End of the year you get always those “best of” lists. And unfortunately I always get sucked into them. This year the one that was the most fascinating was Amazon’s Best 2013 books. What is fascinating about them? Well, it’s the difference between:
One might think that they would either be pretty similar, or their difference would represent books that are still not available in Kindle format. I found actually that it’s not true (and I’ve heard about this trend before): Kindle books are flooded by romance books. It almost feels like 50% of all the top 100 books are romance novels! That’s not a real number. I thought of counting them, but I actually can’t tell by just looking at the cover and title what the books are about. And I didn’t have the time to go one by one and see what they were about to generate a count. Just go and look. It will be quite evident.
The conclusion for me is that if I want to see what the interesting books are according to Amazon customers, I should look at the print ones.
There are some that you won’t find in Kindle edition, or that don’t sell very well on that format. Namely cookbooks and diet books. I have a few in Kindle and I have to admit they are hard to use. I’m sure people have thought about it, and have tried to work on it in the past (and are probably still working on it right now). It’s a tough one to figure out. If you want a searchable book, the internet is so much better and more comprehensive. Cookbooks are books you browse to be inspired, and going a page at a time, or jumping through well-defined paths makes this “browsing” hard.
Anyway, if you hoped you were going to see my list of best books of 2013, sorry to disappoint. I’m not sure my 2013 list is very good. I actually haven’t read too many books. Perhaps because some of the books that I read took a long time to finish (like A Dance With Dragons or The Curse of Chalion). Or maybe I just have been reading more papers trying to catch up with what has been going on in the world of research while I was focused on other things. Next year so far doesn’t look like it’s going to be much better, but things can change. Perhaps I’ll choose shorter books!