The Ultimate Online Bookstore

Published October 18, 2014 by Iphis of Scyros

We really need one.

I miss Borders, you know?  Barnes and Noble is okay, but its mythology section is so paltry that to call it “feeble” would be a compliment.  Its ancient history section isn’t so great, either.

But going to online bookstores is no fun.  You can’t browse suitably.  To really browse a bookstore, you need to be able to see the books, you need to see the shelf, you need to be able to see things that you weren’t expecting, things that aren’t really related to what you’ve been looking at.

Because sometimes you find something that you weren’t expecting.  I have this great book on trickster gods (I believe it’s called Trickster Creates This World) that I just happened to notice on the shelf when I was looking for something entirely unrelated nearby.  They keyword browsing used by Amazon and other online bookstores would never have directed me to that book, you know?

So for the ultimate online bookstore, it would have to replicate the physical bookstore experiences.  You would have to see the books on the bookshelf, sorted by general category just the way they would be in a real bookstore.  and you could maybe put in extra parameters to reduce the number of books on the shelf (like telling it you only wanted ancient history, or only wanted Mediterranean archaeology, or whatever) and then you could just browse the way you would in person, clicking on the books to pull them off the shelf and look at the back cover, maybe even flip through the pages a little.

I know that would probably be really hard to program, but it would improve the experience so much!

Sigh.

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