Originally Posted by WillAdams
The problem is they allow merchants to create SKU entries and the merchants aren't trained as librarians and often have a business model which depends on their product being listed separately from some other pretty much identical product.
What's worse is that each book *is* different, in that a hardcover will have a different ISBN (and possibly LCCN) than the mass-market paperback version and the ebook version. Plus, in the case of older editions that have been re-released, there may well be additional matter such as new forewords. Clearly these are different books. I've got five different copies of Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" sitting on my bookshelves. One is a larger-print, two volume edition, one has an expanded preface and two forewords, another has an afterword by Leonard Piekoff(sp?)... you get the idea.