Amazon has acquired the popular book review website Goodreads, according to an announcement on Goodreads' website today.
In the announcement, Goodreads' founder and CEO suggests that the buy out will benefit Goodreads' users, especially those with kindle ebook readers and explains the reasons for his excitement about the deal;
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.Of course, since no financial details have been released, there is a possibility that they too, may have given Otis Chandler reason for excitement.
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 users of Goodreads don't seem to be quite as pleased with the coming absorption of their beloved website into the Internet mega monster Amazon, as expressed in over a thousand comments on the announcement:
I'll be sharing less on goodreads. Amazon doesn't need to be the single source for words delivered to eyes in all realms.
This makes me incredibly sad. Honestly Goodreads do you even care about your users anymore? Obviously not, you know as well as we do how shitty this is, otherwise you would have consulted us or even had the decency to inform us before it actually happened. Not cool Goodreads, not cool. This goes against everything Goodreads was about, or what I thought it was about anyway. Huge disappointment... enjoy the money.
You know what bothers me? That this keeps happening. Every site I put time and thought into, ends up being devoured by that great all-consuming corporate maw.In an interview at Paid Content, Chandler appears to try to reassure Goodreads' users:
And I might as well be speaking Martian with sentences like that. If money isn't your personal god, your be-all and end-all, you can no longer be part of human society. I'm moving my reviews to other sites as quickly as possible, but in the end those of us who care about things other than money will end up each in our own isolated little fortresses, forgotten and silenced.
Otis Chandler [OC]: “One of the extremely important things to us is for readers to share what they’re reading, no matter how they’re reading. We have no plans to change that. We want Goodreads to be a place for readers of all types to share their favorite books. You can expect to see customizations and better integrations for people who do use Kindle. For everyone else, Goodreads will remain largely as it is.”Amazon also owns IMDB and Zappos and allows them to run as independent operations but they have little or nothing to do with books.
Forty percent of Librarything.com is owned by Amazon. If anyone else knows of an alternative, please mention it in the comments. There really needs to be an independent website where people can freely discuss and recommend books. And Goodreads may continue to be that place. Or not.