Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Classification And The Big River

I'm getting together a list of Canadian books to order for the library, and I'm checking to see if there's a recent novel I've missed. I go to Amazon.ca and navigate over to Books › Literature & Fiction › Canadian. The first book there is by Margeret Trudeau. Maybe this is sly commentary... No. A quick inventory of the first 50 titles: 32 are fiction (16 by Canadians, 6 of those by Kelly Armstrong), 18 are non-fiction (7 by Canadians). So clearly, no one takes the category that seriously.

If I go to Amazon.com and repeat the survey at Books › Literature & Fiction › World Literature › Canadian, at least the first 50 books are fiction. 16 are by Canadians, 6 by Lucy Maud Montgomery, who apparently makes good Kindling.

I'm always amused when people tell me how much they'd rather find books at Amazon than through library tools. It's fine if you know what you want, but it's a misery to browse. That could just be a function of size or that browsing requires human input which costs money. I don't know.

P.S. The new Chapters Indigo interface: what were they smoking when they designed it?