Friday, May 10th, 2013

Sync your Goodreads to LibraryThing

Wait … what?

Did you know that you can now sync between Goodreads and LibraryThing? You don’t have to choose. Use both sites!

Getting started

To sync, go to Import books from Goodreads.

If you’re signed into Goodreads an export file should download for you automatically; if it doesn’t, there are some fallback instructions on that page. Select the downloaded file using the “Choose File” button and click “Upload” to import it into LibraryThing.

Import options

Once you’ve uploaded your file, you’ll see a breakdown of the books in the file, displaying the total number of books, books already in your library, books without ISBNs, and the number of valid ISBNs.

  • Choose sources: Source your data from Amazon or top libraries around the world.
  • Collections: Drop books into a specific LibraryThing collection.
  • Mass tagging: Add tags to everything.
  • Handle books without ISBNs: Choose whether to import non-ISBN books.

Sync options

Under “Handle duplicates,” you’ll see options to import duplicates again (i.e., create a whole bunch of duplicates), omit duplicates, or sync duplicates.

If you sync, you’ll see options depending on the differences between your Goodreads books and your LibraryThing catalog.

  • Replace “date read” with imported info: “Date read” goes into LibraryThing’s “date finished.”
  • Add shelves to existing tags: This adds your Goodreads “shelves” to LibraryThing as tags.
  • For reviews, you can replace existing reviews or add new reviews if you haven’t yet posted a review on LibraryThing for those books.
  • Replace ratings.
  • Replace pages with imported data: This changes the “number of pages” in LibraryThing.

After this, click “Import books.” Old books sync immediately. New books are added to the import queue.

Labels: import


  1. Yeah, but I want to do it the other way round!!! LibraryThing is my main archive, and GoodReads my backup.

  2. I really like the idea of syncing GoodReads and LibraryThing. What it did, alas, was create a bunch of unnecessary duplicate records in LT. Lots of them were because I had one edition in GoodReads and a different one in LT. The syncing algorithm should be at the work-level.

    • Jeremy says:

      Work-level syncing wouldn’t work if you have specific editions, though (and would cause all *sorts* of other problems, unfortunately).

  3. Alsatia says:

    Just tried this and got a 500 error from LT. 🙁 Guess I’ll try again later.

  4. Jan Elkins says:

    Cool. But like another user, I do librarything first. Can we go from librarything to goodreads?

  5. Melora says:

    I love the idea of having my Goodreads site linked to LT, but, like other users, LT is my main catalog and Goodreads is where I post for social networking (my Facebook friends use Goodreads). I would love it if the ratings and reviews I give on GR would transfer to my LT catalog, and if my collection on LT could easily be added to Goodreads. Librarything has been my cataloging site since Dec. 2005, but I am so pleased to see it becoming a bit more social as well!

  6. For those asking about importing to Goodreads – I *think* you can. I believe I did that some time ago. I started with LT many years ago. Then added Goodreads a few years ago. I don’t remember having to manually add my books then. But I could be wrong. You’ll probably have to check out GR’s site to find out.
    Like Melora, I’d love it if my ratings and reviews from GR would transfer to LT. Or vice versa. That might work too.

  7. Patrick Collins says:

    I have been a member of LibraryThing for a few years now but have never used it as extensively as I do Goodreads but I decided to import my books from Goodreads as I really like the user recommendations in LibraryThing. The import was successful from what I can see but it didn’t import all my shelves from Goodreads. I understood that shelves should be recreated as tags but I only have 19 tags which is much less than expected and also those tags that transferred successfully have either no books associated or only a handful. Can anyone shed some light on this problem? Thanks.

  8. Mark Bailey says:

    I am getting a “Page Not Found The page you requested doesn’t exist. Please check the url again, or visit the home page.” message from Goodreads when I press “Click here to download.” I am logged into Goodreads when I click the link.

  9. shell02 says:

    I am so glad I found this post. I was ready to give up the tedious task of recreating my library one book at a time on LT especially since all my books are already on GR. After what took quite some time to find a book – I thought about giving up that is until now. Thank you to original poster.

  10. Thanks for the facility. I only found 5 ( out of 300 + ) unique from Goodreads.

    If you want social, and the distractions that go with it, use Goodreads, If you like reading in the library, use LibraryThing.

  11. Tonis says:

    I’m trying to convert from GR, so I made an export file and I imported to LT. I have a library of about 1500 books, most of them in Greek.
    Here are my 2 biggest problems:
    1. It seems that LT mess up the authors when in the export csv file from GR, the Additional Authors column is filled. In my case this is true for the majority of my books, since I put over there the translator (plus the editor etc) of the book. So I ended up having as primary authors the translators. Eg. more of my le Carre books are attributed to their translator.
    2. Most of the covers are missing

    It is too much work to fix them, for more than 1000 books!

    Anyone any suggestion/idea?


  12. Deepa Tarak Balaji says:

    I have newly joined librarything. Been on Goodreads for quite a while. I was just wishing for a su=ynch option and I found it.
    This makes things so much easier. Tried it out now. Hope it works. Thanks for the post

    • Abigail Adams says:

      Hi Deepa:

      Welcome to LibraryThing! I’m glad you found this post useful. Please don’t hesitate to contact us, if you have any other questions, going forward. You can reach out to us at:

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