Book Monday: Browsing in Bookstores Still Rules

This must explain my local Books-A-Million’s alphabetizing “system”

I work at a bookstore and can order books for myself with a discount. I also buy on Amazon. But there’s just something about going to a bookstore and browsing. I’m sorry, but Amazon’s algorithm just doesn’t cut it.

That’s why I hope to God, pray, and do bookstore dances out back at midnight during a full moon that bookstores will NEVER go away.

I’ve got a new WIP in the brainstorming phase after talking to my agent on Wednesday. I did some googling for resources, and ordered a reference book on Amazon which I’m waiting impatiently for it to arrive.

Saturday after work, I got the notion to re-read a fave — Loretta Chase’s “Mr. Impossible” — and analyze its plot, but I’d loaned my copy to a cousin who hasn’t returned it (ahem) and so I thought I’d swing by Books-A-Million (sadly our only chain bookstore left in Mobile). So I left my job at the local independent bookstore and shopped at another 🙂

I really don’t like BAM, their selections of back titles suck, and nothing is alphabetized right. For Chase I found her books right after some B’s, but then after hers, they started over again in the A’s and 3 shelves later I got to where they should’ve been. Oh, it was so hard to resist not rearranging their shelves. Anyway, I digress. The point is, I went there for one book and they didn’t have it, and I browsed some more and then was like ‘hey my new WIP!’ So I wandered over to their World History section and browsed their poorly organized shelves (can you tell it irks me?) and came across several choice goodies I would never have found out about purely through Googling and Amazon. One was just too freaky perfect for what I was researching. So I left a bookstore with three research books that I didn’t even know existed before I went in. And this is why I do that midnight dance during the full moon, because physical browsing can’t be beat. And if you’re one of those that physical browses just to find out what’s available and then buys it online– GRRR! *Shaking my fist at you* How can that store stay in business if everyone does that?

Anyway, enough ranting, just thought I’d share these thoughts for today’s Book Monday post.

Do you like physically browsing for books? Do you still have any physical bookstores left in your town?

9 Replies to “Book Monday: Browsing in Bookstores Still Rules”

  1. LOL. I laugh because I worked at (one of) the local B-A-M stores for several years. There are few employees that care deeply about the books they are incharge of shelving, and those that start off caring, many times become disenchanted because they are not given the amount of time they need in “their section” to keep it they way it should be so they stop trying.
    The solution–only hire people with OCD. They will care for their area beyond the coorporate guidelines and come in on their days off to do walk-throughs. They will be able to tell you where a book is within inches on any given shelf. And, above all, they will skip over some company policies to make sure books can be found by shoppers.
    Yes, that was me. 🙂

  2. There are two sides to this. One yes, never would have found Discovery of Witches if not in the store. Our chain is Chapters and when I visited the other day the staff are helpful. But I was seeking a Canadian children’s book with Canadian theme I knew I could find inuit and native books on line but when it comes to a kid book for someone I don’t know I wanted to touch it and see it and read it to make sure I liked it. I ended up with 3 Robert Munch books not Canadian themed but Canadian author. For speciality books one does have to shop on line. but no, would not want book stores to vanish. we’re going to the UK and maybe they still have independent ones….

  3. I love bookstores! Only one in my area and I buy something every time I’m there.

    In other news…thought of you today as it is Ada Byron Lovelace’s birthday. According to my friend Google she would have been 197 today.

  4. I’m one of those people who hates shopping for anything, mostly because I’m rarely in the mood for browsing. Online, offline, doesn’t matter. Browsing is something that strikes my fancy about once a year. 🙂

    Yes, I’d offer to give up my “girl card” except that my extreme love of chocolate more than makes up for it. LOL!

    1. I’m with you there on regular shopping (clothes, shoes, groceries, etc), so you won’t see me taking away your girl card. I hardly ever shop for clothes! But books I love to shop for… 🙂

  5. We have ONE Barnes and Noble, ONE Books a Million, and ONE local bookstore (with two locations). I will be sad beyond words if bookstores go out of business like movie stores did. You just can’t replace an actual store with Amazon.

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