At Cliff’s: 2 of 6 series

Looking for a book at Cliff’s. 

While I’m looking almost aimlessly for a book in the shelves, I can rest assure I will not be disturbed by some background music – since there are none.

The atmosphere in Cliff’s Books appears to encourage the customers to use the place to think and browse and to read the books in the store. The place appears to also encourage its customers to take a pause from their busy life schedule, and to spend some quality leisure time looking through shelves of books without the help from computers or any small technological devices.

With the absence of any technological devices – or a card catalog, for that matter – the search for books in this place becomes a child-like play activity where one doesn’t know exactly what one will find on one’s journey. In a way, this journey distorts one’s familiarization of order where one needs to restore order so to make sense of the chaos.

However if one can’t find the book one’s looking for or can’t find the subject of the book of one’s interest on the shelves, there’s no need to panic. One can take one’s concern directly to the clerk like I did when I needed to find a particular author.

The clerk will step out from behind the desk and walk through and around the shelves of books and point directly at the section of where one ought to be looking so to find one’s book.

However, this method of searching for books makes me become more appreciative for the invention of the electronic catalog systems like the one used in a public library or on the internet’s search engine; however, it is not to say that I don’t appreciate the interaction or the help a human being can provide, but some how I’ve grown accustomed to receiving precise or close to perfect search results from a computer search rather than from a trial and error result when browsing for materials with a human estimation; yet at the same time, I shouldn’t isolate and criticize these two systems of organization since they both become a powerful tool when infused together in locating materials.

To be continue on Thursday, August 2. Friday, August 3. 


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