While browsing through the books at my local Waterstones store, I became aware of how easy it was to pick up books, rifle through them and decide whether to add them to my reading list or not. It’s something I do every month. Flick through a few books at the bookstore, take notes of their titles and then purchase them on Amazon for my Kindle. I’ve never just bought a book on Amazon though.While the purchase of books on Amazon is simple enough, the actual browsing of books isn’t the same as your average book store. At the book store I find that it’s quicker to pick up a book, flick through it, read the synopsis and then decide whether you like it or not.
On Amazon it’s fairly easy to decide on whether a book interests you or not as all the information is there on the book’s product page. Finding that book on Amazon however isn’t as easy as the bookstore method. You can’t glance or scan the books on the Amazon website.
Finding a specific genre or category is easy enough but then you’re met with a massive volume of books displayed in a white spaced grid with tiny images of the books cover.I’d much rather be able to scan the book spines in a horizontal page ordered by author. Just like the bookshelf at the bookstore. They have images of the book cover on the Amazon website, but why not the spine?
They’ve probably already done tonnes of research on this with teams of designers and marketing folks and disagree with my view. For me however, the browsing of books on Amazon just doesn’t compare to the experience of visiting a bookstore.