If you had told me a year ago that I would delete my Goodreads account (on top of Google!) I wouldn’t have believed you.
Simply put, Goodreads (a website that allows you to track your reading, follow other readers and authors, and compile categories such as “to-be-read”) was always my favourite place to be. I first made an account when I was seventeen, and since then have added every book I’ve read since, and tried to remember what I read in my early teen years, coming to a total of around 800 books.
However, in following my Google ban, Goodreads inevitably had to follow. Not for the same privacy concerns but because, sadly, Goodreads is owned by Amazon.
For those unaware of Amazon related concerns, I won’t get into them in too much detail here, but they relate to work conditions and money related issues that I don’t agree with.
On top of this, buying items such as books from Amazon, where they are cheaper and more convenient, it does mean that sales from your local, independent bookstore are dwindling. As someone who works in a bookstore you could say I’m biased, but honestly – I find it interesting how many people tell me they love the store and hope bookstores last, admit they probably won’t, and then don’t buy anything for us.
And I do understand. It is cheaper to buy online!
An independent store is going to be more expensive, and I know that not everyone can afford that, especially for a non-essential item. However, it’s not just for the sake of a bookstore. If we only bought books from a place like Amazon who can afford to sell these books at a loss (because it means their customers buy their other expensive products at the same time), authors, publishers, editors will also start to be paid less. Book buying affects every person within the industry.
(As a side note, while I personally try to support smaller Australian brands where possible, I know that not everyone is in a position to do so, and don’t judge those who buy from cheaper companies.)
It was sad to delete my Goodreads account, but also a great relief as well, also for the reason that I enjoy decreasing how many accounts I have and how many emails I receive.
Thankfully Goodreads does have the option to export your data, so I transferred my books read, the date I read them, and my reviews and ratings into an excel document. I then organised it into different years and genres and made a note of where I got each book from. Yes, for all 800. No, for no real purpose other than my own curiousity.
Life without Goodreads does feel a little different, as I did used to check it daily and would also scroll through other reviews. But my excel sheet does the job, and if I feel like branching out and making a new account, there are Goodreads-like websites gaining traction. We’ll see what happens!