An attempt at a viable alternative to Goodreads (Mirror: Main repo on GitLab)
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Robbie Antenesse 0123251b38 Add no longer maintained notice 2022-08-28 19:45:55 +00:00
app Add "Reading" shelf to loggedIn home page 2021-04-21 21:42:26 -06:00
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.browserslistrc Upgrade dependencies; Remove unused dependencies & source 2019-09-18 12:56:58 -06:00
.gitignore Add .DS_Store to gitignore 2020-06-14 12:42:17 -06:00 Update all branding and links to Readlebee 2019-09-10 12:57:44 -06:00
LICENSE Change LICENSE to GNU AGPLv3 from GPLv3 2019-09-15 17:16:02 -06:00 Add no longer maintained notice 2022-08-28 19:45:55 +00:00
package.json Upgrade all dependencies 2021-04-21 21:40:10 -06:00
process-images.js Update all branding and links to Readlebee 2019-09-10 12:57:44 -06:00
yarn.lock Upgrade all dependencies 2021-04-21 21:40:10 -06:00


⚠ This project is no longer maintained

If you are interested in taking over Readlebee's development and Mastodon account, please contact Robbie Antenesse ( via an account in the Fediverse!

Read our Contribution Guidelines

An attempt at a viable alternative to Goodreads

  • Project Scope
    • Features we feel are essential to the project. Anything beyond the scope should be discussed for later and not prioritized.
  • Dependencies Stack
    • A list of dependencies used in the project and a short explanation of what each of them are for.
  • Contribution Guidelines
    • Subject to change but important to follow. Includes a basic code of conduct.
  • Project chat via Gitter
    • Real-time discussion about the project.
  • Issue Tracker
    • For adding and tracking feature requests, feedback, and bug reports.
  • Main Repo on GitLab
    • Where all changes are made "official".
  • Mirror Repo on GitHub
    • Gets changes from GitLab pushed to it so people who prefer GitHub can contribute there as well. Pull requests and issues created here will also be addressed.




To develop, you'll need to know how to use a terminal or shell on your computer.

Clone the repo to your computer with Git by running:

git clone

Then run use Yarn to install the dependencies:


Alternatively, you can use the NPM that's included with Node:

npm install

Once installed, make sure that the images are processed from their original form:

npm run process-images

Finally, copy the config.example.json files in app/ and server/ folders into a new config.json file in each. These config files are not saved to the project, so you can put your server/database info in there safely.


After everything's installed, run the "dev" NPM script to build and watch the front end and run the back end:

npm run dev

Then use your browser to navigate to http://localhost:3000 to view the website.

When you make a change, you need to stop the server with Ctrl+C and re-run the script.

It's early days, so this segment will definitely change later as the project gets more complex.


This is totally not yet ready, but I want to use this space to block out what how I would like the installation process to go for people installing the app.


  • NodeJS v8.14+
  • NPM v6.4.1+
  • PostgreSQL 11+


  • Use a Debian 9 server for stability. Ubuntu should also work just fine.
  • Use the default apt packages for the requirements
  • Use Git to download the project for installation and easy upgrading


Here's a step-by-step installation process so you can get a grasp of what you need to do from a brand new Debian 9 installation (not included in steps). Ubuntu installation should be more or less exactly the same.

Step 1: Install Requirements

Install the requirements with the following commands (note: you may need to use sudo for each of these commands):

sudo apt update
sudo apt install nodejs nginx postgres-11

And optionally (but recommended):

sudo apt install git

Follow any instructions during each of the installations to get the programs set up correctly.

NGINX may require additional setup, so check through this page for different things that might be good to do.

PostgreSQL will need a database created, so do that and make a user that can access it that's not the root user.

Step 2: Download the Project

You can set up the project folder in any location on your server, but these instructions will set it up in the current user's home folder using Git like so:

cd ~
git clone && cd Readlebee

This will download the entire project source code into a Readlebee folder.

Step 3: Configure the Project

Next, There are some configurations you need to set up. Rename the config.example.json to config.json like so:

mv config.example.json config.json

And edit its contents with the correct data for your server using your text editor of choice. Here is what the config.example.json looks like with some explanations of each field:

  "port": 3000  # the port that the server will serve the app from.
  "dbhost": "localhost" # Where the postgres server is
  "dbport": 5432  # What port the postgres server uses
  "dbname": "Readlebee"  # The name of the database Readlebee will use to make tables and store data in
  "dbuser": "root"  # The username with access to your postgres database
  "dbpass": "password"  # The password for the username above
  ... # more to come

Step 4: Install the Project

You will then need to install the project.

sudo npm install

This will install all of the dependencies, compile all of the Sass into usable CSS, set up the database and tables in PostgreSQL, and do any other things that need to be done to get the project set up and usable.

Step 5: Run it!

Run the following to start the server:

sudo npm start

Then it'll be running on your server's localhost at the port you specified in the config!

Step 6: Set up an NGINX reverse proxy

Set up a reverse proxy to your localhost:proxy. This'll have to get filled in later.