Good Riddance Goodreads

There comes a time when staying in an online community just isn't worth it.

When eBay first started changing from a place that welcomed small businesses to a place that gave free rides to huge corporations at the expense of the small businesses who helped build the company, I stuck it out. I had built a business there over 7 long years. But rule after rule made making money, and having fun, more and more difficult. At a certain point, sometime back in 2011, I decided I had had enough. I quit.

Well, it's not going to take me 7 years to quit Goodreads. I'm done.

I joined Goodreads back in 2009 at almost the same time I began blogging. It was a fun place to hang out with other book lovers. Other readers. It had a nifty way to catalog my books as I read. To comment, to take notes, to make observations I could share. And then the drama came.

You can trace it back to when Goodreads started aggressively marketing itself to authors as a marketing tool. At the same time, self publishing was booming, with lots of new authors completely overwhelmed with all that comes of being your own marketing department. Friction was inevitable.

Instead of protecting the providers of free content (the reviewers and GR librarians), Goodreads decided to sanitize book pages and reviews by hiding anything objectionable. Last week, it went even further, by deleting shelves and reviews without notice and without properly posting the policy changes IN ADVANCE or anywhere on the main page.

Any company not willing to let its community know about changes of this magnitude does not need my participation and does not deserve my respect.

As a result, I've deleted my shelves, books, and reviews and have moved them in their entirety over to Booklikes.com.  I will not supply Goodreads with content. I will not patronize their site. I will not look at their ads, providing them with revenue. I will not recommend their site to others. In fact, I will advise anyone currently using the site to go elsewhere and those looking for a book site to stay far, far away from Goodreads. I'm keeping my account alive to keep my user name from being used by others, but otherwise...you won't find me there.

You'll find me here.


  1. How times have changed! A few years ago I encouraged everyone to join...authors (as readers), bloggers, readers. Now I warn people to stay away...I don't think it's an effective tool for authors anymore because too much animosity has built up, it clearly is no longer a reader-based site, since the administrators are deleting content and attempting to curtail open discussion. It effectively serves no one.

    1. I agree. It holds no value for me, certainly. The ratings already skewed overly positive, but now? There is literally no way to make a review solely about the book. Why would you want to?

  2. I moved to Booklikes as well(just yesterday, actually) and I'm already fond of it in a way I never was of Goodreads. Fingers crossed and hoping it will stay that way.

    1. I feel lucky I wasn't as emotionally attached to Goodreads as so many of the power users were. It's really hard to realize a company you've devoted hours and hours of volunteer effort to doesn't respect or appreciate you. And with the ease of exporting your library over to Booklikes, there's really no compelling reason for most users to stay where they aren't welcome.

  3. I enjoyed your article. Thanks for writing it. I can relate. I, too, am disassociating myself from Goodreads. HUGE disappointment. It is, in my opinion, a hostile, illegitimate rating and review site. The heartless way they handle readers and authors will be their downfall. One-by-one they all fall down.

    I'm an author and I'd like to share my experience of Goodreads with you. You can read about it on my blog. http://cgrousing.com/2013/10/29/goodreads-just-say-no/