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Social Networks For Books

Goodreads and Three Alternatives For Social Bookworms

Amazon announced today it was acquiring popular book-centric social network Goodreads. What does this mean for the 16 million users and 30,000 book clubs currently on Goodreads? In a letter posted to the site's blog, founder Otis Chandler says the active community that created book friends and fans around the world isn't going anywhere, though integrating the Goodreads platform with Amazon's Kindle is now a "top priority."

For ebook readers, that could mean the possibility of seamlessly posting book reviews through Kindle or adding just-purchased books from Amazon to bookshelves. Not all are excited by the prospects, though, as several Goodreads users commented on the blog post to express their disappointment with the corporate ownership.

Member Mustafa said, "I get it, you need money. But I hope Amazon does not hinder the ability to buy books from other sites and prevent competition." On the literature website BookRiot's Facebook page, many Goodreads users had a negative reaction to the news. "Yes, it does affect how I feel about Goodreads. How can it continue to be objective regarding book reviews?" said Marjorie Wertz. However, several posters did greet the news with excitement at the chance to have the Goodreads experience on Kindle.

Whether or not you care who owns Goodreads or how it'll change with this acquisition, there are several other book social networks we've come to love as well. Discover them below, and share with us which is your favorite (and, ahem, some sci-fi book recommendations are always welcome!).

  • Anobii — Latin for "bookworm," Anobii allows you to embed your virtual bookshelf from the site to a personal website, so you can share your current reads without even having to worry about social media plug-ins.
  • Bookish — Need a book recommendation? Bookish is your source. As you would fine-tune a music station on Pandora by adding more musicians or specific songs, Bookish lets you input up to four books when making its next literary reference to you.
  • Shelfari — Already owned by Amazon, Shelfari allows users to sign in with an Amazon ID to add notes to a book's page. We love the "Ridiculously Simplified Synopsis" and the option to hide spoilers.
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