Yesterday, our friends over at Typographical Era called our attention to a major news announcement made by Goodreads. You can see that announcement here in full.
While Goodreads may be celebrating, over here at Literary Hoarders we are not. 🙁
What we enjoyed most about Goodreads was their independence and autonomy from the giant corporations that dictate where, what and how you make your purchases, what you read and what is promoted or catalogued. It was an excellent book cataloguing system but also a tremendous way to independently share your thoughts and reviews about books that you loved, you wished to read, and the ones that you found didn’t float your boat. Also, it was a wonderful discovery tool to find that next great read, and it connected us to wonderful other bookish people and groups. To say that the Hoarders depended greatly on Goodreads is an understatement.
Unfortunately, with their major news announcement on now being wholly owned by Amazon, it has caused quite the kerfuffle here at Literary Hoarders. It has caused us to run around and seek out alternative, independent online book catalogues, or at least haul ass and remove anything the LH’s have to do with Goodreads. Now, whatever we (and you!) post will be owned by Amazon. Your reviews and your friends and your information will be available to exploit by Amazon in any manner they see fit. No thank you.
Will Amazon have access to all of the Goodreads users’ data?
OC: “Goodreads is or will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Amazon, so on one level, yes. Are things going to happen in the background without customers understanding it? I think the answer to that is no….We’ll make it very easy for someone to say, ‘Yeah, I’d love it if you could import all of my Amazon or Kindle purchases into my Goodreads shelf.’ We’ll make it very easy for people to do, but they’ll be aware of what’s happening.”
Users already have the ability to export their data from Goodreads, and they’ll continue to be able to do so.
None of us read on the Amazon-owned Kindle and none of us are interested in having Kindle-only books pushed at us. Amazon has Shelfari. They sucked at it. We fear they will now slowly drain and suck the life out of all that was great and wonderful with Goodreads. How unfortunate that the lure of the almighty dollar has enticed them to allowing for their being swallowed whole by a monster corporation. We simply fear that what made Goodreads so great will vanish in the coming months. What’s funny to note is that Goodreads was exclaiming from the rooftops around December 2012 about how much their membership increased. We could only stack that against the fact that they took on Amazon with this whole “book cover” debacle and maintained their independence. Thumbing their nose at Amazon be it as it may. I’m sure membership increased due to the fact that they were an independently run site. Now, they are jumping in to bed with Amazon. Tsk. Tsk. Like us, I’m certain there are many others that will now flee the sheets and find some new bed to snuggle in to.
You will notice that we have removed each of our Goodreads Reading Challenge over to your right. We have also gone in to our Goodreads profiles and removed anything with the Literary Hoarders stamp on it. We will no longer post our reviews on to Goodreads, linking you back to here. Why? Because what we write here at the Literary Hoarders is indeed that. It is what WE‘ve written, not Amazon. You’ll find, for now, that when we’ve completed the book and given it our 1-5 star ranking, we’ll post that information, but that’s about it.
We certainly hope you stay tuned to the Literary Hoarders site for reviews – we do love you – we just don’t love handing over our thoughts and words to someone else.
In the coming months, the Literary Hoarders will also unveil their own, independent website. We are incredibly excited about it and can’t wait to unveil a bold new look for us. We hope you stay tuned!
The Literary Hoarders: Elizabeth, Penny and Jackie.
I too am troubled by Amazon’s takeover of Goodreads. I’ve always liked their independence and the fact that it was reader driven instead of market driven. This is just one more example of the predatory tendencies of Amazon – especially the whole Kindle connection. I read on a Kobo so anything Amazon has to offer I’m not really interested in,
Do you know anything about LibraryThing? Is it a viable alternative? It is something i will be looking into in the coming days.
Tanya, I just posted about LibraryThing as an alternative to Goodreads. Here’s the link if this helps you.
Hi Tanya, Yes, I too read on a Kobo, Jackie and Elizabeth read on Nooks. We looked up LibraryThing and it’s not free! You have a 200-book limit and after that you have to pay?! For us here…uh…200 books is an extremely limiting number!
Plus Amazon has a stake in LibraryThing as well apparently. I’m doing a bit of ‘wait and see’ with Goodreads because I still love it and I’m hoping that things won’t change too drastically, at least not for a while. I don’t see a viable alternative out there really so for now, I’ll stick to it. Might export my lists though – just in case!
I do read on a Kindle but I’ve never had a wish to link the two!
I like LibraryThing and don’t mind paying to be a member and support it, kind of like public radio. It’s not flashy, but has a lot of substance to it. According to the founder of LibraryThing, Amazon (through its purchase of AbeBooks) doesn’t have anywhere near a majority stake in LibraryThing.
We are all still on Goodreads, we’ve just removed anything to do with the Literary Hoarders. We have so much invested in Goodreads! For now, we’re there until perhaps another alternative presents itself. Like Mandy says, it’s probably a good idea to export all those lists though so they aren’t lost and can be easily transferred if needed. With Amazon being their whole owner – they will dictate what is available to read – it will change everything under RECOMMENDATIONS and EXPLORE, etc. I never used the option to purchase the book directly from GR – if I wanted to I went directly to the site myself…but books that are available only through Amazon will begin to dominate what we see and can purchase and/or recommend. Sad. Sad. Silly. 🙁 One estimate was that Amazon paid GR $1 Billion dollars.