shelfari-shelfIn 2007, we wrote about book discussion hub Shelfari when it first launched. In 2008, we covered its sale to Amazon. The service has apparently come full circle now, as Good EReader reports Amazon will be closing Shelfari down and merging its content with GoodReads.

Good EReader’s Michael Kozlowski puts Shelfari’s failure down to launching too early, before e-books became really popular, and never following up e-books’ popularity with a better user interface or mobile apps. This enabled GoodReads to steal its thunder when it launched at the height of the e-book era.

Shelfari members are unhappy about this move, as Amazon is only giving them two months to migrate all their data over to GoodReads and they don’t feel that’s enough time to shift as much as 9 years’ worth of content. They are also disappointed that Goodreads still doesn’t have some of the features they find most useful about Shelfari, such as nested discussion trees.

I’m a little surprised Amazon waited this long to close Shelfari down. It seems like making the move even a few years ago would have been easier since there would have been less content that needed to be ported over. But perhaps they felt Shelfari was doing well enough at the time. I wonder what might have happened to change their minds?


  1. I had a Shelfari account since before the Amazon buyout, but never got much use out of the platform. The ability to fill in missing data for books was fun, but failing to meaningfully interact with most people there made it so it wasn’t any loss when one day I simply gave up. Still got the CSV file with all the books on my shelf, for what it’s worth. But it was one of those social networks that didn’t really have a point… or much of a way to get into if you happened to be a latecomer. Oh well.

  2. […] Shelfari users have been given two months to transfer nine years worth of data to Goodreads. Some users are quite miffed at the short timeframe. Chrishaun and Robert had a lot to say about this topic. I’m sure as authors we all have an opinion on Goodreads and no doubt stories to tell, but what about Shelfari? Was this a better user experience all round? See the full story: […]

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