Can you easily get books in?
Definitely. LibraryThing imports .csv files, and other formats too. There's a handy 1-2-3 guide for goodreads users.
The import includes a preview, which nicely shows any records that don't match, and why.
It imported nearly all of my GR books, except some which didn't have an ISBN or ASIN number (GR's fault, more on that later)
Can you easily get books out?
Oh yes. You can get books out as a spreadsheet, or json, or other formats.
So, I had signed up for LibraryThing years ago, and added some books.
After adding my current export from GoodReads, I had a superset of old and just-added books. Of which, some might be missing.
To sort this out, I exported the list
and diffed it.
Good data export makes things like this possible. It's table stakes for a book tracking tool.
Can you organize your books?
Oh my goodness yes. Cataloging books is LibraryThing's whole deal.
Though you have to adjust your brain slightly. Your records in LibraryThing are called "works", not books.
A work is a version of a book. A paper book and an audiobook are two different works, for example.
Most of the time, you won't care. But LibraryThing cares. Goodreads also cares - it does a half-decent job of distinguishing editions.
LibraryThing has excellent search. You can search and filter your books six ways from Sunday.
Does it tell you when your friends add a book, or finish one?
Yes. But not as fancily as GR.
This is probably a good place to point out that LibraryThing has an incredible community, with a self-contained forum and groups.
There is. It's not fancy, but it gets the job done.
LibraryThing General impressions
LibraryThing is probably what you want. It does a much better job of cataloging books than GR.
LibraryThing has the coolest are-you-human test I've come across:
LibraryThing's UI is...dense. There's a lot, lot, lot of stuff there.
At first glance, some of it looks like a mishmash of earlier strata of the internet.
You know what? It is a mishmash of earlier strata of the internet.
Have you ever bemoaned the corporate-fenced, advertising-addicted skinner box the internet has become?
Ever waxed nostalgic for that ancient internet of better, more innocent days? When the internet looked like some sort of frontier of knowledge and human connection?
Well it's still around. And it cares about books.