How To Backup / Export Your GoodReads Library (In Case You Want To Move It)

After it was announced that Amazon bought GoodReads I asked Fiction Vixen readers what they planned to do next. Many of you planned to stay with GoodReads to see what changes Amazon would bring. Several commenters said they dreaded the thought of setting up their large libraries someplace else from scratch. I was surprised to hear this since it meant some people are not aware that they can easily export their libraries for backup, or to easily move their library to another book site like Library Thing or other similar sites. Here’s how you do it in just a few clicks:

Back It Up And Save It


Log into your GoodReads account and click “My Books” in the top menu. Then, in the left menu you will see and “import/export” option. Click it.



Export to csv file

Next you’ll see an “export to a .csv file” option in the right menu. Click it. You will be asked to save the file; name it whatever you want and save it in a safe place. Then you can open the file either with Excel, Google Docs or whatever you use to view spreadsheets. You’ll see that you’ve exported every book in your library along with all the metadata for each book. That includes your shelves. You can save this as a back up just in case, or use the file to import your library to another site.

Library Thing GR Import

If you want to use LibraryThing you can skip everything I just told you. They have a nifty little feature that exports all your books into a .csv file so you can set yourself up on their site easily. I’m not sure if other sites have this feature but if not, you know how to export your library yourself.

So if the thought of moving your library is all that’s anchoring you to GoodReads, you have options. Or if you just want a local backup, you can make one easily every month, or however often you like. I plan to stick with GoodReads but I do backup my library now and then just to be safe.


  1. Karen C says

    Thanks for sharing this. I hadn’t thought (duh!) about backing up my Goodreads library, so this is good info to have.

    • says

      It’s good to have a backup just in case. Plus if you ever want to go rogue and just keep your library on a spreadsheet you don’t have to start from scratch. :)

    • says

      Some people are concerned Amazon will turn GR into a giant store rather than a readers social network. Others are concerned about privacy etc. I’m not all that concerned but we’ll see what happens.

  2. says

    Regardless of what happens with goodreads and Amazon, I should back up my books on there. I’ve thought about starting a spreadsheet for my books but dreaded the work. This will simplify it greatly, thanks.

  3. says

    Great post :)

    I´m going to stay with GoodReads until I will see what Amazon is going to do. If Amazon is is going to become to GoodReads in a store, I´ll leave it.

    • says

      Do you mean, if you use their import feature? I haven’t followed through completely when using it but from what I saw, it only creates a csv file, it does not affect your GoodReads account.

  4. KindleRomance says

    Great instructions! I’ve suggested to people that they back up their GR information, but GR doesn’t have any good instructions on how to do this. Now I can just refer people here! Thanks!