Why Amazon Acquired Goodreads

According to an industry research group Codex, about 19 percent of Americans do 79 percent of all our (non-required) book reading. This post at The Atlantic, then, summarizes why Amazon acquired Goodreads:

And the way those avid readers find their books is changing. According to Codex’s quarterly survey (in 2012, the company interviewed some 30,000 readers total), far fewer people are finding their reading material at brick and mortar bookstores than two years ago. Instead, they’re relying more on online media (including social networks and author websites) and personal recommendations from people they know (which tend to happen in person, but can also include some social network chatting). What they’re not relying on much more heavily are recommendation engines from online booksellers, like Amazon.

I actually reasoned the numbers would be further skewed, something like 5% of Americans do 95% of our non-required reading. I would like to see more than one source for this statistic.

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(Hat tip: Tim O’Reilly)

Goodreads is Now Part of Amazon.com

This is an interesting move from Amazon.com: the company is buying the excellent online books social network and information portal Goodreads. I’ve used Goodreads sparingly in the past, but I know a lot of people who love the service and the recommendations. Here is the press release:

“Amazon and Goodreads share a passion for reinventing reading,” said Russ Grandinetti, Amazon Vice President, Kindle Content. “Goodreads has helped change how we discover and discuss books and, with Kindle, Amazon has helped expand reading around the world. In addition, both Amazon and Goodreads have helped thousands of authors reach a wider audience and make a better living at their craft. Together we intend to build many new ways to delight readers and authors alike.”

“Books – and the stories and ideas captured inside them – are part of our social fabric,” said Otis Chandler, Goodreads CEO and co-founder. “People love to talk about ideas and share their passion for the stories they read. I’m incredibly excited about the opportunity to partner with Amazon and Kindle. We’re now going to be able to move faster in bringing the Goodreads experience to millions of readers around the world. We’re looking forward to inspiring greater literary discussion and helping more readers find great books, whether they read in print or digitally.”

“I just found out my two favorite people are getting married,” said Hugh Howey, best-selling author of WOOL. “The best place to discuss books is joining up with the best place to buy books – To Be Read piles everywhere must be groaning in anticipation.”

Following the acquisition, Goodreads’s headquarters will remain in San Francisco, CA. Founded in 2007, Goodreads now has more than 16 million members and there are more than 30,000 books clubs on the Goodreads site. Over just the past 90 days, Goodreads members have added more than four books per second to the “want to read” shelves on Goodreads.

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

Here’s what the folks at Goodreads wrote about the acquisition:

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. 
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.

Sounds like a great fit.