Browsing Bookshops…

I don’t know about you, but sometimes just browsing around a book store for a while (ok, maybe an hour or two) can be one of the best things to do when you are having any reading issues, or if you just want to calm yourself. I did this recently when my head was in a spin and it was just what I needed, a chance to gage where my ‘reading head’ is and let my eyes and mind wander over the spins.

As I went from A – Z, I saw authors I had been recommended only days before (Jenn Ashworth), authors that I had heard kerfuffle about and wanted to try (Leo Benedictus), authors I have started a book of recently and then not finished though I don’t know why (Jasper Fforde), authors I ‘really should have read’ but still ‘really haven’t’ but will honest (William Golding), authors I had never heard of but after the spine catching my eye, a read of the blurb and flick through I really fancy reading (Tama Janowitz), authors whose books have impacted your life (Harper Lee), authors who remind you of the excitement and reading possibilities in translation you haven’t as yet uncovered (Per Petterson), authors you seem to be hearing about all the time at the moment and have decided you simply must read them (Owen Sheers) and authors whose debut novels blew you away and you wish they would hurry up and write another one (Kathleen Winter).

As you wander the shelves, rather than be intimidated by the vast number of books you might not get to read, there is a certain joy in the books you spot be they the ones you love or the ones you might love in the future. Oh how a browse can be such bliss.


Filed under Book Thoughts, Random Savidgeness

20 responses to “Browsing Bookshops…

  1. It is bliss and I am addicted (although only to second hand bookshops, new ones don’t really do it for me) but for me it also has a slightly stressful element to it because there are always so many books and so little money to buy them!

    • I found a wonderful second hand book shop in Manchester only the other day and its a real, real treat. I have a post all about it next week, it was just wonderful, but isn’t always open.

  2. Steel Reader

    I definitely agree. When I have been struggling with a problem or motivation in the old day job I have been known to abandon ship for an hour and head to Waterstone’s for a mooch, its amazing how it can clear your head. Maybe its the comfort of the familiar, all in one place.

  3. There is nothing better in my mind, Whether it’s in Waterstones or a charity shop, I’m happy as long as I can browse the spines of novels. It is the elixir of my life, any time I’m feeling low, I know I can spend £2.99 on a book and walk away with a spring in my step.

    Don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve also developed a habit of taking photos on my phone of the books that catch my eye and I want to look up in more detail. I must look an absolute weirdo!

    • I was left thinking the last time that I did this how reserved publishers are with spines, covers have loads of money spent on them but its actually the spines we see on our shelves and not masses caught my eye.

      I do the photo thing, I didn’t include them in this post but I took pictures of four or five books. Ha, glad I am not alone.

  4. Sounds like me! Actually I’m probably worse. We have a tiny bookshop at the hospital where I work and a lot of the time I’m sneaking off to read (of course that’s only when there isn’t work to be done). I have completed quite a few books reading of that tiny book shop’s shelves.

  5. Love this, it’s just how I feel about bookshops and browsing.

  6. We’re all going to agree with this, aren’t we! Have to admit, the pleasure of browsing a secondhand bookshop is a hundred times more exciting to me than a new bookshop, but I can still have a wander around Waterstones during my lunch break, quite contentedly, knowing that I’m extremely unlikely to buy anything.

    • I would agree with the pleasure of secondhand and new book shops. I think there are a lot of utter treasures you can find in a second hand book shops and that feeling when you spot a rare book on a shelf you have always hankered after is quite, quite special.

      I have found a marvellous ‘secretive’ second hand book shop in Manchester, report coming this week.

  7. I love browsing in bookstores, but I can never seem to leave it at that. For me browsing always equals buying, but that is the fun of it. Rarely if ever do I go into a bookstore with the intent of purchasing a specific book.

    • I am lucky in the being able to browse and not buy, I am sure Waterstones won’t appreciate that in some ways but they should be flattered they make such a wonderful atmosphere (in some stores not all, especially the newer ones) that you want to mooch.

  8. ooo the smells and the colours and the inspiration. THANK GOD my office is next to Waterstones!

    • The colours and inspiration is amazing, its also the possibility of all those stories right there awaiting you. I do prefer the smell of a slightly musty second hand shop I have to say. I am thankful I am not close to one, I would go shopping bonkers every lunch time.

  9. I absolutely know what you mean. Sometimes, when I have weekdays off, I go browsing (with no intention of buying anything) as a treat in the late afternoon. It’s a peaceful time of day and I can make my circuit of Waterstones, the charity shops and the independents without meeting York’s shopping crowds. I find it ridiculously calming to run my fingers down the spines, read some synopses, smile when I see books in stock that I’ve read and loved. I do the same at the library too on my lunch hour.

    I have to lament the loss of Borders at this point though. It was always my favourite browsing place and I always seemed to find something interesting and unexpected there.

    • I hadn’t thought about the timing Victoria but you are so right. The afternoons, if you can make them, are so much more relaxed and mooching so much more doable. I will be avoiding book stores in the weekends leading up to Christmas and past the sales… ok I might pop in for the sales, maybe. Ha.

      The library is brilliant for this, and strangely enough I am alwaus more likely to leave with a book there 😉

  10. Pingback: The Book Buying Ban Starts Here «

  11. Laura Caldwell

    I love second hand book stores and agree that “new ones” are not the same, but I also can get instantly calmed by walking into the room where my bookshelves are and resting my eyes upon their loveliness.

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