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, the online retail powerhouse, said it has acquired


, the San Francisco-based Web site that has become popular among book readers and publishers.

Goodreads is known for linking friends and like-minded readers into online communities of book enthusiasts. No wonder Amazon, the world's largest online bookseller, was hot to buy it. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

Seattle-based Amazon said Goodreads, which was founded in 2007, will remain in San Francisco. The Web site has more than 16 million members which have formed more than 30,000 book clubs.

The deal is expected to close in the second quarter.

Written by Leon Lazaroff in New York