For some, scrounging through piles of books and blindly bumping into strangers who have their noses buried in literature is the perfect way to spend a day. For others, there's nothing they would rather not do. If you're among the latter, the newly redesigned Designers & Books has launched (as of Monday) the world's first online book fair just for you. With nearly 400 books focusing on design from 13 internationally known publishers, you can snag a great read for up to 50% off of the retail price, not to mention the 30% to 50% discounts that are being offered by some participating publishers.
The books cover the full spectrum of design—furniture, lighting, architecture, fashion, product/industrial design, landscaping and jewelry design (among many others)—making it a space where it's all but impossible to not find something of interest. "You can click 'architecture' on our site and you instantly see 148 books on architecture," Steve Kroeter, founder of Designers & Books, says. "But you can also click 'architecture/north america/20th Century/between $50 and $75' and pretty close to instantly you see the eight books that correspond to that set of criteria. We think that's pretty nice—especially, for example, if you are looking for books as gifts."
As for what makes his online book fair different from, say, Amazon's formidable recommendation engine? Kroeter shares his insight on the relevance of an online book fair:
Most research shows that while people buy books on Amazon, they don't necessarily "discover" them there. For those interested in the world of design books, we wanted to provide a better online browse and discover environment—an experience that would come as close as possible to the serendipity and spontaneity of browsing in a bookstore. At the same time, we felt that we could improve on the way that sort and filter capabilities are used in connection with books and make it even easier and more interesting to drill down and find exactly what you want. Our goal, working with the publishers who are participating in the Fair, is to provide the most comprehensive, best designed place on the Web to find out about each of the books featured in the Fair.
Hop online (and skip the hassle of putting on anything presentable) to peruse the titles that Designers & Books' online book fair has to offer.