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Zoomii: A very fun way to browse books on Amazon

Browse books in a slick, Google Maps-like environment with Zoomii.

If you're not one of the cool kids with a Kindle, the good news is that paper books are still quite popular and less likely to be taken at gunpoint by muggers. The sad truth is that browsing through them on the Web is not nearly as fun as loitering in a bookstore (or on the Kindle), which is why Zoomii was created.

Zoomii is a virtual bookstore with simple bookshelves that highlight's massive collection. It's set up to work just like Google Maps. You can zoom in and out, and simply drag your mouse around from shelf to shelf. Included are best sellers, sci-fi, and every other conceivable book genre. When you find something that looks attractive you simply click on it and it'll grab all of the info it can through Amazon's API. To actually read the reviews you'll have to click off-site and back to Amazon; the same goes for payments.

Zoomii reminds me a little bit of Shelfari, a bookmarking tool to show other people what you're reading. The difference is that Zoomii skips your friends and goes straight for the wisdom of the crowds--aka the estimated 15 percent of the book-buying public who go to Amazon to get their reading material.

One thing to note is that the site is running pretty slow with Firefox 3 for some reason. If you have an earlier version or are using another popular browser it's wicked fast.

[via The AWS blog]