Boyfriend and I have very different tastes and habits. He hates musicals and sports, I wish Friday Night Lights would incorporate dance sequences. He says “soda,” and I say “pop.” We also have very different styles when it comes to trying to pick out our entertainment options.
When we go to rent a movie, Boyfriend likes research options online, using sites like Metacritic and RottenTomatoes to see what people like him have liked, then goes to the video store and picks up the movie he already chose. No browsing at the store, just in and out. He’s very efficient.
I, on the other hand, rely more on my own whims. I go in to the store knowing sort of what I want — comedy or drama, let’s say — but then like to meander around the store until I find a title that strikes my fancy. Sometimes it’s a movie I’ve heard of before, sometimes I like the cover or the title, or sometimes it’s just random. The point is I like going into the store without knowing exactly what I am going to come out with.
I’m the same way with bookstores. I rarely go in with a specific idea of what I want to buy. Sure, I have a long list of books I’ve gleaned from all you fantastic bloggers, but I rarely refer to the list when I’m poking around a used bookstore. I like to browse shelves, holding on to the books I’m considering while I just walk around. I’ve found some of my recent favorite books this way: Word Freak by Stefan Fatsis or It’s All Greek to Me by John Mole or The Gravedigger’s Daughter by Joyce Carol Oates.
I particularly love clearance sections because they aren’t sorted by topic, so as you scan the shelves you never know what you’re going to come across. I think of it as the zen of the books — by sheer luck I believe the perfect book will find me if I leave myself open to the possibilities.
Who is the weird one — me or Boyfriend? And more importantly, how about you, buy or browse? Do you go into a store knowing what you want, or let your new books find you?