– Is it the Next Goodreads?


Three weeks ago, chatter about Literally flooded my Twitter stream with equal parts excitement and curiosity. I was of the latter group, and I quickly did some research and found all I could.

1. It was founded by a book blogger and her husband.

2. It’s still in beta and membership is by-invitation only.

Number two won me over. I love beta sites. I love being an early user who gets to watch things grow.

Speaking of growing, could be the next Goodreads?


I’ve been a user for little over two weeks and from what I’ve learned, it’s different from Goodreads. And I love that it is.

1. While Goodreads is a public way to keep track of your books and reading progress, Literally is a more private method. You can post your updates to Twitter, but you can’t leave comments on fellow Literally profiles, or post status updates like you can on Goodreads (I think that’s in the works, though!).

Literally Badges

2. Update your reading progress on Wednesday and you’ll get a Hump Day badge. Or Valentine’s Day. Literally awards badges for different tasks. It’s a clever way to keep users checking in nearly every day, but also fun. And something Goodreads doesn’t have. The badges are what I love most about

In short, Goodreads is a social media network. Literally is a… personal app. You have friends, but there’s nothing special about having them as interaction on site is pretty much impossible.

That isn’t an issue for me, of course. I like the calmness of it all. Goodreads can stay that way, and Literally can stay the way it is.

That said, there are still some changes I’d like to see on

1. Literally advertises itself as an app. It would be nice to get an actual mobile application for my android phone. I’ve heard it’s in the works, but I don’t know for sure.

2. Literally’s design is bland. As a designer myself, it gives me an itch everytime I visit. Their logo could use some sprucing up, but their simple blue header area gave me an idea. What if users had the ability to choose a color/pattern from a palette (a la I wouldn’t say upload, because that opens up the risk of inappropriate content on a relatively new site.


3. Reviews. One big difference between Goodreads and Literally is that you can’t leave a review on Literally once you’ve completed the book. But I like that. Sort of. It would be neat if Literally could limit it to a blurb instead. Perhaps a 400-word limit review or similar.

4. Goodreads allows you to set a yearly reading goal and automatically keeps track of it as you update your read books. I’d like Literally to take it a step further. Allow us (especially book bloggers) the ability to keep track of other challenges, like the Debut Author Challenge and the Standalone Reading Challenge. I know I’d love it.

I’m told there’s more in store for Literally. There are several promises Literally makes on their home page that still aren’t available for users yet, such as “battle with friends” and a way to “save money on books”.

All in all, Literally is an exciting new site to keep an eye on. It’s a little boring, but I love earning badges, and I’m the type of person who doesn’t usually care for them. But on Literally, they look great (I crave good graphics), and you never know what little action might earn you one!


Hafsah Faizal is a YA author, designer, and blogger. Her designs have graced the sites of New York Times bestselling authors, bloggers, and more. She resides in Texas, with her family.



  1. Reply

    Jessica L. Brooks

    February 15, 2014

    This looks promising. Love the way you broke it down! Can’t wait to see the finished product!

  2. Reply

    Lena Marsteller

    February 15, 2014

    This sounds pretty cool! I kind of like the idea on a reading app that does not have a place where you write a review…
    I also like how the app helps you choose the next book on your reading pile :D

  3. Reply

    Orchid @ The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia

    February 15, 2014

    Literally has actually grown on me in the last couple of days. I like the uncluttered design, although it could use a little love.

    One of the things I like about it more than GR is the lack of adds (thus far) and that it doesn’t ask you to post a review.

    The Badges are definitely a nice touch.

  4. Reply

    Cait @ Notebook Sisters

    February 16, 2014

    Mm, it sounds okay, but I don’t think I’d ever leave Goodreads. For me, even before I used Goodreads to network, I love collecting all my reviews in one spot. It helps ME remember what I’ve read. So I’d struggle with even trying Literally, I think, because of that.

  5. Reply

    Nadia @ Nadia Reads

    February 16, 2014

    I’d never heard of literally before! It sounds promising, but really having two websites that both have to do with keeping track of what I’m reading seems like it would take up a lot of time…

  6. Reply


    February 16, 2014

    I got an invitation and have logged in, but haven’t played at all on the site (I set up my account as I was leaving for work). I agree about the design, though…it needs some work, but I’m sure it’ll be a great resource in it’s own way!

  7. Reply

    Sara (of The Page Sage)

    February 16, 2014

    I like the badges in Literally, but I wish it were a bit more social.

  8. Reply

    Giselle @ BO-OK NERD

    February 16, 2014

    I love all the badges too. I wish we knew how to unlock them all. I’m patiently waiting for the app to come out too.

  9. Reply


    March 10, 2014

    I love the concept – but then I love the social aspect of Goodreads too. There’s a lot of flaws with Goodreads lately (the lack of being able to add re-reads, the entire outdated layout and look) and if this was a little more social and better looking, I’d jump on board.

    Because, badges.

    Under The Mountain

  10. Reply


    May 7, 2015

    I just joined Literally a week or so ago. So far, my favorite part is how it helps you choose which book to read next. I’ve been adding all the ebooks that are in my Kindle’s TBR folder to it, and have around 500 of them. So trying to figure out on my own, which book to read has been a huge hassle. Using the website has made it super easy. I do wish they had a phone app though, it’s too much trouble to use the regular website on my phone, I’d love if there was an app instead.

  11. Reply

    Alonzo Glosson

    January 21, 2017

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