I have had a relationship with Goodreads for a little over a year and that surprises me whenever I think of it. Because not only does it seem that I have learnt more from Goodreads than my four years of college, but I have never had an opportunity of interacting with so many erudite, politically/socially aware bibliophiles before I joined as a member. Goodreads has definitely broadened my horizons, not only in terms of helping me discover new books and authors but also in terms of serving as a repository of the collective knowledge of all its members. I wouldn't have had any access to their world views, opinions, personal experiences otherwise.
So it goes without saying that making a Booklikes account and shifting all my stuff over here has been harder than I thought it would be. But I don't regret it.
The last few days have been tumultuous over at Goodreads. The people who do not merely care about getting 'likes' and 'comments' on their reviews and upping their popularity quotient, have joined the protest against Gramazon's unjust new review policies by posting and re-posting their views and made their voices heard. They have dared the GR administration to delete their accounts, fearlessly making their positions clear on the issue. While we have others who have chosen to quietly ride out the storm, carrying on with their usual GR activities, carefully maintaining their neutrality on the situation.
Then we have the detractors, who have neither joined the protest nor merely carried on with their activities but have gone ahead and made thoughtless, snide remarks about the people who are risking their necks (daring the GR staff to delete their accounts). And lastly we have people who seem to be miffed because others are not choosing their methods of protest (which are because they are completely impractical and virtually useless) and following someone else's leadership instead of theirs. So even though I hate the present Goodreads situation, I am equally thankful for this censorship fiasco because it has unwittingly brought to light the true nature of many of my close GR buddies.
Hurt, bitter, angry sentiments are running amok. And it pains me to log into Goodreads in the present scenario. I am no longer the same enthusiastic GR member, reviewer and reader that I was before this whole debacle started. My Goodreads isn't the same either and I doubt it ever will be again.
The only reason I haven't put a definite end to my relationship with Goodreads yet is because quite a few of my friends won't leave the site and it is this invisible pull of my affection for them and their writings, that has stopped me from hitting the 'delete' button. So for now I am willing to sacrifice a little more of my free time trying to be in both places at once. Although I don't know for how long I will be able to do that.
I feel a little tired and I haven't gotten much reading done over the last few days. Books I have read need to be reviewed. And yet I am sitting here typing out this useless, sentimental blog post on Booklikes where I have only 45 followers. But I suppose this is how I seek closure. The very fact that I am not cross-posting this on Goodreads and pouring my heart out here instead, goes to show the kind of distrust I harbor for the site now.
This is not a goodbye yet, since I fully intend to post more protest reviews and continue my somewhat dysfunctional relationship with Goodreads. But this is as close to a goodbye as it can get.