Social reading and reviewing, decentralized with ActivityPub, from upstream at
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Note: This branch is a fork of upstream Bookwyrm adapted to run on NixOS (outside of Docker). For more details on this, see nix/ The rest of this document is the upstream README.

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BookWyrm is a social network for tracking your reading, talking about books, writing reviews, and discovering what to read next. Federation allows BookWyrm users to join small, trusted communities that can connect with one another, and with other ActivityPub services like Mastodon and Pleroma.

Mastodon Follow Twitter Follow

About BookWyrm

BookWyrm is a platform for social reading. You can use it to track what you're reading, review books, and follow your friends. It isn't primarily meant for cataloguing or as a data-source for books, but it does do both of those things to some degree.


BookWyrm is built on ActivityPub. With ActivityPub, it inter-operates with different instances of BookWyrm, and other ActivityPub compliant services, like Mastodon. This means you can run an instance for your book club, and still follow your friend who posts on a server devoted to 20th century Russian speculative fiction. It also means that your friend on mastodon can read and comment on a book review that you post on your BookWyrm instance.

Federation makes it possible to have small, self-determining communities, in contrast to the monolithic service you find on GoodReads or Twitter. An instance can be focused on a particular interest, be just for a group of friends, or anything else that brings people together. Each community can choose which other instances they want to federate with, and moderate and run their community autonomously. Check out to get a sense of the philosophy and logistics behind small, high-trust social networks.


Post about books

Compose reviews, comment on what you're reading, and post quotes from books. You can converse with other BookWyrm users across the network about what they're reading.

Track reading activity

Keep track of what books you've read, and what books you'd like to read in the future.

Federation with ActivityPub

Federation allows you to interact with users on other instances and services, and also shares metadata about books and authors, which collaboratively builds a decentralized database of books.

Privacy and moderation

Users and administrators can control who can see their posts and what other instances to federate with.

Tech Stack

Web backend

Front end

  • Django templates
  • css framework
  • Vanilla JavaScript, in moderation


Set up BookWyrm

The documentation website has instruction on how to set up BookWyrm in a developer environment or production.