Yesterday Publishers Weekly announced that Amazon has bought Goodreads, the social network for book enthusiasts. This purchase seems like a logical one for Amazon, but what exactly will they do with it? The article says:
When asked how Goodreads would be integrated into Amazon, and the all-important question of how, and when, a retail component might be rolled into the site–currently users can buy books through a host of third party retailers, including Amazon–both Chandler and Russ Grandinetti, Amazon v-p, Kindle content, skirted the subject. When pressed, Chandler said: “We don’t have any plans to change anything about the buy links in the short term, but in the long term we’re going to do what’s best for our users.”
A slow and thoughtful integration will best serve both Amazon and Goodreads, and I expect Amazon to manage its acquisition well. Amazon didn’t get where it is by being hasty.
Though I find this new interesting, because I love all things Amazon, I’m not particularly excited. Here’s my confession: I hate Goodreads. I know that’s an unpopular opinion in the world of book lovers, but I really don’t care for it.
I tried it for a bit, and I wouldn’t be surprised if my account is still out there in the undying expanse of cyberspace. However, it made me uneasy. I felt too vulnerable when I told Goodreads that I was reading a book. I’m not a particularly private person, I’m an avid user of both Facebook and Twitter. I also have this blog in which I kvetch. But it felt wrong to publicize which books I was currently reading. When I used Goodreads, I felt like the world was looking over my shoulder and judging me as I read. I couldn’t handle it.
But I love Amazon so much, I might pop into Goodreads in a year or two and see what they’ve done with it. However, I don’t know if I’ll let you read over my shoulder.