Thursday, April 25, 2013

Goodreads Gone Bad

Thursday, April 25, 2013
This post is a few weeks late, so you've probably all heard the news by now: Amazon has bought Goodreads, and I can't say I'm too happy about that. Why? Well, there's Amazon's dealings with publishers. There's also all the reasons this acquisition is bad for the book industry.

The gist of it is this: Amazon has oodles of reader data. They know what book buyers want in a way that other booksellers can't. This is worrisome for Barnes and Noble (and if it goes the same way as Borders, I WILL cry) as well as indie bookstores. It's already hard for them to compete- we don't need Goodreads to make it worse. And that's not even factoring e-book sales.

But what other bookish social media sites are there? (Specifically, bookish social media sites that aren't owned- even in part- by Amazon, like Library Thing and Shelfari.) I compiled a list of sites that may interest you (with Pros and Cons), which will hopefully help!

Pros: This site is a collaboration of the Big Six publishers, and it's similar to Goodreads in that you can sort your books in Currently Reading, To Read, and Read shelves. It also gives book recs based on your favorite reads.
Cons: It seems to lack the social aspect, at least if you register by email and not Facebook. There's no real profile page or anywhere to add friends. It's a relatively new site, so I hope they're working on adding this.

Pros: The Lists! You can make bookish lists about all kinds of topics, which is by far the most social aspect of the site. There are also shelf equivalents of books you've read, books you'd recommend, books you're interested in, and what you're currently reading. You can also follow other bookish people.
Cons: You have to log in through Twitter or Facebook; there's no email sign in yet. However, the Twitter sign in wasn't an option until a short time ago, and this site is still new, so they could add it in the near future. Another con is that you can only list 1 currently reading book at a time. And while you can follow friends, you can't truly interact with them.

Pros: It's essentially Tumblr, just with books. It has shelves, though, which is nice.
Cons: I don't think too many people are on it, yet. You can't create shelves, either. Also, it's SO similar to Tumblr and there's already a huge bookish population on there.

Will you switch to one of these sites? What other bookish social media sites do you use?


  1. I haven't even heard of any of these websites until now! I just Googled them and I never realized how many awesome bookish sites there are!

  2. Replies
    1. I do have a LibraryThing account, but that is also partially owned by Amazon.


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