Recently I have found myself stopping and checking out Borders (a book store). I go there looking for something to read. Go figure. I enter not wanting any particular book and just explore what grabs my attention. It is a great feeling just checking out new ideas and creative efforts without intent on buying a checklist of items. Often I don’t intend on buying anything. I am aware that the same book is significantly cheaper online and since I won’t start reading it right away it is fine if it takes a couple of days to arrive.
But I usually buy it anyway. I want it then, not in a week. I don’t want to forget about the book. I might never end up purchasing it if I wait. And the hysteria builds.
This is a catch-22 situation for me, an internal strife. Recently I’ve decided to screw it. The extra cost is reflected in the satisfaction I get from the in store experience. Problem solved but not really.
I have found that neither the online experience nor the in store experience is complete. Online I get reviews of the books and user opinions that I can’t easily get in store. In the store I get a better shopping experience. How is it better? It isn’t structured. I can look around in a truly random fashion. Amazon.com is great but not for exploring. Search bars aren’t built for random and neither are selection tree hyperlinks.
The internet requires direction which makes it much less relaxing and less fun. Web shopping and other online activities that are meant to be enjoyable should offer less structured and more random options so they can capture that in store feeling. The first steps to engaging the freedom of random exploring on the web have been presented with services like stumbleupon with great success. Maybe online stores will be next.