Half the fun of using the library or a bookstore is browsing. Looking around the shelves, seeing an author you’ve forgotten, or a interesting cover. It’s hard to recreate that experience through the online catalog. The new “cover views” of books in the Enterprise catalog and OverDrive is trying to make it seem like you are browsing and you can stumble across a title this way. Even the “if you liked this, you’ll like this other” recommendations from GoodReads or Amazon don’t introduce you to completely new books.
For researching or looking for inspiration from craft or cookbooks, however, there is nothing like coming in, taking a book in your hand and browsing through it. Your eye may catch a title nearby that has exactly what you were looking for. Without a “search inside” feature, it is hard to find out whether a nonfiction book has the particular subject, recipe, pattern or detail that you are looking for.
Even medical books — which are usually more general than you are looking for — are good to browse. You might find a chapter or at least a few paragraphs that answer your question.
Subscribing to the NextReads newsletters on specific genres can at least give you a sense of discovery of new titles. Not all titles on their lists are owned by North Attleboro, though they are all in the SAILS system, so you wouldn’t discover them by visiting in person.
Also, the library — like bookstores — makes new displays to highlight books you may not have seen before. We even put blue stars on staff favorites to help you browse for suggestions.
Come in to have a good browse sometime. You may be surprised.