E-Books and the Browsing Problem

I use my Kindle often. I read books using the Kindle app for my iPhone more.

But, I don’t like shopping for books in the digital world.

You see, I am a browser. I always have been.

Not only do I judge a book by its cover, I judge it by the weight of the paper and the tone of the ink and the books that are near it on the shelf.

And that last one is the kicker.

When I go to the bookstore or library looking for a book, I am rarely looking for a specific book. If I want a particular title, I order it from an online seller or place a hold on it at the library from the comfort of my living room.

But, if I have a gut feeling that I want to learn something about a particular subject, I like to wander over to a cluster of bookshelves and browse. I have no easy way to browse digital books and this bugs me.

Are you a browser? If so, how is the move to digital publishing changing your book-finding habits?

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Posted on April 20, 2012, in Daily Life, Uncategorized, What is Kate reading? and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. I actually enjoy browsing books on Amazon. Their list of other related books at the bottom often leads me on an interesting adventure! But there is something special about hanging out in a books store that I miss – it was usually as social experience for me. I have fond memories of walking to a book store with my Dad in a city we were visiting and just browsing before heading home. And I have fond memories of browsing the children’s section with my own kids.

    What I miss most about Borders in Milpitas – besides really nice quality greeting cards, journals, and great periodicals, is their discount bargains! They always had racks out in front that caught my eye before I even got in the store. Funny though, I can go to Amazon and not buy anything, but I could never go into a bookstore and leave empty handed, LOL!

    • Kate Arms-Roberts

      I find that I get lost browsing on Amazon. I follow a few of those links and can’t remember which books I want to go back and think about some more – and my Wish List and Shopping Cart become unwieldy if I try and use them as reminders.

  2. I’m both but because my local bookstores are closing I am forced to do more browsing on-line. However, one of my favorite things to do is spend a leisurely hour or two in a bookstore.

  3. I have a Nook Color. I tend to buy more books because it’s so easy. I used to just go to the Bookstore and browse. I kind of do this with my Nook, but it’s so easy to buy. I know this is all part of their “evil” plan. This mainly happens when I’m already reading a book and I say, “Hey, I like this author, let’s see what else they’ve written…” so then I look on my Nook. Lately, I’ve been “forcing” myself to hit “read sample” or “add to wishlist” instead of “buy.”

    • Kate Arms-Roberts

      I agree that it is far too easy to buy e-books. I don’t have good systems of self-restraint online.

  4. I DO browse. Even if I’m picking up a particular book, I like having a look at the other books in the area. I like reading titles, and picking up books with interesting titles or covers.
    With digital books, I use google. I look up descriptions and non-spoiling reviews. It’s not a big deal for me at all.

    • Kate Arms-Roberts

      I find that my online habits involve a lot of following up on reviews on blogs. I may browse the blogs, but by the time I get to an online bookstore, I have selected the book I am looking for and confirmed that my library doesn’t have a copy.

      • If I’m trying to keep things in order during a single online session, I left click on the link to the book and select “open link in new tab” (I use google chrome browser). If I want to save it for later, I bookmark the page and save it in my “to read” folder–which can become unwieldy too–like my “knit and crochet” folder–then it’s time to add subfolders: “sci-fi,” “gifted sh*t,” “mysteries,” etc.

        • Kate Arms-Roberts

          I use the multi-tab approach, too. It’s a little scary how many tabs I manage to have open most of the time. šŸ˜‰

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