Tuesday, June 24, 2008

with alternative suggestions

The Millions blog considers why there is no IMDB for books.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, book fans aren't quite like film and music fans, and book reviews aren't quite like the film and music reviews. Film and music are far more likely to be consumed in group settings than are books, and so large group endeavors devoted to the cataloging of those media seem more fitting somehow. Even as there is an amorphous and no doubt large community of avid readers, it is a solitary enjoyment that does not always lend itself to the scorekeeping at the heart of the big meta-review sites. Likewise, book reviews are rarely as easily classified as film and music reviews (which often come with their own arcane scoring system, so as more easily to be averaged in with the rest). To my mind, it is a relatively poor book review that simply describes how good or bad a book is, while those that mine the book's context in the service of a broader discussion tend to be more rewarding. How do you score something like that?

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