Typically, I find myself entering with no real desire to find one, but leave a few hours later with one or two proudly under my arm, or tucked silently behind me to make sure I am not seen with them by someone I respect. The previous few hours have been spent perusing, roaming, being completely indecisive. I investigated a few, but my research rarely extended beyond examining their exterior appearance. At the most, I may have pursued a few with a little more depth, perhaps prodding a bit to see what they had to offer in general, yet never dedicating myself to a true analysis of their strengths and personalities.

Eventually, I reach a point where I begin to regret the amount of time I have spent on this endeavor with so far nothing to show for it. My heart rate may increase, I may begin checking my watch more frequently. Sometimes I go back to those first few I had connected with. Almost always, they look less appealing than my cursory first glance had revealed. I start pacing, wanting nothing less than to leave empty-handed.

I pass quickly by, moving towards some unknown goal, and…

…there it is.

My eye is caught by something…some color or conversation draws me in.

Then, I am outside. I am either celebratory or ashamed. The build-up was so tedious but the climax is now all-but-forgotten.

I sit alone later, reflecting on my decision. Maybe the two of us got deeper, maybe it ended well. I look beside me, as I settle in for sleep.

Will she look the same tomorrow? Or will her faults start to show? Will I tell others about her? Or will I keep this one to myself?

Those hours I spent seem so unnecessary. I could have just about had someone go and pick her out for me, with the amount of energy I actually invested in the process.

It is a gamble. Sometimes, it pays off. Sometimes, I am reminded that the exterior appearance actually does reveal a lot about the inner character.

And, sometimes…I leave my house the next day hoping never to have to look at her again.

I really need to change how I pick out the books I read.