Monday, January 17, 2011

I'd Love My Nook™ More If BN's Website Didn't Suck.

The longer I've got my Nook, the more I enjoy it.  What I don't especially enjoy is shopping for books on BN's website.  I'm not sure how they go about deciding the order that books show up in,'s less than optimal for me.

First of all...and this part isn't really BN's fault, but there's a lot of self-published stuff out there.  I just finished reading one accidentally and, since it was only 99¢, I suppose it was worth almost every penny I paid for it.  And, I really only have anyone but myself to blame for this; if I'd bothered to check the publisher, I'd have seen that it was self-published.  Sorry, I'm still something of a product of my analog upbringing.  Once upon a time, if it was in a bookstore, on a bookshelf, someone had already thought it was good enough to spend some money to put it out there. Furthermore, someone had thought having editors was a good idea.  Don't get me wrong...I kinda love the idea that anyone can write something and get it out into the marketplace, and I'm not going to dismiss every self-published book solely because it's self-published, but, honestly I'm not going to expect all that much when I pick one up.  Then again, the price usually tends to be right.

But let's get back to BN's website.  Let me save you a step.  Say you've opened up and you've clicked on the Science Fiction & Fantasy section for nookbooks.  This is what you'll see.  It's heavily weighted toward the Fantasy part of things and that weighting continues as you look at successive pages. (That and there are a lot of self-published choices).  What you won't see is a lot of actual, ya'know...Science Fiction.  And much of the SciFi you will see are classics.

BN, unlike some other sites (::Ahem, Amazon, Ahem::), doesn't give you an option of refining your search.  Not by subject and not by "recently published".  I suspect that if it did let me look at the most recently published, it wouldn't be going by original publication date, but by the electronic version publication date anyway.

I just finished shopping for the next book I'm going to read and I ended up doing it with two windows for Amazon, where I did my actual searching and a second for BN, where I'd go back and search specifically for any titles that seemed interesting.  This is not a highly convenient way to shop.

I'm perfectly aware that I can shop directly from some publishers' pages but that's not really all that convenient.  I have to download those versions to my laptop and then load them onto my nook. (Yeah, yeah,'s so hard.)  And even if it wasn't about convenience, there's the fact that I'd really like to be browsing as much of what's out there as possible.  No offense to Tor or Baen or any other publishers, but there are any number of good authors out there and they're spread out all over the map.

Ultimately, anybody who wants to sell me books online is going to have to make the experience more enjoyable and more comprehensive.  Eh, I'm due for some dead tree reading anyway.

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