Ruby from Ruby's Reads wrote an excellent post regarding her feelings on browsing. Please check it out HERE.
In response to her question, Do I feel that online browsing is significantly different than in a bookstore?
When I browse in a bookstore, I love to be around all of those books! I love to see the covers, pick them up and physically touch them. I love to read the first page, thumb through them, maybe scan a passage or two to see if the writing and story will interest me. I enjoy going to a section of the store to see what is new on the shelves. So yeah, I do love to browse in a physical bookstore.
Now I'm trying to stick with the question, which relates to browsing not buying. However, it's very difficult for me to go into a bookstore and not buy any books. If I walk out of a book establishment without a book in hand, I feel kind of...empty. But buying books can be expensive and I'm super choosy about which books I am going to spend my hard earned money on. I also don't have a ton of room, so for me to purchase a book, it's a big deal.
Unfortunately, I've been disenchanted and frustrated with some of the larger chain mortar and brick bookstores. I'm not going to badmouth any particular store or employee personally, but let's just say I have a lot of odd stories about bookstores. This is just MY personal experience, but maybe it adds to my reluctance of going into bookstores.
This is when my practical voice reminds me that I can find a lot of the books cheaper online or better yet, free at the library.
My very favorite place to browse for books? The library. It is the best of both worlds. I can physically touch the books and they're free. I know libararies weed out older books and those that don't get circulated frequently, but in my library I always seem to discover a treasure. More often than not, I can find the first book in a series, sometimes even if that first book was written over 10 years ago. Sure, I can't keep them forever, but it's okay. I don't have to be choosy or picky or worry that I spent my money on a book I won't enjoy. I can still do all the things I can do in a bookstore and then I can take them home and read them and hold them and love them before returning them to let someone else do the same. I can start them and if they don't hold my interest, I can return them. If I'm slow to read them I can renew them. What I also like is the "green" factor of libraries. One book, many people. If I do happen to have a question at the library, I can either look it up on their computer or ask a librarian who always seem to have the answer within a few strokes of the keyboard.
So that's some of my browsing experiences and thoughts. What are yours?