Originally Posted by bowerbird
but notice, if you will, how the original "problem" -- that we will be
overwhelmed by so much unenjoyable garbage that we won't be able
to find the "needles in the haystack" -- has been turned on its head,
such that now we're worried that we'll be handed so many "needles"
that we don't bother to look though the "haystack" any more at all...
Well put. I have exactly that problem in big bookstores now: So many titles crammed into the shelves, neck cramps from craning my head sideways to read all those spines, uninformative (or uninteresting) titles, generic cover art. The bookstore has become my "haystack," life is too short, and I'm losing interest in digging through it for those few needles!
What I long for are the days when a bookstore clerk knew me and my interests, and knew his stock, so he could point out material that he thinks I'd like, but wouldn't necessarily find without his advice. If I can get that by some online means, yes, I would spend a lot less time digging through the haystacks, and I might miss some needles.
But honestly, I'd consider it a worthwhile risk.