It's been all over the news this past week, yet I'm still not sure if I fully have an opinion on Amazon's recent purchase of the site many book-lovers have come to consider essential: Goodreads. For those of you who may be unfamiliar, Goodreads is a kind of social networking for the book world. Make an account, keep track of what you've read, what you want to read, make lists and bookshelves, see what other people think, read and write reviews. Especially since I got my smartphone, I pretty much use this app daily and the website is a big part of how I keep track of various series that my library purchases.
And if you've never heard of Amazon, well then, you've really missed a lot since 1998. Wikipedia can fill you in on that one.
So the questions are obvious: what will this purchase mean for Goodreads? How will it change the site and the experience? And what does this do for Amazon (and will they ruin it)?
While it already has 16 million subscribers, I have no doubt that this purchase will help Goodreads' numbers grow. After all, people now associate Amazon with online buying power and only rarely do they actually refer to the rain forest we all learn about in elementary school. With the e-book market changing the nature of reading and sites like Goodreads becoming a huge player in how people today discover new things to read, Amazon's stamp could give reading a revival among those who don't normally browse bookshelves.
However, Amazon may make changes as they now have the right to do. This could mean better algorithms for suggestions, but I have little doubt in my mind that the "Find a Copy" feature which currently shows users where they can get a book from a wide variety of sources will soon change to "Buy on Amazon" instead.
My final word? Honestly, I'm not sure. I'm not outraged, nor am I surprised, nor am I welcoming this with open arms. I just don't know, and it will be interesting to see how this plays out.
But what do you all think? I love reading your thoughts! Comments welcome, and, as always, happy reading.