Top Ten Online Book Resources

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) is our favorite online book resources, which is something I have lots of opinions about.

Sites for book tracking, reviewing, and recommendations.  This year I started using The StoryGraph in addition to Goodreads.  At the moment I’m still using both, but I hope to switch over to one at some point so I’m not doing everything twice. 

What I like about The StoryGraph:

  • Tracking challenges
  • It categorizes books by genre, mood, etc. so I don’t have to.
  • More data analysis – it creates lots of graphs and pie charts to show me what I’m reading.
  • Better book recommendations.

What I prefer about Goodreads:

  • A little easier to navigate. 
  • Unlimited ways to categorize books. 
  • I can use a widget to share what I’m currently reading on my blog.
  • It’s easier to write and post reviews (StoryGraph has a structured review format).
  • Many more readers, so its easier to connect with others and lead people to the blog.

Sites for free books.

I love Overdrive and my library websites.  Overdrive and related app Libby make it so easy to  create wish lists, put books on hold, and download books when they’re available.  It’s a great source for both ebooks and audiobooks, so I always have plenty to read.  I can even “recommend” a book when the libraries don’t stock it, and then if they purchase it, the book comes to me automatically. 

I’ve been using NetGalley to pick up advance review copies for a long time.  The trick with NetGalley is only to request books you really want to read.  Otherwise you’ll get bogged down with books you should read but don’t have time for, which then hurts your reviewer profile.  I try to use NetGalley pretty sparingly, but it’s a fantastic way to get the newest books from some of my favorite authors.

Sites for reading ideas and information.

I write a lot about Modern Mrs. Darcy, by Anne Bogel.  It’s a wonderful source of book recommendations, from creative book lists like “31 mystery novels avid readers recommend again and again” to the What Should I Read Next? Podcast.  And if you’re a paying member of the site,  you also have access to the MMD community, book club, and book events. 

The Mary Sue is a website focused on science fiction and fantasy geekdom in all its forms (TV, movies, books) but viewed through a feminist lens.  So they profile a lot of diverse female authors and also are deeply critical of entertainment that’s sexist or racist or homophobic.  Books are a rather small part of the website but I do enjoy their monthly book recommendations, and since so many books are turned into shows and movies, I find a lot of books that way too. 

Audie awards (AudioFile Magazine): I don’t have a lot of good sources for audiobook recommendations, and wish I did.  But I was happy to discover this website that gives out “Audie Awards” every year to audiobooks in a wide range of categories.

Sites for connecting with readers.

I found my current book club a few years ago using Meetup.com, and if I was looking for another book club, there are tons of options on this website.  It’s an easy way to connect with people who share your interests, and it’s helpful because you can see if they meet in your area and what types of books they read.  The only downside is that these book clubs are basically open to the public, so I’ve found it’s difficult to build personal connections in these clubs because members change so often.  On the other hand, if you’re looking for book clubs where people really read and discuss the books (rather than friends just getting together to drink wine) this is a great resource.  Of course I live in a metropolitan area, so there are tons of people on Meetup, and that probably won’t be true in more rural or remote areas.

Sites for creating blog graphics

I’m still very much a novice at making blog graphics, though I’d love to get better.  I’ve been using PicMonkey for the last few years, and this year my friend Stephanie from SGW Design introduced me to Canva, which I need to explore more.  I’m paying for both at the moment, and not really having the time to learn to use them, but I hope to make this a priority in the next year. 

Sites for buying books

When I tried to find a book vendor that wasn’t Amazon, I discovered Kobo and I’ve been pretty happy with them. Their selection is more limited than Amazon, but since I get most of my reading from the library anyway, Kobo helps fill out my options nicely.  For audiobooks, I pay a monthly fee that’s less than Audible and get one audiobook a month.  For ebooks, they sometimes have really good sales and I can keep a wishlist as I can with Amazon, and pick something up when it’s a good price or I need to read something that isn’t at the library.  Their website is easy to use, and I bought a Kobo e-reader so my purchases sync up with my reader (which also syncs up with Overdrive). 

Those are the online reading I resources I use most often!  I hope you find some of these recommendations useful, and would love to hear what you’re using. 

  30 comments for “Top Ten Online Book Resources

  1. lydiaschoch
    October 19, 2021 at 8:16 am
  2. October 19, 2021 at 10:38 am

    I’m curious to hear your thoughts about Canva and PicMonkey once you’ve had a chance to use them.

    Here is our Top Ten Tuesday.

    • October 19, 2021 at 7:12 pm

      Thanks, I definitely need to use them more and see, I’ve heard many good things about Canva so it may be the stronger of the two, at least for blogging. But that’s my very uninformed opinion.

  3. October 19, 2021 at 11:09 am

    What a well rounded list, amazing blog post! Happy reading! My TTT https://readwithstefani.com/10-books-about-books-on-my-tbr/

  4. JdV
    October 19, 2021 at 12:50 pm

    i love this top ten. So many different ideas that I hadn’t heard of.

    • October 19, 2021 at 7:14 pm

      Thanks for visiting! I hope you discover something you like from this list.

  5. October 19, 2021 at 1:19 pm

    Great list!

    • October 19, 2021 at 6:51 pm

      Thanks! I appreciate the comment.

  6. October 19, 2021 at 4:13 pm

    Good list. I love audios so I do check to see who wins the Audies.

    • October 19, 2021 at 6:51 pm

      I love audiobooks too, and would like to have even better sources of good recommendations. It’s so hard to review audiobooks, since you have to combine the quality of the writing with the quality of the narration, and it’s really hard (for me at least) to separate the two.

      • October 20, 2021 at 5:02 pm

        I really only mention if I DNF because of the reader or if the reader was great. That’s just me–others may go more in depth. I cannot stand getting, say, a British book with an American reader. It’s just WRONG to hear and American say “we went into the lift…” unless its on a ski slope lol

      • October 20, 2021 at 5:52 pm

        I can’t stand when an accent is really terrible, although probably most of the time I don’t know. And I really hate when a male narrator is terrible at voicing female characters, or vice versa.

  7. October 19, 2021 at 5:04 pm

    I totally need to get on Storygraph, ik bloggers have been loving it for ages!

    • October 19, 2021 at 6:49 pm

      I think it’s getting more user-friendly all the time. They have a pay option so as more people support it, I think it will only get better.

  8. October 19, 2021 at 5:04 pm

    Modern Mrs. Darcy looks great!

    My list—https://fiftytwo.blog/2021/10/19/ttt-books-i-loved-but-will-probably-wont-re-read/

    Happy TTT!

    • October 19, 2021 at 6:48 pm

      Thanks for visiting! MMD is such a great blog and podcast. I also really like their Summer Reading Guide. So many great recommendations — it seems to coincide with my reading taste most of the time.

  9. October 19, 2021 at 5:28 pm

    Thanks for these great resources! I wanted to recommend Chirp for audiobooks (https://www.chirpbooks.com). It’s from the same people who own and operate BookBub. What I like about it is that they have reasonably priced non-subscription audiobooks, which is good for me because I don’t read/listen to enough to justify a monthly subscription.

    • October 19, 2021 at 6:46 pm

      Thanks Audrey! I’m happy to have another suggestion for audiobooks. I don’t always use my one/month with Kobo, but I like that they let me carry the credit over. But a non-subscription option might make more sense for me.

  10. masterspj
    October 19, 2021 at 8:16 pm

    My husband got me a gift card for Kobo last Christmas, and I haven’t used it yet. At the time, I didn’t think I’d like audiobooks. Silly me! Since then, I’ve listened to at least 2 audiobooks a month (all through Libby). I guess I should actually use that gift card!

    Pam @ Read! Bake! Create!
    https://readbakecreate.com/5-booktube-creators-worthy-of-checking-out/

  11. October 20, 2021 at 9:34 am

    I glanced at StoryGraph when it first came out, but I haven’t been back to really check it out. I use Goodreads religiously and I don’t want to keep up with both. Still, I need to give it a try, especially since so many people are talking about it on their lists this week!

    Happy TTT (on a Wednesday)!

    Susan
    http://www.blogginboutbooks.com

  12. WendyW
    October 20, 2021 at 10:56 am

    Nice list of great resources. I post reviews to KOBO, but have never tried them for books or audiobooks. Thanks for the tip!

    • October 20, 2021 at 5:50 pm

      Thanks Wendy. I haven’t used Kobo’s review feature, actually. I’m terrible about posting reviews outside the blog.

  13. October 20, 2021 at 2:05 pm

    Great list! I enjoyed PicMonkey for quite a while and used it a lot, until they eliminated the free tools and went fully paid. I haven’t used them since and have found workarounds, but I admit that I was more creative with my graphics when I did use PicMonkey. I really like The Mary Sue too!

  14. October 22, 2021 at 11:43 am

    I made a StoryGraph account, but I was never really able to make the transition from Goodreads. There are still too many benefits to Goodreads, and I can’t keep both updated.

    • October 24, 2021 at 10:58 pm

      You can see I’m pretty much in the same place. I like different things about both of them, and I don’t know how long I’ll want to keep up both.

  15. October 23, 2021 at 1:07 pm

    Thank you for sharing all these wonderful resources. Off to check them out.
    http://www.rsrue.blogspot.com

  16. October 24, 2021 at 2:33 pm

    Hurray for Overdrive and Libby. They really turned me from an e-book skeptic into an e-book convert. I still do not much like buying e-books, but I will happily check them out (and love the instant gratification). And I’m not much of an audiobook listener, but I appreciate that I can easily use Libby to listen to them on my phone without any extra devices or apps.

    • October 24, 2021 at 11:00 pm

      Libby is such a great app, it’s really easy to use, and it’s definitely encouraged me to get most of my reading from the library.

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