Borders’ new web storeIt’s not often a new web store piques our interest, but when we heard Borders was going back to selling books online, we had to check out its promise of a “unique” new browsing technology.

It turns out, what Borders has created is pretty good. Seven years after it signed a deal to sell books through Amazon, it’s finally struck out on its own with a new online store and a “magic shelf” interface.

It’s designed to make rifling through the virtual store much more like poking around a real-life shop.

At the heart of it all is a Flash app, showing covers of books, as well as synopsis material, user ratings and one-touch access to other titles from the same “shelf”.

It’s certainly much prettier than Amazon’s offering, and very conducive to browsing. But here’s the rub: when we hit the web with our credit card itching to spend, we generally know what we’re looking for.

There are millions of sites on the internet for us to browse if we’re looking to kill some time, and a bookshop’s unlikely to be the first we think of, no matter how much we like to loiter in the high street equivalent.

Take a look at the new Borders store for yourself. It does have redeeming features. Shoppers can earn and spend loyalty points, for instance, as well as reading up on “staff favourites” just as they would in a brick-and-mortar Borders. But will it change your book-buying habits? Let us know in the comments section below.

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