Last week, I did something a little bit C R A Z Y. I am a self-proclaimed time freak that is habitually early 100% of the time. Therefore, it should shock no one that I was 45 minutes early for an appointment. It should also shock no one that I decided to spend this extra time browsing around the super conveniently located Barnes and Noble right down the road instead of napping in my car to make up for my early wake up time to get to my 6 am Bikram Yoga class.
I’ve got my bookstore browsing routine down pretty solidly. So solidly, in fact, that the bookstores that I frequent should just have a tape path on the floor labeled “Kayla’s Path”. My first stop is always the YA section, where I’ll check out the New Release and If You Like This, Try That (if offered) shelves. Next I’ll bounce over to any discount or bargain shelves/bins, and finish up by scanning the end caps and/or center tables in the Fiction, Science Fiction/Fantasy, and YA sections, where books are usually featured based on their release date, a theme, or some other common “topic”.
For whatever reason (sleep deprivation from 6 am yoga, eh?), during this trip, I suddenly had an epiphany (because I am utterly brilliant so sometimes this happens to me). THERE ARE OTHER SHELVES, SOOO MANY OTHER SHELVES THAT I NEVER LOOK AT. 95% of the time, I stick to my book browsing routine, and the other 5% I’m going in for something specific. I know what you’re thinking. “Well, Kayla, what if the something specific isn’t in those sections, DO YOU NOT VEER?” Well, friend, I have an answer! If I know that I am going to a bookstore specifically for a certain book or books, I always reserve them ahead of time and have them waiting behind the register for me to breeze in, buy them, and breeze right on out again. I make it sound simple, but as I am sure that you know, it isn’t easy, and the struggle is REALLY REAL. I need to do this, however, or else I go into the bookstore with the intention of picking up one or two things and then I leave like this:
Okay, back to the topic of this discussion. So, there I am, with about 40 minutes to kill, and I decide to go rogue! I completely abandoned my browsing routine and decided to wander the rest of the shelves in the YA section and only pick up books that I had never heard of. Yes, you read that right, folks! I went back to the basics, I went completely old school and relied s o l e l y on the cover and the synopsis of the book on the inside sleeve/back cover to influence me. I also banned myself from looking at Goodreads and peaking at reviews. I LITERALLY WENT CAVEWOMAN, and it felt awesome. It was such a wonderful reminder of how things used to be when I first fell in love with reading. Back in the ancient times when my Mom would take me to the library, and I would spend what felt like hours pulling books off of the shelf at random until I found a few that interested me enough that I just had to take them home with me!
I’ve been feeling a little bit pressured lately by all of the hype surrounding certain books. I often find myself thinking that (1) I can only read popular books that everyone in the book universe is talking about, (2) I’m a complete nuisance of a human who has no right to even be a human if I don’t read the popular book, and (3) that I only focus on books that I hear about or read about online or know of because of some other form of social interaction, thus causing me to miss out on all the other books out there that just need a little more love, and that I hate feeling that way. So, this epiphany was just what the book doctors ordered!
I know the burning question everyone wants to ask is … well, this was all lovely to read, Kayla, but did you actually buy a book? The answer is …
But… I’m going to have to break a couple hearts here and tell you that I won’t be revealing what I chose just yet. I’ve decided to make this spontaneous buying and reading of books a regular occurrence because IT’S AWESOME, and thus a new feature on my blog has been born! So, grab a book, grab a cupcake, and wait patiently. My choice will be revealed soon enough!
But in the meantime… I’d be interested to hear if you’ve ever had a similar feeling? That your book choices are being influenced a bit too much by all of the blogs, media, and hype out there today, or that you simply miss the spontaneity of going to a library or bookstore and BROWSING!