Sunday, 17 June 2018

Browsing & Book Buying


Yesterday I took myself off on a solo adventure to my local bookshop, with a want of browsing the shelves, and ideally, coming away with some new books that I had no knowledge of prior to going in the shop.

Since becoming a book blogger (so for a good few years now), I've found that I very rarely buy books without knowing something about them - be it a fellow blogger sharing they are currently reading a given book, or perhaps I read a review of a specific title, or even just saw it in passing on Twitter. Whatever the reason, the majority of the books I buy there has been some kind of prior knowledge; whether that be a big piece of information or just a small snippet.

Due to location, it isn't often that I find myself at a bookshop, and so I make the majority of my book purchases online. In doing so, I tend to have a list of books and just add them to my basket before checking out - one swift movement.

I don't even browse when book buying online, much less remember the last time I went to a bookshop and browsed. As I'm sure you can imagine, I had a wonderful time on my recent book shopping outing... But it was definitely thought provoking also.

Going into the bookshop, I thought I would be met with so much choice, being left unsure of what I wanted to come home with... Now, again, this may be a location issue, however I actually found it difficult to find titles I had literally no knowledge of. 

This did surprise me. 

Do I follow a lot of bookish content, and in turn have a vast knowledge on a wide selection of titles? Does my bookshop stock a lot of popular fiction only? Do we in the book community read a lot of the same thing? Or, am I not reading widely enough?

Honestly, I don't know the answer to that...However, it does make me yearn for my simpler days of reading - when I'd go into a book blind, with no knowledge but the blurb & cover, concluding the book having found a gem of a read. 

I'm not entirely sure where these ramblings were going... But I'd love to open the discussion up in the comments. Has book blogging altered how you read & shop? How do you book buy? When was the last time you just browsed a bookshop, with not a single book in mind? Or picked up a book you had no prior knowledge of?

I'm definitely intrigued, and look forward to your comments!

Oh, and in case you were wondering... I left with three titles I had no prior knowledge of, and look forward to reading them in the future.
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10 comments

  1. Book blogging has definitely altered the way I read, pick and shop for books. Most of the books I read are for review and so most of the time I'm on a pretty tight schedule (thank goodness I'm not a mood reader!) and there are times I miss the more spontaneous book picking. The same way I know about so many more books than I used to and I want to read most of them and it can get sooo overwhelming. I do miss the simpler days sometimes but I think the good outweighs the bad most of the time.

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    1. I totally agree with the good outweighing the bad - I remember when I took a break from the book blogging community a few years ago now, and I felt so out of the loop! Book blogging (& in turn book bloggers) are such a great resource when it comes to finding titles, knowing more details about a specific book etc.

      Also, kudos to you Katherine - a tight schedule with review books isn't always easy to handle!

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  2. I wish I lived closer to a bookstore. I love wandering the shelves and looking for books I haven’t heard about. It’s been years since I did that. Since I get a lot of my books online, I usually just buy the stuff on my wish list. My list is huge (around 500 books) because of blogging.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. Minus the 500 book long wishlist (hehe), it sounds like we're a lot alike in terms of how we book buy & also find out about new titles - I'm pretty sure all the titles on my wishlist have come from the book community.

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  3. I'm curious what books you found! Blogging, Instagram and Goodreads have definitely changed the way I browse and purchase books. I won't purchase a book unless it was highly recommended or I see that it has high reviews on Goodreads or Amazon. Or unless it's an auto-buy author. I let other people's reviews dictate what I purchase, and I wish I didn't. I do miss the days of walking into a bookstore and just picking a book based on the cover and synopsis alone!

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    1. I think it is so easy to let those factor dictate whether you buy a book or not - I mean, we all want to go into a book and come away absolutely loving it! With high reviews and recommendations from like minded readers, the likelihood you'll have a positive reading experience is pretty high. I totally get that.

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  4. I miss those days too! I just hear about books constantly, it’s hard to be surprised, especially in a mainstream bookstore that stocks a lot of new titles and bestsellers. I am often surprised at used bookstores though. And will admit soooo many of the random books I plucked off shelves back in the day never got read!

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    1. Definitely, Christine!

      Oh, I wish we had some good used bookstores here where I live, but they just aren't really a thing here. I see so many people in the US score some great finds in used bookstores.

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  5. I have similar experiences. Even at the library, I mostly place holds on upcoming releases. I'm not sure the last time I've picked up a book from the library or a bookstore that I haven't heard of before!

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    1. It certainly seems like we aren't the only ones, Lindsey!

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