Moving from Goodreads to Bookwyrm (and some more)

Phase 1: account creation and import from

For some years I used Goodreads to track my book reads. As an enthusiastic user of (Mastodon, Pixelfed, Calckey, WordPress+activitypub plugin) I decided to try out the Bookwyrm to track my books.

I had around 60 books in my Goodreads account and wanted to move them to Bookwyrm.

  1. I created a new account on
  2. I exported my books from Goodreads. My Books –> Import and Export –> Export library.

3. I downloaded the .csv and imported it to Bookwyrm (Your books –> Import books). Selected ‘Data source’ as Goodreads, ‘Choose file’ and selected previously exported .csv.

Almost. 8 books failed to import.

I have manually reviewed those books and found out they don’t exist yet in Bookwyrm database(s).


  • the interface is quite intuitive and similar to Goodreads, no algorithm.
  • my account can be followed from any fediverse app (mastodon etc.)


  • the interface has some issues: for example, when I review a book, it’s not automatically added to ‘read’.


It’s ok. Now I can close my Goodreads account and continue here.

Do I miss my connections from Goodreads? I reviewed them and they’re not active anyway. 2 or 3 ‘friends’ who are active are reading stuff I’m not interested in. So – no, I don’t miss them.

Do I miss Goodreads’ recommendation algorithm? Not really. It added some random books to my ‘wanted to read’ list. I never approved them and no, I don’t like how it works.

Phase 2: import from COBISS

I have around 600 read books in our national (Slovenian) library database system (COBISS). It would be great if I could transfer those too!

Let’s try it out.

  1. I exported my history of borrowed books from the Cobiss system (‘Zgodovina izposoj’ –> Excel). It exports them as .xslx. The exported file is clumsy. There are some well structured columns (date, title, language,). BUT: The important book metadata (author, year, publisher) is grouped under ‘Other data’ (Drugi podatki). The positions of the attributes (issue, publisher) vary within the cell. There is also no ISSN/ISBN.

2. I tried to convert it to Goodreads .csv using LibreOffice Calc. I manually copied book title, author, year and publisher in the Goodreads .csv, ran the import and the result was:

Bookwyrm (said that it) imported the author, title, read status, but associated the book with some strange podcast (wrong).

Nevertheless, I couldn’t find the imported book anywhere (search, My books,…).

The import attempt (COBISS->Bookwyrm) failed for me. Parsing badly structured COBISS ‘other data’ is PITA so… I quit trying for now. Maybe I’ll try again if COBISS outputs better book metadata.






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