Some of the greatest pleasures in life are the most simple. Standing in a bookshop, surrounded by thousands of volumes, is one such joy.
Ideally, you would be in no rush. It is good to linger when browsing books. You can then identify a suitable section and decide upon your strategy. There are many to choose from:
The Librarian. Strict alphabetical order, you start at A and allow your eye to run across each spine, perhaps aided by a pointing finger. A small tut may venture from your lips when you find something not in the correct order. Selected books will be removed from the shelf, examined and then placed back carefully from whence they came. After twenty minutes you have only reached as far as C, so make a mental note of where you got to for your next visit.
The A.D.H.D. Even though you have all the time in the world you don’t want to miss anything so your eyes scan huge sections in one go, lingering briefly on interesting looking jackets or strange titles. You will pick things up but get bored after the first few lines of blurb.
The Favouritist. You make a beeline for your favourite authors and quickly check that they haven’t published a new book without you knowing. They never have. You then proceed to rearrange their titles on the shelf so that other shoppers are more likely to come across them.
The Janitor. A nice leisurely browse, tidying as you go. Booksellers of the world love people like you.
The Gambler. Pure pot luck. You pick up anything that comes to hand using whatever method works for you that day. You end up taking home a bunch of stuff you’ve never heard of just to see what it is like.
The Pigeonholer. You know what you like and like what you know. You head straight for your department of choice, never deviating or being swayed by multibuys or special offers. You are rarely surprised.
The Abramovitch. It is pay-day and you buy everything that looks remotely attractive or interesting and end up with a pile of books that you will struggle to fit on your shelves.