Amazon has killed off any chance of finding a good book …

booksOk, I have two varieties of kindle devices, I’m as guilty of creating the problem as Jeff Bezos might be, I can only plead that there isn’t much alternative because Amazon has made the old-fashioned bookstore an anachronism.

I have a largish bookcase in my home filled with books that all have a central theme around being gay. Not a one of them would be classified as pornography. They are literature.

Today, if you search Amazon for “gay” books, you have to weed through hundreds of thousands of self-published authors, nearly all of them really terribly written porn. It’s not even good porn, it’s just words on a page, uploaded by someone who thought they were an author.

It’s not just gay literature that is hard to find. Search any genre you like. From self-help to cookbooks to “literature” you can find hundreds to tens of thousands of results – and the overwhelming result is not worth the digital space they occupy.

There have always been bad books. Since man learned to string words together as a story, there have been books that might not have been anyone’s particular cup of tea. Yet, you could pretty much figure that if they made it onto a shelf at a bookstore, they were at least worth looking at the cover. Perhaps even most of them could be read without finding a misspelled word or grammar that was invented by author.

Amazon allows anyone to publish anything at no cost. You can write anything you want, upload it to Amazon, set a purchase price, and Voila! you are an author.

That doesn’t mean you should. It also doesn’t mean that you should buy the crap you find. Even if you subscribe to the remarkable Kindle Unlimited – where you can ready any of nearly a million published books for just 9.95 a month, you’ll find a hard time finding something readable.

It would be really helpful if Amazon would allow you to sort your search results by the number of reviews posted instead of just the quality of the review. I’ve found that the more people who have posted a review of a book, the more likely the book is to be readable.

There are lots of books on Amazon that have five-star reviews. Yet you’ll find that 98% of the five star reviewed books have less than ten people reviewing it, and I’d bet a paycheck that a majority of those posted reviews are from people who are personally acquainted with the author. Whether family or friends, those reviews are tainted and shouldn’t be allowed.

It was never easy to find good books. We’ve always relied on the opinions of others, which is why Amazon has a sort option based on the number of stars.

The problem is, that by eliminating the traditional path to being published, we are now subjected to utter garbage, and who has time to weed through all the newly self-published crap that litters our digital worlds?

It’s no wonder that reading a book is no longer one of the favorite things to do of a great majority of our young people. They’d rather play a video game – and don’t get me started on how much video games have been dumbed down to suit the masses.

I am officially an old person. I miss the old days.

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