Geeky: Optimize my order

For this birthday, my sister got me an gift card for the amount of $48.16. It bewildered me where this number came from and it turns out she was able to pick a random amount and took pleasure in picking random numbers.

(At least this year was “better” than last year when the gift cert was from VS and a scantily clad woman popped up in my inbox while I was at work….)

So this brings to mind the classic computer science Shopping Spree optimization question with the dynamic programming solution – to systematically calculating the best “bang for your buck.” I could try to buy as many books as possible (i.e., start with the cheapest on my wishlist). Or I could calculate which books have the “best value” (most pages/$ or best rating/$)….

Whichever the case is (and I will make up the solution table, you know), because all the parameters (price, pages, ratings), I will predictably end up with three books – which ones we will later see….

Now it is later.

I ended up ordering –

Rebecca Agiewich (a.k.a. Breakup Babe‘s) Breakup Babe : A Novel. She is a fellow blogger and far more of a writer-type than I. Am happy to support her endeavours and figure this will be good summer/beach reading.

Madame Bovary’s Ovaries : a Darwinian Look at Literature touts itself as good for the student of literature and biology so we’ll see. Sometimes I am unabashedly geek. Like with Breakup Babe, this book is also not yet published until May 30.

Judy Fong Bates’ Midnight at the Dragon Cafe to extend my hyphenated-Asian Lit collection. What collection? The will be fodder for another post. It was a toss up between this novel set in small-town Ontario or Wayson Choy’s Jade Peony, set in ’70s Vancouver Chinatown. Needless to say, I’ll pick up Choy’s novel (and its sequel) at a later date.

My total order after applying the e-Gift card? $0.89.

On this day..