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Once Upon A Bookshelf

Where Fiction and Reality Meet

On Finding New Books

I’ve discovered something recently that leaves me a little sad: I can no longer browse through bookstores.

I scour the shelves for authors I love, or for titles that have already been added to my TBR list.

But I don’t even know when the last time was when I searched for something new that I had never heard of before.

Before I started my book blog, before I started reading other book blogs, I got my book recommendations from a few friends or family members IRL who were readers. So I had to delve through the stacks to find something I had never heard of before that might strike my fancy. I would spend hours in bookstores or the library. Now I’m lucky if I have enough patience to spend more than a half hour looking for books that I’ve read about over and over on blogs or twitter.

This is one of the biggest downfalls that I’ve found has been a side effect of the book blogosphere: there is so much good stuff that I’ve heard about that I don’t feel the need or desire to really hunt for the unknown. And sometimes the unknown is the book or author that’s going to become a favourite…

It’s actually a little depressing to think about all the awesome unknowns I am missing out on, haha.

Do you find that you still have a desire to browse through bookstores to find that one little treasure that you’d never heard of? Or are you like me now, and only grab what you know you’ve heard about?

Posted by Courtney Wilson @ 6:32 pm January 16, 2012.
Category: Bookish Talk

  • Cat @ Beyond Books

    I totally understand how you feel. I have found that I don’t browse the shelves for new surprises anymore. I look for specific things and/or I am so full up with series, I just get the latest book in one. It’s been a long time since I have gone through the Fantasy section of a store and just looked for something new.

    At the same time, bookstores seem to only carry what’s popular these days. They rarely have shiny gems among the stacks.

  • Kailana

    I have the exact same problem. I used to buy books randomly all the time. So, now I just make myself do that at the second hand bookstore because I usually have credit… Then, if I don’t like the book it isn’t putting me out much.

    That being said, I have to agree with Cat’s last thought. I know the bookstore here is becoming more and more a gift shop, so that means less and less books.

  • Aarti

    Oh, this happens to me a lot, too. I don’t really blame book bloggers, but the ability to look up reviews of books before purchasing them. I’ll often go to GoodReads or Amazon now to see what people thought of a book before actually investing in a purchase. This makes me sad, but maybe when my TBR pile has decreased, I’ll make more impulsive purchases. I still do impulse buying in used bookstores, but only the cheap ones!

  • Anastasia @ Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog

    I know what you mean! I used to do that at the library all the time. I’ve promised myself that as soon as I get my new library card, I’ll spend a good amount of time each month looking for stuff I’ve never heard of before.

    I like getting recommendations from friends and stuff, but I really enjoy finding awesome books on my own sometimes. :)

  • Audra

    So true! I browse my library now and then but have been shocked at how many new offerings are ones I’ve gotten ARCs of or have seen on the blogosphere. It takes effort now for me to find a new gem that I haven’t seen before. I’m not sure that’s a good thing — maybe?

  • Memory

    I’m the same way. I still love poking through bookstores and libraries, but I’m mostly visiting my favourites and looking for things I’ve heard of.

    Last year, I decided to read at least one book per month that I’d never seen recommended or discussed in the blogosphere or elsewhere. I only stuck with it for about three months before the recommendations overwhelmed me again. Sigh.

  • Cheryl

    I’ve definitely browsed less since I started reading book blogs, which does worry me a little because browsing has found me so many favorites. But I’m relatively new to blog reading, so I’m still expecting to revert back at some point…although we’ll see when that happens! Though in a sense, now I’m just browsing blogs for unknown books, instead of browsing bookshelves…