Wednesday, February 9 2011

Dear Amazon,

Because I bought a Kindle, your recommendation system now fills the first several pages of results with random ebooks that either I already own in print, or else are not even plausibly related to anything I’ve ever purchased, owned, or searched for.

“Hey, you need to fill your Kindle with books! This is a book! It has a cover and a title page and words inside! You like words, right? Of course you do!”

Here’s one of the least stupid suggestions:

Things that go bump in your kitchen

Because I bought Cooks Illustrated’s Italian Favorites, I really, really want to read about a monster-hunter who’s in over her head.

Other Kindle-fied “recommendations” include one called Blink, subtitled “The power of thinking without thinking”, because I own Beard on Food.

I can’t blame it all on the Kindle, though; that 750GB laptop drive I just bought led to a recommendation for a Gillette single-blade disposable razor. And there are some actual relevant recommendations, such as Shogun because I bought Exploring Kyoto, and James Beard’s New Fish Cookery because of the aforementioned Beard On Food.

And I really can’t complain about the DVD of Xanadu, recommended because my wishlist contains the Flash Gordon Blu-ray release. That’s just common sense.