Book Chat: 4.3.13

Amazon’s Acquisition of GoodreadsYou knew this was coming right? I had to have some thoughts on this. Well here they are!


  • Community. Amazon is a company that loves books. Jeff Bezos built the company on books. The Kindle revolutionized reading as we knew it and rekindled (hehe) readers. However, despite their love of books, I don’t get the warm, snuggly book lovers feel at Amazon as I get at Goodreads. Plain and simple. In addition to their book business, Amazon has become everything else to every one else, and I think that’s damaged their public book lover credibility. 
  • Integrity of Reviews. I have heard of publisher’s providing rigged reviews on Goodreads, but I’ve yet to see actual evidence. However, Amazon’s troubled history with reviews by authors and their affiliates is one of legend. Fights occur over reviews when one reviewer (possibly the author or an affiliate of the author) disagrees in an alarmingly strong way with a legitimate review. This doesn’t make a strong, happy community.
  • Kindle Compatibility. As a Nook owner (and lover), the advantages of tying a Kindle to my Goodreads account hold no appeal to me. Futhermore, I’m generally a fan of purchasing physical books in person and only look to Amazon for everything else.


So what am I going to do? Um, well, not much. For the time being, I’m keeping my Goodreads account. There’s been plenty of hand wringing about this across the web. While, I’m not really happy about this, Goodreads is still warm, welcoming and a great place to keep tabs on books I want to read, track my reading, share reviews and make friends. (Hi, Goodreads friends!). And for what little it might be worth, I am happy that a little startup like Goodreads could grow to be such a promising acquisition for Amazon. The founders and staff at Goodreads do have a lot (more than lots of money) to be proud of.

So, what are your thoughts on this deal? Do you use and love Goodreads?

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5 thoughts on “Book Chat: 4.3.13

  1. I talked about this more in-depth on my own blog, but to answer your question, yes, I do use and love Goodreads, and I have a great many thoughts on this deal. Personally I’m taking the “wait and see” approach, and it seems like most people (who didn’t delete their accounts the moment they heard the news) are doing the same. Some are just more wary than others.

    If Amazon is smart, they will just take the data and leave everything else alone — if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! Not to say that nothing will change, especially now that GR will have the money to make improvements that may have been on the “to-do” list for years. If Amazon stays in the background, this could be a good thing.

    However, I can’t help but worry Amazon will push through changes that are in their best interests, rather than the readers’ best interests.


    • Charleen,

      I think you made a good point in your post about Amazon being noticeably quiet and not committing to much in that interview from Thursday. It is a tad concerning, but hopefully they won’t break a good thing. I know I’m probably being overly optimistic. 🙂

      Thanks for commenting!


  2. It’s interesting to read other people’s thoughts on this. I’m still very unhappy about this subject but I really hope nothing changes Goodreads and how fab it is! If it’s not broken why fix it? as they say.


    • I’m enjoying reading all the varying opinions on this. I think everyone’s points and opinions are valid. It sucks that Amazon is able to continue to corner the book market like they have, but I’m not sure much can be done about it.

      The one thing I keep reminding myself about is how we can’t expect too much from something we’ve been allowed to use for free. I think that point was made in regard to social sites mining user data, but it still seems to apply here. It doesn’t make me less nervous about potential changes, though.


  3. Pingback: It’s Monday! What I’m Reading! | The 1000th Voice

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