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Amazon's Look Inside

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One of the niceties of shopping for books on Amazon is the "Look Inside" feature. It tries to mimic browsers' experience in a physical bookstore by showing them a few selected pages from a book or a limited number of pages based on a search phrase. It's probably a violation of rules, but one could even print out these pages to reference them later.

As I said, this option is designed to approximate the shopping experience at a physical bookstore, but it's not quite the same. Most physical stores resemble libraries these days. You can select a few books, grab a comfortable armchair and read to your heart's content.

Not so with Amazon preview. After showing you a few pages, you get a popup informing you that the freeloading interval is over, basically informing you that if you want to read more, buy the book. What's perplexing is this portion of the message:

The page you have requested is not available for viewing. For security purposes, we are not able to provide further information about why the page is unavailable.

Huh? What? Security purposes? I can't figure out what he devil they mean by this. I wasn't trying to access information on Pentagon's top security database. I guess a clause like that frees them from ever having to answer a question about the preview feature. Couldn't they just say: "Sorry, the browse limit has been reached?"


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