Saturday, March 30, 2013

Of Goodreads, Amazon, and book talk

So Amazon bought Goodreads, and I found myself with a dilemma. It's a good dilemma, one where my life is intertwined with a pretty awesome bookstore and, coincidentally, I'm in the habit of talking and posting about books.

I don't equate Amazon with evil; there are so many problems in the world, and a website that's one of the many options out there for obtaining books just doesn't rank that high among them. I've had some issues with their tactics over the years, but what it boils down to for me is this: there are many cooler options for finding books, and there are also many other ways to record and discuss them in spaces that I personally feel better about than I now feel about Goodreads.

This announcement got me thinking about how I've found Goodreads most useful since I joined a few years ago. I have posted reviews there and occasionally commented on other people's reviews, but really, I mostly use it as a listing device. It's a great place to go when staff rec time rolls around at the bookstore to remind myself of what I've read lately. But Goodreads isn't the only place I can do that. If I find myself craving the nonstop action of a website, I can always revive my old LibraryThing profile. But I think I'm going to try migrating all the way off the Internet for my personal record-keeping needs. Thanks, friend who gave me a Reading Journal for Book Lovers!

I'll sure as heck still engage with others about books both on and offline, in spaces where I've been doing so already. Like right here, and wherever else such discussions spring up. You'll all be spared my agony at the lack of an option to give three and a half stars. Sputters are still fair game, but next time, they'll be at books, not websites.


  1. There's only so many hours in the day, and there are meals to cook, markets to go to (cleaning can wait), then the reality of working and time with friends ... and then the internet to fill those moments when you're at the bus stop or waiting for the potatoes to boil. But if you don't put time aside when the computer is off, the phone off-line, you end up with no reading time at all. So I dip in and out of review sites - I'd rather be curled up in a chair making up my own mind!

  2. @JO, I like the way you think! It's easy to feel wedded to websites, but we really don't have to.