The Atlantic has weighed in
Why is Goodreads so valuable to Amazon?
Because most Americans don't read books.
Or so goes the reasoning.
"A small fraction of Americans buy the vast majority of books in this country," writes Jordan Weissmann. "Goodreads gives Jeff Bezos & Co. a direct line into their thoughts and habits."
As he regretfully reports, "The United States is not, sadly, a country of lit buffs. In 2008, a little more than half of all American adults reported reading a book that was not required for work or school during the past year, according to the National Endowment of the Arts."
So the reason why Amazon shelled out a reputed $150 million is obvious. "Today," as Weissmann says, "the publishing industry survives on super fans -- book worms who read far more than most Americans, and who tell their friends what to read as well. By picking up Goodreads, Amazon gets to tap into those super fans."
Sad, but logical.