Social book review site Goodreads is growing quickly, with 16 million members, partly because of its reputation as a source for independent user reviews of books. It’s main competition, Shelfari and LibraryThing are both partly or completely owned by Amazon. Yesterday, Goodreads announced that they were joining their competitors at the seller of cat litter and fine literature alike.
Goodreads founder Otis Chandler gave his three reasons for being “excited” in the site’s official statement:
1. With the reach and resources of Amazon, Goodreads can introduce more readers to our vibrant community of book lovers and create an even better experience for our members.
2. Our members have been asking us to bring the Goodreads experience to an e-reader for a long time. Now we’re looking forward to bringing Goodreads to the most popular e-reader in the world, Kindle, and further reinventing what reading can be.
3. Amazon supports us continuing to grow our vision as an independent entity, under the Goodreads brand and with our unique culture.
The statement stresses that the Goodreads team isn’t going anywhere, and that their first priority will be to integrate Goodreads into the Kindle.
Of course, some Goodreads users are responding to the announcement with opposition ranging from skepticism to outright rage. Some are calling for people to cancel their accounts with Goodreads, either out of a general protest against Amazon or concern that this new ownership will spoil Goodreads’ reputation for being a free and independent forum for authors and readers.
The NY Daily News has a round-up of not-positive social media responses, while GeekSugar has some suggestions for alternatives… one of which is, of course, Shelfari, which is owned by Amazon… and which brings us back to doe doe doe doe…
Amazon to Buy Social Site Dedicated to Sharing Books [NYT]
Exciting News About Goodreads: We’re Joining the Amazon Family! [Goodreads] (Thanks, Lauren!)