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March 10, 2014 / carlispina

Track Your Reading With Literally

Literally LogoAs an avid reader, I have tried several social networks for readers over the years. The best known are Goodreads and LibraryThing, but other social networks for readers have emerged over the years. One of the most recent additions to this field is Literally.

In many ways, Literally is similar to other online networks for tracking and sharing reading. You can add books to your account either by searching for them by author, title or ISBN or you can import records from an existing Goodreads account. As you read a book you can track it by either number of pages read or percent finished, which is a nice feature for those who use e-readers. There are options to designate a book as finished or to indicate that you decided not to finish a book. You can also add books to your To Be Read list using the same search feature. Adding books to this section of Literally has the added benefit of allowing you to take advantage of online deals that might be offered on any of the books in your To Be Read list, one of the features that sets Literally apart from other similar applications I have tried. In addition to allowing you to track books you have read or plan to read in the future, Literally also aims to help you pick your next book to read. It does this in a few different ways. From a social perspective, you have the option to solicit recommendations from your friends by describing the type of book you are interested in, which will generate a link to be shared with friends. From there, your friends can suggest options, vote on books that are proposed and add their own comments on books you are considering. If you would prefer, you can instead select your next book by using the TBR Challenge. As long as you have 5 books in your To Be Read list, this feature will pit books from your list against one another automatically until you pick your next read. As you continue to use the application you will earn badges and you also have access to statistics on your reading practices. You can also share updates on your reading to social media, though you don’t have to if you opt out of this feature. For those looking for a more social element, you can connect with other users on Literally, but, at this point, it doesn’t have quite the degree of social interaction that Goodreads offers. Instead, Literally focuses on offering readers tools to keep track of their own reading and share brief updates on other networks.

LiterallyAll of these features, combined with a nice user interface, makes Literally an interesting addition to the list of available reading applications that are out there. At this point, Literally is still in closed beta, and there are still some features to come. For example, currently Literally doesn’t offer any widgets, though it does note that they are under development, and you can only import existing records from Goodreads, not from other networks such as LibraryThing. Given that Literally was created by a book blogger and a web developer, the focus on features that readers will like instead of social interaction makes sense and to take this a step further users also have the option to vote on which features Literally will add next or suggest new features of their own. All of this combines to give the sense of a new application that is already useful but has a lot more planned for the future. If you are an avid reader, Literally is a great new option for tracking your books.

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