Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Searching, sampling, shopping for a good book

I like a Kindle because I am basically impatient and lazy. From signalling I want a book to reading page one usually takes less than a minute.  Each book is weightless and available on several devices at once.

Amazon does a very good job of helping me be aware of books I might like.  Today, "Pushout: the Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools" by Monique W. Morris came into my Kindle and my Kindle archive on their machines.  I pre-ordered it before it was actually available and it was released today.


When I am reading an engrossing book, the Kindle is really good. But, it isn't quite as good when I am deciding on something to read.  The Amazon web site is good at suggesting new things for additional purchases but I already have more than 1900 ebooks and about 1800 of them are unread.  I don't want to just keep buying when I have already bought many excellent books.  I want to look over what I have.

Book shelves are great for perusing, searching, browsing, shopping:


When I look along a shelf of books, I can rapidly reject those I don't want and note those I might be in the mood for.  The Kindle does not have a really equivalent display.  The grid in the Kindle app on an iPad shows about twenty book covers at a time:


It doesn't seem as helpful as the shelf.  The geometry of the shelf is helpful for remembering the location of a book and the shelf shows more books at a time.  Maybe superior reading comes not when a book is open in front of me but when I use the best methods for selecting my next book or keeping several going at once.

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