The StoryGraph: To Help My 2024 Goals. Join Me?

The StoryGraph: To Help My 2024 Goals. Join Me?

Hello, Readers!

It’s 2024 already. How? How did that happen?!

Like many of you (I suspect), I’ve added ‘read more’ to my goals for this year. I try not to make resolutions, but rather goals. It feels a little less pushy and more gentle. You still have something to strive for, but it somehow feels less harsh. Anyway, I have very limited time, so reading so often finds itself on the back burner.

I’ve also found that since university, I’ve had far less time and will for reading for pleasure. That’s unacceptable to me; not just because as I writer, I should be reading widely, but because reading was such a delight for younger me. I loved it… and I still do, when I make myself sit down and do it.

Image by Agata from Pixabay

I used to rely on GoodReads a lot to track and discuss books with like-minded people. But it lost its charm. I’m not sure why. Perhaps it got too big and tried to do too much? Perhaps its when it started to change focus from connecting readers to generating income, and it started to charge for things it never used to (thanks, Amazon. Psht). But I haven’t been on GoodReads for many, many years.

Having been adrift for a while, I went looking for alternatives to that platform last year, and stumbled across StoryGraph. It’s a neat little app. It doesn’t have all the features of GoodReads, but I feel like that is part of its strength. It’s much more for readers, and much more centred on books and reading. I’m hoping that it, in addition to, will help me reach my (very modest) reading goal for this year – 12 books. One a month.

I’ve started a book club on (The Dusty Shelf, if you feel like joining) which is very lax – there’s no meeting scheduled, I’m just putting up the books I’m reading for each month, and when I plan on being finished with the title. You can read too or not, and we can chat about it there. In addition to that, I’m using The StoryGraph to keep me on track.

The StoryGraph has very recently launched a new feature called a read-along. They previously had a buddy read, in which you could read with friends on the site. This functions the same, more or less, but the read-along is public. Up to 1000 people can sign up and read along with you. It’s kinda like a book club, but much less formal. Kind of what I’m going with The Dusty Shelf.

Why am I doing both? Well, that’s a good question. It’s really just to give whomever wants to read with me an option of platform. That’s pretty much it.

Anyway, after some thought, I decided to do a read-along instead of a buddy read on StoryGraph (largely because I don’t expect folks I know to sign up for my book club. We’re all very busy! And I don’t think I have any IRL friends that are signed up to The StoryGraph), despite it being public-facing and that, frankly, terrifies me a little bit. I still want to chat books with someone! And also, it’s a great way to hold myself accountable.

The book club and read-along technically started yesterday (as of the publishing of this post), so I don’t have much to report on the usability of the new function, but I’m really looking forward to it. Everything is all set up. The set up was easy, and made sense, and looks on the surface of it to be a great way to help me keep up with my goals. I will update you all at the end of the first read-along about how I found it from a reader-experience. As an organizer, though, it’s working so far!

If I’m being perfectly honest, I didn’t use it as much as I should have last year. I’m going to try and be better about that this year.

Are you on The StoryGraph? How have you found it? I’d really love to hear about your experience.

And in case you’re interested, the January book for The Dusty Shelf and thus my read-along on The StoryGraph is Winterset Hollow by Jonathan Edward Durham. I received this book for Christmas, and was told it was one of the weirdest books ever, and a favourite read of 2023. I’m looking forward to diving in to it.

If you are on The StoryGraph, please join me. I started, as of the publication of this post (hopefully) yesterday, so you’re not far behind at all!

When S.M. Carrière isn’t brutally killing your favorite characters, she spends her time teaching martial arts, live streaming video games, and cuddling her cat. In other words, she spends her time teaching others to kill, streaming her digital kills, and cuddling a furry murderer. Her most recent titles include Daughters of BritainSkylark and Human.


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Thomas Parker

I’ve never used – or even looked at – GoodReads. Black Gate is the place I talk about and find out about science fiction, fantasy and horror, and other kinds of books I hear about and talk about in all kinds of other places. I have a friend that I read two books a year with, one in the spring and one in the fall. This year we’re going to read Samuel Beckett’s novel Murphy and the fourth volume in Anthony Trollope’s Palliser series. (We read a lot of Victorian stuff – Dickens, George Eliot, Wilkie Collins, Robert Browning.) Fifteen years ago I started recording every book I read during the year, which is something I had never done before, though I’ve been a constant reader all my life. I just felt that the digital age and its constant distractions and erosion of attention required a more intentional focus on reading, a more deliberate approach. But this year, I’m considering dropping the whole idea of keeping track of the books I read; I’m finding that I’m paying more attention to boosting my yearly total (especially in regard to the year before) than I am to the reading itself. In 2024, I’m actually aiming to read less (maybe) but read better. We’ll see how it works out!

K. Jespersen

Willing to try (though, predictably, the moment I grabbed the StoryGraph application, the service went down for maintenance), so will get a copy of “Winterset Hollow.” Are audiobooks fair game for this, or only text copies?

K. Jespersen

Alright, then! When possible, I’ll sign up for the read-along, and swap between text and audio when driving requirements dictate.

So far, the description and reviews of “Winterset Hollow” give the impression that it shares a tone with Holmberg’s “The Fifth Doll.”

K. Jespersen

But of course!

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