As an avid book reader, collector, obsessive compulsive person, I naturally had found myself a place of joy and wonder, where I could connect with other readers, make friends, and share my ideas on the world of literature.

Or so I thought.

I joined the Chapters website back when Chapters and Indigo were separate companies, rather than being under one umbrella logo.  And at first I loved it despite it’s flaws.  I spent days inputting my collection to my Chapters profile, searching for that one ISBN that corresponded with the edition I had.  I tweaked my shelves until they were just right, made my lists, and went hunting for groups to join to share in my love of books.

And despite the flaws I came across, I had a lot of fun.  At first.

Soon I came to realize that half of the groups I joined, whenever something was posted, I had no interest in what was being said.  No one I knew had a profile there, and few people seemed interested in talking to me.  And you were only allowed 5 shelves: one with your reading/have read/plan to read, two you could name whatever you like, one for DVDs, Toys, and Music.

Needless to say, limiting right?

But I stayed with it, writing my reviews and pissing off the people who never once thought to themselves, “Hmmm, if I REALLY don’t like spoilers, maybe I shouldn’t read any reviews on this book.  Maybe I should look at how highly rated it is instead.”  But not all people can be as laid back as me. I don’t care too much about spoilers, in books or movies much to my boyfriend’s dismay.  I’m personally more interested in the journey than the destination, the story itself rather than the ending.

It’s kinda like buying a Sean Bean movie.  You know he’s going to die, the big question is how.

Sorry Mr. Bean, we all love you but even you know it’s true….

Anyways, that was the pace of my internet writings for the longest time until the other day when I stumbled across GoodReads.

I’ll be honest with how I found it.  I was fidgeting with my account here, and I found a widget for GoodReads.  And I said to myself, ‘Wazzat?”  I knew I should have something to do with books, so being the good book crazy person I am, I checked it out.

And I am not disappointed.

GoodReads if you haven’t found it yet is a lot like the Chapters website, but better. If I could be any more in love with a website it would be downright creepy.  It’s more community based than retail based, it’s easier to use in some ways, and there are more options for personalization.  In other words, way more pros than cons.

But don’t just take my word for it….

The GoodReads VS Chapters.ca Debate:

1: The biggest thing for me is that a lot of authors have profiles on GoodReads, so you can follow them and see what they’re reading, what books they recomend, and they’ll even post info on their upcoming books and tours.

-Chapters does have authors, but not near as many, or as big named as Neil Gaiman, Jim Butcher, Terry Brooks, or Brandon Sanderson. (to name a few)

2: On GoodReads you can have as many shelves you like, names whatever you want, and you can decide how exclusive they are.  The exclusivity only really refers to how many shelves a book can be on at once.  For example, if I had two exclusive shelves named Vampire and Sucky Teen Books, Twilight can only go on one of them despite theoretically being able to belong on both.  However if I had an exclusive shelf Suvky Teen Books and a non exclusive shelf Vampire, I can put Twilight on both.

(Not that Twilight would come anywhere near my collection for fear of being beaten to a bloody pulp for all the other awesome books I have there…)

-Chapters only has 5 shelves, 2 of which are customizable.

3: GoodReads lets you write your own fan fiction and post it for others to read.  So GoodReads supports creative writing and intellectual pursuits despite the latest attempts in the States with PIPA and SOPA (see, I pay attention to world news!)

-Chapters only lets you do something akin to blog posts.  You can’t write and post fan fic or original works for other people to find and read.

4: On GoodReads you don’t have to search for your specific ISBN unless you really want to.  When you look up a book, even if the cover is different, it will say in the bottom right corner how many edition have been published.  So really pick any one and your edition is in there somewhere.

-If you’re picky, Chapters has an ISBN for pretty much every edition, but the pictures change over time when they come out with new covers so they’re really no point if you want the cover specific to your edition.

5: GoodReads has more ‘fun’ stuff you can do.  You can take trivia on books, take polls, find quotes from famous and not to famous people to add to your profile. etc.

-Chapters lets you do polls/quizzes in group posts only.  You can’t just start taking random quizzes whenever you want if you ever get bored.

6: When you add books to your shelves or finish reading books, you can set an exact calendar date if you like so you can keep track of how long it takes you to read a book or whatnot.

-Chapters only gives you approximates, in years, months, weeks and days.  If you finished a book on January 3rd 2011, it’ll show up as A Year Ago on Chapters.

7: GoodReads gives you all these nifty stats.  Authors you read the most, books you’ve read each year, pages you’ve read each year, people visiting your site, etc etc.

-Chapters has no such stats.

8: GoodReads lets you link in with Facebook, WordPress, Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail, Twitter, and many more.

-Chapters, not so much.

Both: Chapters.ca and GoodReads both let you post reviews on books, and both let you purchase anything you decide to pick up.  Chapters.ca is a direct retail site, while GoodReads will refer you to an online site where you can purchase the book.

So I’ve spent the last 3 days setting up my GoodReads account, transferring over all my books and reviews manually from Chapters.ca, getting my profile set up the way I like it, and generally tooling around seeing what it has to offer.  And I like what I see!  Now don’t get me wrong, I’ll still have a Chapters.ca website, I’m just going to keep it for buying anything I can’t find in store.

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