The web application that I'm working on presents a collection of books which the user may read or annotate. These books tend to be legal documents or tenders, not novels. At the moment, the user may select a book using a traditional tree view (they are structured documents) or a coverflow view (a la iTunes). There may be a few books or tens of books.
Personally, I think coverflow sucks for this. All the books have pretty much the same artwork, so the user has to read the title of the book which is printed vertically on its spine. However, our less technical users just love it. Some of our users never use a computer and struggle with concepts like providing a username/password.
We are doing a UI review and the feeling is that we need to keep this coverflow view of our library.
So here's the question: What other options are out there to make a novice user feel at home with book selection?
A bookshelf probably would not work too well given the titles of these books are lengthy. I don't think we are constrained to traditional book metaphors. Just to make it harder, we are looking at an iPad interface so it would be good if a similar navigation system can be used for both web and iPad.