Iconic books are texts revered as objects of power rather than just as words of instruction, information, or insight. In religious and secular rituals around the globe, people carry, show, wave, touch and kiss books and other texts, as well as read them. This blog chronicles such events and activities. (For more about iconic books, see the links to the Iconic Books Project at left.)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Virtual shelves in virtual bookstore

As one more instance of virtual books imitating physical books as much as possible, Zoomii Books offers access to Amazon's books through an interface that looks like books on bookstore shelves. Sebastian Mary on if:book comments:

It's the most bookshop-like experience I've encountered online. Within seconds I'd been reminded of several books I've been meaning to read. ...

It's debatable, though, whether this kind of heavily-mediated pseudo-serendipity, while a pleasant change from the messy Amazon experience, isn't one metaphor too far. After all, how 'serendipitous' are the book thumbnails I find on its digitally-rendered 'shelves'?

From my perspective, this is another reminder that the iconicity of books has spread to social institutions, not just libraries and museums, but also bookstores. So as they become aware of it, web retailers will of course try to assimilate it and capitalize on it.

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