My dad (Jody Gorran) is a crazy entrepreneur. He has had more businesses (and business ideas) since I was born than years that I’ve been alive. From a hair salon, to treasure hunting, to water beds and gel matresses, to solar panels, to a housing development, to home security kits, to online scrapbooks and many, many, many more. Two of them made him enough money that he could afford to invest in the rest of the more off-the-wall ideas.

Ever since I got a blog, my dad has been badgering me to get him feedback on this idea he’d had years and years ago that he’d tried to promote to bookstores and libraries but no one was interested. I guess I put him off long enough, since last night, when he asked me to put it on my blog and I said I didn’t want to do that, he hung up on me. I realized that he is probably going to continue badgering me about this until one of us dies. So I give up. Here it is:

His idea is a genre fiction ID system. You know how when you’re browsing books in the fiction section of a bookstore or a library, you don’t really know if the book is in the fiction genre you like (say, historical fiction or detective stories or religious) until you take it off the shelf. It’s really difficult to browse the shelves. And probably in many cases, people who just come in to browse the fiction shelves end up with nothing because it’s so hard to find something in your genre while browsing. I think he definitely identified a real problem with identifying fiction one would like on the shelf.

So what he came up with was a system of color-coded concentric circles. Each sub-genre would have its own combination of three colors in three concentric circles so that people who were really into that type of fiction could easily find it. His idea is that libraries would put these little colored stickers on their new fiction so that people would know what genre/sub-genre it fits into (it would just be too time-consuming to put them on all of the older stuff).

My problem with it was visual. No one is going to be able to look at all of those different colored circles in the stacks and pick out the right one they’re looking for. And people with low-vision will have it even worse! When I try to picture rows of shelves and all of the books on them with three different colored concentric circles on the spine of each book, I imagine visual confusion.

But he really needs to hear from other people who aren’t related to him. If you could do me a huge favor and give your feedback to this idea (either here on my blog or at jgorran at bellsouth dot net), I would be eternally grateful. Otherwise, I may hear about this for the rest of my life! ;)