Writer’s Workshop: It Helps To Actually Read Things…

Yesterday I mentioned that Amazon put out a message to its Kindle users that started with this…

For the past few years, Amazon has supported several features on this site and on Goodreads (an Amazon company) that provide the same service—helping readers keep track of their reading and share their thoughts about books with other readers. We’re now merging these features and focusing our efforts on creating a great experience for readers on a single service: Goodreads.

Please note that your Kindle profile, book lists, and notes and highlights will no longer be accessible via kindle.amazon.com after August 31, 2017. (You’ll find all the notes and highlights you’ve made over the years with Kindle at read.amazon.com/notebook.)

At first glance, I thought this was telling me that they would be putting the list of all the books in my library as well as my notes and highlights on Goodreads, and I would have to join that site (something I’ve done in the past and always ended up deleting my account) if I wanted any of it. Not wanting to join Goodreads, but worried I’d lose things I wanted to keep, I signed up for it.

Then I got to reading the post again, and realized, no, I really didn’t have to join Goodreads. The notes and highlights simply moved to another place on Amazon’s site. If I wanted to share them with anyone, it would be my responsibility to cut-and-paste over there. Amazon wasn’t going to automatically move the list of all my books over there, but they did provide a way to download the contents of my Kindle library (titles, authors, etc.) if I wanted to join Goodreads, in spreadsheet format no less (something I’ve been asking for since buying my first Kindle, as well as hundreds of other Kindle users, and something Amazon has told us was “in the works” for just as long). Of course, they also said that the tool would only be around until the end of today, meaning you have about eight hours to get your spreadsheet if you want it (and who wouldn’t?). I can do all kinds of things with a CSV file (a text version of the spreadsheet): load it into OpenOffice or Google Sheets, even build a MySQL database with the data.

That will come in handy, because we have several thousand books in our library, about 10% of which I’ve either read or bought with the intention of reading but never got to, because for a long time we had one functioning Kindle and it was never “my turn” to read (or, more likely, wasn’t interested when it was). Amazon is already recommending Regency romances to me; I don’t need the same recommendations coming from another site.

Plus, I’m pretty well up to my eyeballs in social media as it stands. I really don’t need any more. I have a hard enough time with the ones I’ve got.

I realize I must have misled many of you yesterday, for which I apologize. I’m off to delete my Goodreads account. Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty I’m free at last!

This week’s assignment was to write a post that ended with the word “last.”

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Author: John Holton

I'm a writer and blogger who writes and blogs about things that interest me.

9 thoughts on “Writer’s Workshop: It Helps To Actually Read Things…”

  1. I had a boatload of stuff over on Shelfari. I was so upset when they transferred everything over to Goodreads. I never did go in and set up my account. All that stuff just lost.

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    1. Bummer! So you’d put all this work into your stuff on Shelfari, and it’s gone? That’s why I grabbed my booklist when I found out about this. It seemed like the only chance I’d have to get a list out of them. After that, it’ll be “you can get a list on Goodreads!”

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  2. I am deleting my Goodreads account as I really don’t use it. I read what Amazon wrote just as you did…sometimes companies need to write more clearly. Well, that is just my opinion. Have a great weekend!

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    1. I know… I had to read the thing half a dozen times to figure out exactly what was going on, and I’m still confused. I ditched Goodreads as soon as I realized that I didn’t really care what they were going to do. It would have been nice if they had said “your notes and highlights are staying on Amazon in a different place, so update your bookmark, and if you were using Amazon to do your discussions, use Goodreads instead.” But, they didn’t ask me…

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