Over the weekend, I read the Yellow Lighted Bookshop, a book that celebrates that beautiful feeling of going into a physical store. I agreed, for the most part; e-books are never quite the same as a real book. Thinking about it, though, I realised that it’s been a long time since I’ve properly browsed a library or bookshop. Why is that? I think the answer may be Goodreads, or the general bookish world.
Because I follow so many book blogs, I’m constantly being bombarded with hype for new books, or love for an older series, etc etc. When I see a lot of bloggers I love talking about something great, I obviously want to read it myself. Consequently, my TBR is around 500 books long (and I know that’s pretty small compared to some people!).
Here’s where it becomes a problem. I barely ever browse anymore, because I know I have so many books I’ve already decided I want to read. I reserve books from the library, or buy them online, and even when I go in to browse I come out with books I’ve already heard good things about. It’s been so long since I browsed without some set books in mind, and came out with something unexpected. I choose from an already made list based on my mood, not based on whichever cover grabs my attention first.
Is this a problem, though? Is it somehow better to choose a surprise book, or better to have a TBR? I used to love browsing shops, especially a second hand bookshop, and it took reading this book for me to realise how long it’s been since I’ve done that. There’s nothing better than the feeling of finding the perfect book, especially when you weren’t even sure what book you were looking for.
I feel like it’s a problem that I can’t change now, though. I think it’s too late. When I go into a bookshop now, I can’t get the popular books out of my head, because I’m seeing them everywhere. If I did pick up something else, I don’t think I’d be able to stop feeling uneasy. What if it’s terrible? Have I seen some negative reviews somewhere? Am I really choosing this over the latest most popular book? It actually makes book shopping stressful, instead of the relaxing experience it should be!
In saying that, though, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with reserving library books to ensure you get a chance to read those popular ones. And if I didn’t have a TBR, how could I remember I wanted to read those more obscure fantastic ones? Is there some sort of balance I’m not aware of, or am I not alone in this problem? Let me know how you shop, I’m interested!