Random Thoughts: Browsing the Bookshelves

Some of the best books I have ever read came from chance.  And by chance, I mean that I wandered the bookshelves and picked out a cover or title that caught my imagination, flipped it open to the bookflap, and decided the story was worth my time.

I found C.W. Gortner that way.  And Meg Waite Clayton.  And Elizabeth Kostova.  Wandering around the library and bookstore shelves without a goal and finding a treasure…

English: This is a picture of bookshelves in a...

Lucy Ferris defended brick & mortar bookstores against online bookstores recently and made a significantly valid point:

“…nothing quite beats the experience of hovering, mothlike, around the literature section, picking up and glancing at pages randomly, deciding to try a book because you like its cover or its opening lines or what Wally Lamb had to say about it.”

Because that’s how I see it.  That’s how I read.  I find that if a book doesn’t capture my attention in the first few lines, I’m more than likely not going to read it.  I have several books in a Half Price Books resale pile that can attest to this.  Books I picked up because someone told me I would love it, words unseen, I went on their recommendation – nothing.  I’ve since learned my lesson.  Let it ‘hook’ me, I’m all over it.

Did you ever discover a favorite read this way?  Did you go back and find more of their books?

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Filed under Book-Inz, Books and Authors, Random Thoughts

2 responses to “Random Thoughts: Browsing the Bookshelves

  1. I found some of my favorite authors from different sources. Some I found on the shelves of bookstores and libraries, especially if the books were on a display dedicated to a certain theme. Others I’ve found through newspapers and magazines; somebody writes about it and I think, “Hey, I’ve really GOT to read that.” One of my all-time favorite authors, Nora Roberts, I found when a friend gave me a stack of her books to read as I was recuperating from an operation.

  2. Jami Severstad

    Totally. My bookish peregrinations begin with checking the new release shelves at the library, sometimes picking my way through the nonfiction, other days compiling a stack of fiction. That’s how I found the Detective Yashim series by Jason Goodwin. If I like what I read, then I delve into the stacks to find more by that particular author. But I don’t stop there. I use that opportunity to investigate the surrounding shelves to see what treasures they have to offer up. I found a Regency detective series by C. S. Harris that way (another detective series?! I usually don’t go for them, but since they’re historical fiction, that’s what pulls me in), and the novels of Guy Gavriel Kay. Perusing is the best way to make wonderful literary discoveries.

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