I saw that there’s this new app called ‘Readerly’. Everyone on Twitter was talking about it and I obviously wanted to test it out. Some of you may know that I am against Amazon and everything they stand for. I don’t purchase anything off Amazon. The only time I purchase something from Amazon, is when it’s from Book Depository, but that’s only for when I host giveaways and want to make sure all my international followers get a chance to participate (and even then I’m making sure I check Blackwell’s and Wordery first).
Back to the Readerly app: I had no idea what to expect, but I gotta say I am very pleased with what I saw. If you go to their website (readerly.com), this statement is the first thing you see.
An independent, reader supported alternative to Goodreads
We’re making book discovery better for readers and fairer for authors by challenging the ever-growing influence Amazon has over our reading choices.
Now onto the app. I joined the waiting list and it took 5-7 days to get an invite. Once you get the invite you got to make sure you’ve downloaded the app (and all the new updates). In the mail you’ll find a link and it will send you to the app.
First question — What do you read?
There are five categories; fiction, nonfiction, young adult, poetry and drama. There is also a sixth option that’s called ‘children’s COMING SOON’ but you can’t click on it.
Second question — What genres do you read?
For every category you chose, you’ll have to indicate which genres you like. There are quite a few options so I won’t be typing them all out. Examples: action & adventure, romance, magical realism, historical fiction etc.
Third question — Topics you don’t like
Here you can choose topics you don’t want to see on the app. Here are also quite a few options so I won’t be typing them all out. Examples: civil war era, manga, romantic comedy, vampires etc.
Finding like-minded readers by answering 3 questions
The app presents you with three questions which each have four answers. You can pick up to two answers. I don’t want to ruin the fun, so I won’t be telling you what the questions are.
Once you’ve completed the questions you’ll see some friend suggestion that like the same books as you do.
Do I like it?
I like the idea of the app, but I’m less fan of the execution. I want to get more recommendations and want to be able to find books I’ll love that aren’t necessarily best sellers.
Upgrade your subscription — There are a lot of options you have to pay for. Of course I understand that these creators have to get their money from somewhere, but it was a bit frustrating to see that I had to upgrade for all the ‘extra’ options. The tabs ‘new’, ‘recommendations’ and ‘groups’ can’t be used unless you have a subscription and so is the ‘up next’ function (the first 10.000 users got a free subscription so that’s probably why a lot of users can see books in those tabs).
Gists — I liked writing my first gist and like seeing other peoples gists. I think it’s a fun feature.
Ratings — Readerly decided not to include ratings in their app. Although I agree with their statement that people often see a 3.5 star rating (or anything below that) as negative, I still would like to see a rating. Now you get a percentage. You see how many percent* of like-minded readers recommended the book and how many said the book was their favourite. I would’ve loved to see an option where you could turn the rating on or off. And also 0.5 and 0.25 ratings and the ability to give a book 0 stars!!!!!
*percentage is based on your interests, the questions you’ve answered and the books you’ve rated
Hiding books — This is a feature I absolutely love, although I also would’ve liked to see the option to hide a certain author. I don’t want to have to block every single one of Jay Kristoff’s or Emily Duncan’s books in order for me to not see them on my homepage.
Double books — I’ve also noticed that some books are twice on the app (I think I saw three different Warcrosses by Marie Lu. I do like the option to add a book, but you have to make sure people can’t add the same book five times otherwise the percentage might change from each version.
This was a short review because I honestly wasn’t expecting I had to pay for basically everything. I was excited to try the app out and get awesome recommendations but now I have to look up books to see if like-minded people liked them. Which isn’t a recommendation.
Would I recommend it?
As a free user, I wouldn’t recommend Readerly. There just aren’t enough free features for it to be worth downloading.
What’s your favourite app to use? Let me know in the comments!