No Algorithms Here

Lewis Buzbee, bookseller and author of the memoir The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop was interviewed on Wisconsin Public Radio’s fantastic show To the Best of Our Knowledge and opined about why you need to get off the computer to buy a good book. One of his more interesting pleas for the utility of the bricks-and-mortar bookstore is, perversely enough, the uncomprehensive selection. He argues that by picking and choosing from among the millions of books available, bookstores perform a useful editing function that online vendors can’t match. That is, we make recommendations. And who are you going to trust? An algorithm or a real, live person?

Listen to “To the Best of Our Knowledge” here.–David E