A few weeks ago, I came across a new website, sort of like Goodreads, whose sole purpose is to allow you to virtually shelve books that you’ve read, categorize them, and otherwise keep track of them. Today, I want to share it with you and show you some of the pros and cons of using Shelfjoy by giving a brief tutorial!
When you first arrive at Shelfjoy.com , you are met with an adorable picture of a library and the quote, “The books you’d rather be reading, Curated by the people who know & love reading.” It’s super cute, and it’s what got me hooked and decided to do the review in the first place.
Scrolling down, there’s a #BestOfThisWeek with some people’s shelves and book recommendations, which is something that I think is really cool, and has exposed me to a lot of new books already. I’ve noticed that a lot of these tend to be nonfiction, but there is some fiction mixed in, especially if you scroll down long enough. Some of my personal favorites include the Berkeley 2016 Summer Reading List, and Ernest Hemingway’s Reading List for a Young Writer, the latter mostly because I’d heard of about 4/14 books, which is really unusual for me and made me vaguely mad at myself.
Now, comes the part which is the only thing I dislike about this site– signing up. To do so, you have to log in with Twitter, and maybe it’s just my immense distaste of overlaying websites like this, but I despise logging in through Twitter, as I’m afraid it’s going to Tweet something that I don’t want it to.
After that, it’s all uphill. The thing that makes this better than Goodreads is that you can make as many shelves as you want, labeled whatever you want. If I want to make a “Powerful Reads” shelf (I did) then I can, and I can add books and leave a little note, as well as choose from a selection of emojis to adequately describe how I feel. It makes me feel really organized, and I think I’ll use it from now on to keep track of my books that I read for challenges. Actually, you can check out my Read Harder Challenge shelf, which will be updated as I go!! I do it on my website anyways, but it might be easier to just have a link.
AND THE BEST PART!?!?! You can add books to multiple categories, and have different “notes” for each one. Which means when I add it to the Read Harder Challenge list, I can just write which part it meets, and when I add it to “5 Stars” I can write about why I thought that, or perhaps just add a link to my review. That’s beyond convenient.
The other feature of Shelfjoy that I really like is that while browsing other people’s shelves, you can add books to your reading list, which can then be viewed from your profile. It’s similar once more to Goodreads, except you don’t have to click on the book itself to view a description, because it’s all nicely laid out on one page to minimize clicks that force loading and slow internet reception.
One problem that I’ve had while using the site is that the search bar is not especially user friendly. You can type in what you want, and it will give you suggestions, but once you hit enter it simply brings you back to the home page. If you want to search anything specific, you just have to stick with the suggestions which pop up under the search bar while you type. For actually finding books while making a shelf, however, the search bar there is quite user friendly and works for both ISBN and keywords.
So, to summarize the site!
- Easy to use
- Add books to as many different shelves as you need
- Unique notes for each book on each shelf
- Loads summary without extra clicks
- Cute font and header image
- Works well for challenges and the like
- ISBN and keyword search for books
- Poor search bar for finding new shelves
- Login through Twitter only
Overall, I would recommend Shelfjoy, not as a replacement to Goodreads, but to accompany it as a way to find new books (especially nonfiction) and in order to categorize books for reading challenges in a more user friendly way than Goodreads allows.
Disclaimer: I was asked to do this review, and compensated for my time. However, the contents of my review were not influenced in any way, and I was paid for my time, not what I wrote. Everything that was written was genuine.
Do you use ShelfJoy? What do you think? Is it something that you would be interested in using? Let me know, comment below!
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