I thought of tacking this on to one of the numerous "I hate the shelving" threads, but decided not to.
I wish the shelving was better, way better than it is. But as I was adding books to Calibre this morning, and I noticed the metadata I had this thought. For some of the issues, such as sorting series books in order, it seems as though the first step is that there needs to be some standards and consistency set up for the metadata. BN and the other retailers can't and shouldn't be altering the metadata. First and foremost, they don't have the resources and shouldn't be expected to.
The publishers should set up standards so there is consistency in the metadata, which could then be used for sorting and shelving options, because without consistency, there is no way the software can be programmed. Series names and series numbers should be in a separate field, not part of the title and then those fields could be used to sort and to shelve. Authors names should be in a consistent format, some seem to come down as first name last name, others last name, first name. What to do when the book is anthology and has multiple authors?
What I noticed today in Calibre was that books by the same publishers in the same series are not necessarily consistent. Some downloaded with series information, some with partial series information, some with none. One series, apparently when the author changed publishers, they also changed the name of the series.
I agree there are some areas that BN could and should improve, even with the existing inconsistencies in the metadata, but other areas, the publishers need to make changes, then BN the retailers could use that to make shelving and organizing our books easier and more efficient.
BN is certainly lacking in some areas of shelving, but blaming BN for the series number being at the end of the title, that's a publisher issue and needs to be addressed to and by the publishers.