Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Goodreads book rescue -- have you heard about it?

Sometimes I take myself off line just because.  There's no specific reason -- it's just because.  But today I started thinking that this isn't such a good idea because I miss way too much stuff when I do this. For example, I've recently finished two books by Boris Akunin trying to get to the latest one published,  and I go to Goodreads to post the reviews.  Next to each book is a little note saying that this book needs saving.  I'm like "what?" (sorry about the like, I really do talk like that and I can't help it because I was born and raised in California -- it's not affected on purpose).  So I do a bit of research and find this link at the site, which basically says that Goodreads will no longer be using Amazon's database for book listings at the Goodreads site, because evidently, according to the powers that be,

"Amazon's data has been great for us for many years, but the terms that come with it have gotten more and more restrictive, and we were finally forced to come to the conclusion that moving to other datasources will be better for Goodreads and our members in so many ways that we had to do it. It may be a little painful, but our aim is to make it as seamless as possible for all our members.

Amazon data that we will stop using includes data such as titles, author names, page counts, and publication dates. For the vast majority of book editions, we are currently importing this data from other sources. Once the imports are done, those few remaining editions for which we haven't found an alternative source of information will be removed from Goodreads."

So I "rescued" the two Akunin books I just read, plus the one I'm getting ready to start, and then discovered that 197 titles in my own Goodreads library are in need of rescuing.  Hmmm. I'm willing to hunker down and get to work on saving them, but at the same time, the powers that be say not to be in a hurry to do so since they're working on other book databases to try to remedy the problem.   So I'll check back soon to see where we're at in the process.

So what's going on? Is Amazon getting all bitchy or wanting more money or what? I've been really really really upset since the whole Amazon/Book Depository thing which has totally screwed me on buying books at the Book Depository.  I still get them from there (BD), but I end up having to do an end run through Alibris or places like that to get new releases that aren't going to be released here in the US for some time.  That means that the free postage from Book Depository no longer exists for me, since Alibris isn't so generous with their mailing fees.  Plus I have to wait longer to get my books now, etc. etc. etc. Plus, here's the kicker: Book Depository says "book not in stock" but yet I can buy it from Book Depository via Alibris.  Go figure. 

You might want to go look at your Goodreads library and see if you have any books needing rescuing -- I probably wouldn't have noticed at all except that I'm a stickler about keeping track of my reading.


  1. I heard of this a couple of minutes ago. I have over 100 books that need to be saved. Seeing how I just spent the whole day on the computer, I don't really feel up to the task of saving all of them... I guess goodbye to my books. :P

    1. Hi Edel
      I don't think you need to worry about your books getting lost. I got a list in my email from goodreads about books that need saving (I'm a librarian there), so hopefully some of them will be titles you own. I'm planning on spending a great deal of time on it this week, and the new database info will be available starting today, so we'll see what happens.


Say what you will, but at least try to be nice about it.