For scribes like you, this is noteworthy:
The Early Reviewers program [at Library Thing] is f’ing effective at putting books into the hands of the right reader.
I wonder about that. I wonder if we lose something by being targeted by complex algorithms rather than stumbling upon something incidental, tangential, but surprisingly transformational.
Memory banks do not lend themselves to browsing, George Steiner once said, before all this happened. That may no longer be true---it's easy to browse online---but maybe "right" is simply the word that bothers me. The right reader is not always a buyer, but online communities often seem to prioritize buyers above browsers hunting for ideas. I'm guessing that such targeting only widens the gulf between academic and trade, which is, to my mind, in need of narrowing.