Originally Posted by SCION
What if I don't know the title or author? I simply know that I would like to read a medical thriller or a legal thriller, and I have distinct collections of each. I can't put anything on my shortlist if I don't know exactly what I'm looking for. If you have a sizable library, present sorting capability isn't enough.
There's a reason why libraries of any size sort by subject, then author. I even tend to do this at home, even without something like the dewey decimal system guiding it. It's how we naturally approach books. Much like with music you think of artists as a way to drill down into albums, books you think of subjects as a way to drill down to the authors. With computers, folders have given us a way to arbitrarily sort and shuffle.
But what I think is crucial to the next step of e-reader user experience is auto-organization by metadata. It makes music libraries that are quite big manageable if imperfectly so (see: iPod), and it leverages computers to do what they do best while reducing the level of menial tasks the user has to perform to use their device.
Although it really helps if book publishers start actually using this metadata for something useful rather than leaving most of the fields blank.