Welcome to the BetterReads documentation!


This package provides a Python interface for the Goodreads API. Using it, you can do pretty much anything that Goodreads allows through their public API.

This package is largely Python 2 compatible, but is only officially supported for Python 3.

Why BetterReads?

BetterReads is an expansion of the goodreads2 package available on PyPi. That package is no longer maintained and needed some updates to be usable. The name is just cheeky and cute, and not to imply that this project is substantially better than any other project. Someday I hope it’s succeeded by a Python package called BestReads.

Major updates in this new project:

  • Use https for Oauth - goodreads now requires this and previous packages’ Oauth requests always fail
  • Add convenience method to get all of a user’s reviews for a specific shelf
  • Some opinionated development changes. For example


This package depends on the following packages:

  • xmltodict
  • requests
  • rauth
  • backports-datetime-fromisoformat

They can be installed using pip.

sudo pip install -r requirements.txt

If you want to contribute to this package, you will need to install the packages in requirements-dev.txt as well.


To install, run the following command from the top-level package directory.

sudo python setup.py install

You can also install BetterReads using pip. The current version on PyPi is 0.4.1.

pip install betterreads

Getting Started

The first thing is to request an API key from Goodreads here. Once you have it, you can create a client instance to query Goodreads.

from goodreads import client
gc = client.GoodreadsClient(<api_key>, <api_secret>)

To access some of the methods, you need OAuth for authorization.

gc.authenticate(<access_token>, <access_token_secret>)

Note that access_token and access_token_secret are different from developer key and secret. For the development step, you can call the same function with no parameters to get authorization. It will open a URL pointing a Goodreads page for OAuth permission. For your application, you can direct the user to that particular URL, ask them to authorize your app and save the returning access_token and access_token_secret in your database.


If you find an API method that is not supported by this package, feel free to create a Github issue. Also, you are more than welcome to submit a pull request for a bug fix or additional feature. For more detail on contributing to this project and setting up your local dev environment, check out our contribution guide.


MIT License


Thanks to Paul Shannon and Sefa Kilic for providing ‘goodreads’ package at PyPI, and to Tatiana and Rehan Khwaja for continuing the project as goodreads2. BetterReads couldn’t exist without all of you.