A big family, a reading addiction, and the occasional celebrity scandal are the ingredients of life that create one woman's opinion on just about everything.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What's on the Menu?

When was the last time you browsed? I mean truly browsed the bookshelves of your favorite bookstore or library? I so often shop with a list these days that I can't remember when I just went in and took books down from a shelf randomly. I can't remember the last time I tried someone (author) completely unknown and new to me. My lists are full of either auto-buy authors or recommended reads.

With Beanie at college and Shmoo working and in school too, GG and I frequently find ourselves home alone. Very often we spontaneously head out after dinner for a cup of coffee and the bookstore. To browse. Recently on our way home from just such an outing I told GG we don't really browse any more. Looking at me over the tops of his glasses, he said,"Then what is it we are doing?"

There's really not a short answer to GG's question. But what we do, it's not browsing. While GG goes through different phases, (most recently he has an obsession with 'ab' fitness) he searches through a specific section and subject. While I've been known to pick up a best seller or wander into the Sci-Fi section of the store, I'm usually reaching for the books I've jotted down on my TBB list. Not only is this not browsing, it's not all that fun either.

I used to go out trolling for books. Just walk up and down aisles and randomly pick them up, read blurbs, skim pages and weigh out whether or not I should spend my limited monthly allowance on that particular book. Discovery of a really good book and author was so exhilarating. I miss that. While I appreciate getting recommendations and buy many of the books, I miss my own exploration of those vast bookshelves.

So, I ask again, what about you? When was the last time you really browsed a bookstore or library? Can you remember the last time you 'discovered' a writer completely on your own that just made you sigh in happiness?

Well, I've decided that I'm going to make an effort to get back to basics and try looking for books the way I used to. I want to try to find books and writers I know absolutely nothing about. I want to take some reading risks.

That's it! I want an adventure. I want to have a reading adventure. Could be fun. Could be costly. On the upside I don't have to travel far or buy any special equipment for my adventure.

Aaaaaaand...I have a plan. A plan is good.



Blogger sula said...

It's been a while since I've shopped for books the old fashioned way. Probably not since DF and I combined our financial lives and I started to have to put more thought into my discretionary purchases. Not to mention prices seem to keep increasing and more books come out in that awful big size that costs twice as much as mass market. I've been burned too many times buying a book that 'looks' good only to find it mundane, average, or even just awful. I save my browsing for the library where it doesn't cost me anything to be adventurous. *g*

Do let us know if you dig up some buried treasures tho. I like having a list. ;)

5:20 AM PST  
Blogger Jennifer B. said...

Ya know when I stopped doing exactly that? When I discovered the online romance reading community and started racking up recs. A mental block I know, but I never seem to be able to bring myself to browse like that--and I used to do it with joyful abandon--if I already have a list of books to read in front of me. Of course, another spurious factor could be the fact that I got married, bought a house, ect. and voila--no more fun money for books. LOL At any rate, I'm with you--it would be great to get that magic back.

6:13 AM PST  
Blogger nath said...

I still browse in the bookstores... Whenever I don't know what to buy, I browse, LOL :) Of course, these days, it's to make up for all the promotions (buy 35$ and save 5$, etc).

However, I do admit that I do a lot of hits and runs LOL :) Go in the bookstore, pick up the book, pay and leave. That happens especially if there's only one book I want. Otherwise, I usually take the time to browse... Sure helps that most of the time, I have to actually find the book I want.

10:25 AM PST  
Blogger Rosie said...

sula, I'd love to browse the library. When I was a kid the library was one of my favorite places. However, where I live now all we have is a County Library and it is sadly lacking. Oh and trust me, if I love a book...no way I'm keeping it a secret.

Jen, yeah, I started with lists when I subscribed to Romantic Times magazine years ago. I'd read those reviews and make a list and off to the store I went. Little by little my own browsing has dwindled to next to nothing.

Nath, unfortunately 'hit and run' seems to be my main way of operating these days. That's why I want to get into the habit of browsing a bit more again.

10:47 AM PST  
Blogger Wendy said...

I've always been a big library browser. Card catalog? I don't need no stinking card catalog! Just turn me loose in the stacks and I'll find more then enough to keep me occupied.

As for bookstores? When buying new, I rarely, if ever browse. I shop with a list, and even then I'll flip through the first few pages of the book before I buy it.

I always, always, always browse in used bookstores - even though I do still take a list with me. I used to do this all the time at The Old Job. That big massive UBS that I took you to for their going out of business sale? Yeah, I spent many a lunch break there just happily browsing their stock and unwinding from whatever craziness was going on in the office that day. But now that UBS is gone, and Wendy is ever so sad :(

1:12 PM PST  
Blogger MaryMary said...

I browse at bookstores, used bookstores and the library. That's how I started reading Joy Fielding. The library on base is pretty good. It's sometimes hard to browse though because my three beasties are with me. We all love going to the bookstore, but then the boys all want, want, want...it's hard to say "no" to books. My favorite place in the world to browse is the used book store. That's wear CJ found a series he loves and I always find some little nugget or something from an author I like that I haven't read yet. Love IT!

2:16 PM PST  
Blogger Rosie said...

Wendy, alas even my UBS adventures have resorted to lists. I think the lack of time has been a major issue the last couple of years which is why I have lists...not just to remember, but to save time as well.

Mary, I didn't know you had a good UBS nearby. Guess I'll have to check it out when I visit, huh?

12:19 AM PST  

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