Usually when I go to the library I know what I want to take out. If I am particularly proactive I will have already checked the online catalogue to see if they even have the book I want and see if it is physically in the library. I may even have reserved the item in question. As a commuter and a person who needs a book to kill time when waiting for people, I usually have a book on hand.
I also go to the library like I sometimes go shopping. I wander around the library hoping for some kind of inspiration. I check the new book section, I look in on authors I haven’t read in a while. I skim through some magazines that I won’t spend money on, but take guilty pleasure out of reading–even more so because I can do this for free at the library.
This browsing, as it is completely disorganized, has me walking back and forth, changing aisles and sections haphazardly, and making “aha!” noises when I come up with a new place to check. I am sure that the library staff must wonder what I am doing, but since they probably deal with a whole bunch of crazies, I don’t set off any alarms.
The point is, browsing takes time, and often ends in disappointment. Either I can’t find something, or what I have just decided I want has already been checked out by some other forward thinking opportunistic reader. Sometimes I have even walked out empty handed.
Today was different. I came across several things I had been meaning to read or watch (my library has DVD’s and Blu-rays). My greedy hands were full of reading and viewing treasures–and I was pretty sure I wouldn’t have time to get to them all. While having too much choice is not a great thing, today, at least, it was perfect.