This is accessible from you blog and from your homepage (it doesn’t take you to you blog page, it takes you to a timeline on the main site). This is one of my favourite features. I know you can see when you read your books on Goodreads, but to see them in chronological order in the form of a timeline is divine. It is also interesting to see how your tastes have changed over time.
These are the shelves that are accessible via your blog. As you can see in screen shot 3, there are 3 links: blog, shelves and timeline. In your settings you can change it so when people click on the link to your Booklikes it will go to one of those three options. This is not that much different to Goodreads accept that I think that it is a bit more sleek and tidier when it comes to presenting your reads.
6. Features of the blog: The side bar
Huge images so you can see them! So, this is the side bar that comes with the blog and timeline. One thing I liked was that it allows you to put all of your links in there. This goes for all three templates too! As you can see it allows for many links. In mine there is: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and Tumblr. You can edit the header of you blog, so if you are a book blogger and you have a main blog, I recommend you put your blog URL in there as I have done (screen shot 3)
Now on to the nifty things! I think these features are so useful and they definitely deserve a mention.
7. Importing books
One thing that put me off moving books sites (or making another one anyway!) was the concept of re-adding books. I have just over 500 books on my shelves and the thought of adding them one by one crippled me. However, there is an option to import books from many other sites (Goodreads, Librarything, Lovely Books) and it is as easy as pie. All you do is go to Goodreads, export your books as a CSV file (which it does automatically) and then select the file when you click choose file to import. If you want me to do a tutorial on importing and exporting from Goodreads to Booklikes, comment below. Warning: The import process is running slowly at the minute due to the influx of users moving from Goodreads.
8. Adding pages to your blog
If you are going to use Booklikes as your main book blog (I have considered it) you are going to want to add an about me/contact/review policy page. With Booklikes you can do it. All you have to do is go in to settings. Also, want all your posts that are tagged with something to be in one place? (e.g. horror reviews) All you have to do is change page type from “simple text” to “redirect to URL” and write in the box “tagged-insert tag here”. For example, if you want all of your reviews tagged with “horror” to be in one place and create a page for it type “tagged-horror” where it says page address and Horror Reviews in to the pages title box and off you go. If you want an in depth tutorial, comment below!
As you can see by my sidebar, Booklikes have also made widgets which fit in pretty well with blogs. They also do other types such as your shelves and so on. The only thing that is turning me off for Booklikes is the fact that they don’t have an App yet. I assume with how fast it is growing, that they will have one soon though.
So here is my roundup of Booklikes. I think it is the next best thing when it comes to migrating or opening up your options when it comes to cataloguing books. The additional features of Timelines, Blogs, Shelves, Pages and Imports are fab and ease usage. I really do think this is the next best thing when it comes to cataloguing books. I urge you all to get one, even if you don’t use all of the features. It is still a good way to keep all bookish people connected. I personally will be keeping both my Goodreads and Booklikes and see how all the T&C’s fiasco pans out.
DISCLAIMER: I am by no means an expert. All this is opinion and based on my experience of what I have found on the site while using it. Thank you 🙂