books: March 2004 Archives

The Art of the Fuzzy Search

| | Comments (0)

So I went to Borders this evening, looking for The Book of Probes, a book simultaneously cooler and less interesting than you might imagine from the title. No, nothing to do with alien abduction. It's a coffee table book that combines aphorisms from Marshall McLuhan with the graphic design of David Carson. "Probe" was McLuhan's term for the numerous shots he fired across the bow of culture and media, and Carson basically takes a number of these, and produces a book that's a lot like McL's The Medium is the Massage, cept in color and much more extensive. So it's a cool book.

So anyway, I go to Borders, and do a quick search on one of their kiosks. The "e" doesn't work very well, so when I type in "book of probes," it comes out "book of probs." Fortunately, when Borders' Title Search doesn't recognize a title, it gives you books that it thinks are close. My results? Harry Potter, John Grisham, and Dan Brown. Of course! At least Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix overlaps with my title at the crucial point of of.

And now, the new and improved title search gives you a two-page synopsis of the book rather than any indication of where it might be in the store. I tried media theory, I tried graphic design, I tried technology, I tried cultural studies. Finally, I had to ask a Borderer, who took me back to media theory, scanned the shelves, and gave up. I walked around the corner, and found a copy wedged between a couple of celebrity biographies on one of the display racks. Total luck.

And I passed on HP.



Powered by Movable Type 4.1

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the books category from March 2004.

books: May 2004 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.