Posts tagged amazon

Why I still love bookshops

I’ve written about bookshops a lot on this blog over this years. There’s a good reason for this. For me, good bookshops have always been inseparable from the joy of reading. When I was in my early twenties and working in a job I absolutely hated, I used to escape to the nearest bookshop and browse the shelves for a different world to inhabit for a time. When I moved to New York, I was astonished to discover huge, sprawling bookshops where they not only allowed you to stay all… Read More

The limits of automatic recommendation systems

I was reading an article in NewScientist the other day about a system devised by academics at Royal Holloway, University of London, which “could form the basis of a recommendation system that makes suggestions based solely on an automatic assessment of the text.” Unlike Amazon’s recommendations, which look at sales, and those on sites like Goodreads, which look at reader reviews and ratings, this one looks at writing style, e.g. the frequency of individual words. Well, I’m sceptical. You see, the very last thing I want to do after reading… Read More

The Kindle Report: does it beat paper?

I’ve owned a Kindle for almost a year now and so thought it was time for a comparison of ereading vs reading. I’ll look at several different categories, from the common issue of readability to more unexpected things like how it’s affected my book-buying habits. The reading experience As I’ve said on here before, I’m unable to read anything of any length on a computer screen. The Kindle, though, is noticeably different. I can read for hours and not get tired or distracted. But although it’s an improvement on backlit… Read More

Paired with Andrea Levy

OK, so Amazon’s algorithms don’t always work too well. But I was pleased to see On the Holloway Road being offered with Andrea Levy’s Small Island for £9.93 in the “Frequently Bought Together” category. I also like checking out the “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought…” section for my book. There are some great books in there like Mrs Dalloway and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, as well as some Julian Barnes, J.G. Ballard, Caryl Phillips and quite a bit of Shakespeare. Interesting to see what people who bought my… Read More