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Now that I am in Japan for the summer, I find myself browsing a lot.   In the mornings, I go to write at a manga cafe where I can have some semi-privacy.   When I goof off, I browse through the free movies available through their Cinema Channel.

Fuzzy screenshot of manga kissa cinema channel.

Sometimes I even get up and look through real comic books and magazines.   I also go to the Numazu library to write and think.   To take a break, I will just walk around and browse.  I can read the section titles more easily now but sometimes I just wander down the aisle pull out a book and see what I find.

Sometimes, I find myself getting annoyed.   I feel like I am wasting time just looking through books.  I should just be doing something productive!!  But lately I have had a change of heart about browsing.  I think browsing does a few key things:

  • Browsing allows you to stumble upon new ideas.  (Hey someone should come up with an internet program where you stumbleupon new websites!) 🙂
  • Browsing helps you point you back to yourself.   As you relaxedly allow yourself to pick up and put down books that bore you or interest you, you are getting information about what is important to you.  Relax and listen to what you discover about yourself as you browse.
  • Browsing is a form of review.   As you look at information and making decisions on whether to pursue it, many learning actions are happening.  You are tossing aside knowledge you have already learned, you are putting  ‘bookmarks’ on information you want later, etc.
  • Browsing is a great way to support libraries and bookstores.  (A bookstore is a physical place where you can buy physical books.  Yes, they still exist.  :))

Of course, don’t make browsing a chore.   If it’s not fun it is not browsing.  In this day and age anything that sounds like loafing seems like a waste.   But the earth needs you to be you.   Samurai browsing is samurai becoming.  Trip the library fantastic!

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