The other day Ruby wrote a post about Bookshop Serendipity on her blog, Feed Me Books Now, and I just couldn't resist writing a reply post – because before I started blogging I had no clue of the latest books, who was popular, the new releases etc, etc, and a lot of my discoveries would be attributed to bookshop serendipity.
Serendipity, a noun, the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way – I like to think of bookshop serendipity as that moment when you’re just browsing at a bookshop or a library and you see it, sitting there, you’re drawn to it, you can’t take your eyes off it. Then you pick it up, stroke the cover, and you know. You know it’s the one you've been looking for.
The best example of this I can think of is Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer (funnily enough me and Ruby were talking about this book a while back and I told her about how this was one of my ‘finds’) which I found under three piles of 50 books at this sort of book market that I used to go to (its closed down now, unfortunately).
I had actually lost all hope on this fateful day of finding a decent book because I’d visited the place so often that I knew every single book they had worth picking up. So, there I was just picking up books and setting them down, not really paying attention, then I shifted some Steven King books to get a better look and there it was. With its inviting cover, I was instantly sucked in. This is now one of my favorite books of all time. You need to go read this book, the writing and style of it is just so amazing.
I have experienced bookshop serendipity on other occasions, perhaps a mention-able one would be Catching Fire - I had never heard of the trilogy before, and I didn't even know that Catching Fire was the second book, I just saw it shoved at the back behind Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire picked it up and fell in love.
Something I realized whilst writing this post is that these occurrences happen less and less frequently since I started blogging, now I know which books I want to get there’s no need to dilly dally, sometimes I stay in a book shop for hours just rifling through the shelves – but it is sad to think that as my ‘knowledge’ of books grows, bookshop serendipity won’t be as big a part of my reading life as it used to be.
Do you experience bookshop serendipity? Let me know!