Reading—an inherently antisocial activity made social via book clubs that are really just an excuse to get out and drink on a Tuesday. There have been attempts to take the book club experience online. There were some great ideas that I really, really wanted to work, like BookGlutton, but they just didn’t pan out. And then along came Goodreads, which found the right balance of social media and literary nerditry.
Now, Amazon is making all of your dreams come true. The company announced Thursday that it has agreed to acquire Goodreads for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition is expected to close next quarter.
It’s a beautiful and all-too logical mashup. With its deeply ingrained social features that allow you to see what your friends are reading, Goodreads is the perfect solution for that moment when you’ve finished one book but don’t know what to read next. With its recommendation features, it’s a perfect insta-social network for the Kindle.
One of the things I love about the Kindle is that when I finish one book, I can order another one on the spot and start reading right away. This deal could mean that your recommendations and “want to read” shelf are synced with your Kindle account so that you don’t have to go hunting for the next book to read.
“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,” said VP of Kindle Content Russ Grandinetti in a statement.
Founded in 2007, Goodreads boasts more than 16 million members and features more than 30,000 book clubs on the site. Fun little tidbit: Goodreads members on the whole add four new books to their “want to read” shelves per second.
It’s kind of a refreshing return to Amazon’s roots. The company got its start in book retail, and then it got into mobile devices with an e-reader, and now it’s getting into social media with books.
“We’re now going to be able to move faster in bringing the Goodreads experience to millions of readers around the world,” said Goodreads CEO and co-founder Otis Chandler (I feel like I don’t know enough Otises), in a statement. “We’re looking forward to inspiring greater literary discussion and helping more readers find great books, whether they read in print or digitally.”
Goodreads will remain headquartered in San Francisco, so no move to Seattle yet.
Image source: abitofgrace