Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I'd Like the Buffet, Please

Dear E-Reader Provider,

I love my e-reader--truly, madly, deeply--I do. In fact, since Sugar bought it for me my blog posts are getting fewer and farther between, and I'm staying up far too late reading, because new reading material is always at my fingertips. In fact, me with an e-reader is somewhat like an alcoholic with keys to the liquor store. Which makes me one of your best customers.

But, I have issues.

If you could see your way clear to upgrade the software that drives my book-shopping experience, I would be so very grateful. You have changed the way I buy books, and not in a good way. I can't shop the way I shop brick-and-mortar stores. I can't go, for example, to the mystery section and browse alphabetically by author. No.

When I browse mysteries, or romances, or women's fiction, or just fiction, I'm given the opportunity to narrow my choices by type. Or I can see what you think are the best picks. I can, of course, see bestsellers and new releases. It's easy to find the books that are free. None of these options comes close to how I like to shop for books.

Granted, I can search for a specific author. This is usually the way I begin shopping in my local bookstore--by checking out what's new and what I might have missed by my favorite authors. But I can no longer check out the authors beside them on the shelf, or skip down to the next shelf to a cover that catches my eye and pick up a title by an author I've never heard of before but who might be my new favorite. I know this isn't your intention, but you are preventing me from discovering new authors in my favorite genres.

I feel like I'm being spoon-fed books selected by someone else, while a feast of titles I would devour is on a buffet in another room that I can't find. Please understand that I am a customer and a book lover. I just need a better way to find books I will fall in love with among the millions of titles in your online store.
Sincerely,

Susan

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Susan, I couldn't agree more. I love my Nook, but finding new books to read is a horror. Spoon fed? It's more like having it crammed down your throat. No I don't want to see the best seller list. No I don't care what Oprah recommends. Give me a virtual store and allow me to browse the shelves! Hey! lets open our own on-line bookstore and do it right. Of course the only books we'd have to sell would be ours, but it's a start!

Donnell said...

Oh, gosh, Susan, so true. I have enough recommended readers without Amazon suggesting more. And about purchasing books, I hear you way too easy. I've had to set a budget or I would be buying every book out there.

I still am at the stage where I only know how to bookmark a page. As you know I do interviews, and sometimes in a physical book I like to highlight so I can go back and ask a question. Haven't figured that part out yet. Be strong!

towriteistowrite said...

YES! I'm a browser. I've found the most wonderful books and authors by browsing. I don't want an automated something-or-other telling me what I would like to read. I want to see all the possibilities. (That goes for Netflix, too.)

Barbara said...

Susan, You hit the nail on the head (not to be cliche or anything), but this is the one thing that frustrates me about my Kindle. I love the easy access to books without the extra weight and bookshelf space, but part of the joy of buying books was the hunt in the bookstore for that book that intrigued me. I've found so many great writers by browsing. Plus, how are readers going to find OUR books if the online stores don't give us better browsing options?

Bob Strother said...

Like lemmings we run to the precipice and do a swan dive into the latest new techno-trend. Ah, well...I hope soon to have a novel on Kindle. I'm no better than anyone else. Must follow the technology...must follow the technology...

Carole St-Laurent said...

I don't have the same experience with my iPad, I find. But now that it's been stolen, I don't have any experience at all. ;(

Susan M. Boyer said...

Oh, Carole! I'm so sorry your iPad was stolen! I'd always thought since Apple devices are so traceable they'd be unlikely to be stolen. I guess that shows how much I know. :) Or possibly it was a dumb thief...