Seeking vs. Browsing, Revisited

A couple of months ago I wrote about two methods of finding books to read: browsing, finding random books at a library or bookstore; and seeking, deliberately looking for specific titles.  I’ve always been a browser, but lately I’ve decided to give seeking a try.

I must be a pretty good browser, because I haven’t noticed a big overall change in the quality of what I read by seeking.  There’s been a few really great ones; a lot that are good; and a few that are so-so or just bad.  My reading seems to follow a bell curve in quality!  I feel like that’s about the same as it’s always been.

I have felt more anticipation about what I’m reading.  I’m much more conscious of what I have lined up next, and I’m looking forward to books more–which is a bit of a paradox, when I don’t feel like the overall books have actually improved drastically!

Seeking definitely makes it easier to get to those books I’ve been meaning to read forever, to make progress on my To Be Read list, and to keep up with my reading challenges.  I feel more accomplishment about what I’m reading, like it’s goal-achieving instead of strictly recreation.  But it’s also fun to browse through the library and stumble on something wonderful–and I’ve found plenty of favorites that way.

In the end, I suppose I’m not coming to any startling conclusions.  There are merits to both methods, and I’ll probably do a bit of both in the future.  But I’ll stay a staunch seeker of television.

One thought on “Seeking vs. Browsing, Revisited

  1. One can still do both seeking and browsing today. I think as books become more and more digitized, though, browsing is going to be limited to looking through what’s presented as recommended to read on e-reader “bookstore” applications and book reviews on-line (either through news sources like the NY Times or blogs). That’s a big change coming and it will make a difference in how people find their next great book to read.

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