Goodreads is a silo for keeping track of books, reviews, and reading progress. Amazon purchased Goodreads in 2013. It was announced on 2020-12-17 that Goodreads will "no longer issues new developer keys for our public developer API and plans to retire the current version of these tools".
How to export your data
- Would be good to mung any of these into h-review based files for import into an indiewebsite -- Kartik Prabhu
There is also a plugin for the desktop software Calibre that will allow one to sync large portions of their data directly to their computer.
How to import your data
- Multiple shelves (or tags) to categorize your books.
- Books can be put on multiple shelves.
- There are three core, "exclusive" shelves: read, currently-reading, and to-read.
- All books must be in one and only one of these shelves.
- Additional "exclusive" shelves can be added by the user.
- Books can be bookmarked as "want to read" and they'll be placed on that specific shelf
- When a book is on the currently-reading shelf, you can post reading progress updates (these are similar to notes, but are specific to books)
- A page number or percentage can be entered
- Optionally, a status of up to 420 characters can be entered
- The currently-reading list shows the percentage complete based on your last reading progress update
- A stream of your friends' added books and reading progress updates
- An annual reading challenge where you can select the number of books you want to read during that year.
- Your reading progress is tracked and informs you whether you are on track or # books behind.
- . . .
September 1, 2022:
Goodreads is removing a few features. You have until 2022-09-01 to request your data which will include:
- favorite authors list: See: https://help.goodreads.com/s/article/Why-are-you-removing-the-favorite-authors-page-from-Goodreads
- recommendations in review creation: "we no longer include the options of who recommended a book and who to recommend it to."
- owned books: "we no longer support the option to add details about owned books such as condition and purchase date."
POSSE to Goodreads
- gRegor Morrill has manually POSSEd reviews to Goodreads.
- Kyle Mahan has been automatically POSSEing reviews to Goodreads since 2015-12-30
- original: https://kylewm.com/2015/12/review-of-ancillary-justice-by-ann-leckie (could not find archive of this URL)
- POSSE copy: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1484943470
- Chris Aldrich has been manually POSSEing both status updates and reviews to GoodReads since 2016-09-13. Examples can be found in this feed.
API for Goodreads
On 2020-12-15, Goodreads announced that it will "no longer issues new developer keys for our public developer API and plans to retire the current version of these tools".
The API appears to be good for posting information to Goodreads but not as good for reading information, e.g. for PESOS. For example, there does not appear to be a method to directly retrieve a user's updates (reading progress, reviews). The user.show method gets a user's information along with their 10 latest updates, though. It appears multiple calls to different endpoints are necessary to get more complete information.
- In the Goodreads Developers group there is a thread titled "Is the public API maintained at all?" raising some concerns about some things being broken, apparently lack of selfdogfooding by Goodreads (instead using a private, undocumented API). Quite a few other developers echoed the concerns. The thread was started 2017-03-19 and there does not appear to be an official response from Goodreads as of 2019-03-08. 
To POSSE a review to Goodreads would basically involve:
- creating an API key and secret with Goodreads
- OAuthing on behalf of the user
- Searching for the book_id in Goodreads
- Searching for the "shelf" in Goodreads
- Posting the review
Their API guidelines also *require* a link back to the "original" post in Goodreads.
- What if the post on Goodreads is a copy and not the original? - Tantek
PESOS from Goodreads
- Chris Aldrich has experimented with PESOS of data from Goodreads. While each user has a primary RSS feed from Goodreads that can be found on their user page, it's a mixture of various interactions including status updates (with reading progress), follows, bookmarks (aka "want to reads"), reads and other interactions. This doesn't make it easy to map directly to individual post types on one's website.
- Alternate RSS feeds for better posting fidelity:
- Status updates: https://www.goodreads.com/user_status/list/#######-user-name?format=rss where #######-user-name is the typical user number and name combination at one’s profile page.
- Bookmarks (for want to read): https://www.goodreads.com/review/list_rss/#######-user-name?page=1&per_page=100&shelf=to-read&sort=date&utf8=%E2%9C%93
- Reads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/list_rss/#######-user-name?page=1&per_page=100&shelf=read&sort=date&utf8=%E2%9C%93
- All updates: https://www.goodreads.com/user/updates_rss/#######
- Chris has outlined a method for using services like IFTTT, Zapier, et al. to take RSS feeds and post to websites using webhooks to publish to a website's Micropub endpoint. Those without a Micropub endpoint my consider using direct posting if it's available on IFTTT to their platform.
- Alternate RSS feeds for better posting fidelity:
- Indie Book Club by gRegor Morrill is a simple app for tracking books that you are reading. It will publish to your site via micropub.
- media checkin
- LibraryThing similar service
- Criticism: https://twitter.com/wschenk/status/1183752193280794626
- "Why does goodreads suck so much? Is there a nice #indieweb alternative?" @wschenk October 14, 2019
- Stub on Github to add publish/backfeed functionality on brid.gy
- Add review to Goodreads from Schema markup by Terence Eden
- Criticism: Amazon’s Goodreads Is a Poor Excuse for a Book-Based Social Network
- Criticism Why Goodreads is bad for books in NewStatesman
- Criticism: https://twitter.com/TIME/status/1425457727032205316 — 2021-08-09 TIME: https://time.com/6078993/goodreads-review-bombing/
- UX is hard to improve https://uxdesign.cc/goodreads-ux-indispensable-but-unsatisfying-fc250f316947
- ActivityPub alternative https://joinbookwyrm.com/