Information Sets Expectations

One thing I miss from the analog days at the public library- the due date stamps in the front of books.

Besides telling you when your book was due, it also told you in direct terms how popular the book was in your community. This popularity information also set a certain expectation for the book- if everyone was reading it it must have value on some level, even if it is only entertainment. If the book was from a deep niche, it could confirm both the obscurity of the subject and also validation that a few others shared your love of that niche.

A nearly empty due date sheet hinted that you were freeing a seldom read book from the shelf, and whatever it held inside would remain, even after your reading of it, a closely held secret experience of a select few.

Knowing the Amazon rank of a book just isn’t the same kind of information.


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