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Scribe Publishing Company

Will Amazon crush or invigorate Goodreads?

Sometimes I feel very torn on Amazon – should I love it or hate it? Most of our book sales currently come from Amazon, and I have to admit that most of the books I buy come from Amazon – whether through Kindle or hard copy. I also love their Kindle Lending Library program, which for the most part, our books participate in. It’s a really innovative program that manages to benefit publishers, authors AND readers all at once – a rare feat. But if the popularity of Amazon means brick and mortar stores are shutting down, well…

In any case, their announcement in March that they’ve bought Goodreads left me wondering and waiting. Last month they announced the new Paperwhite Kindle will integrate Goodreads. It’s available now.

goodreads-kindleI haven’t gotten my hands on one yet to see the integration (still using an ancient Kindle, circa 2010, which my eyes appreciate is not backlit. It will be a sad day when that device dies). But the potential for integration between browsing, reviewing and buying seems exciting. I often have trouble looking for new books or music on Amazon, as there is SO MUCH to choose from. But if I can navigate my choices through a friend’s recommendations or books I’ve previously marked as “to read” – that is a good setup. I have a Goodreads account, which, admittedly, has gone unused for a while. It got to be a pain to log in separately to review and bookmark books to read (in turn I started using my Amazon wishlist sporadically, which isn’t as social or interactive as I’d like it to be). The new Goodreads integration seems like it will solve that.

There are some screenshots of the integration here.

Thoughts? Have you noticed any changes in Goodreads since the announcement in March? Do you have the new Paperwhite Kindle and are already using Goodreads on it?

P.S. Publisher’s Weekly is reporting growth trends in the number of independent booksellers – a good sign for print books and the physical act of visiting a neighborhood bookstore.