"There are all kinds of serendipities in bookstores, starting with -
Alphabetical: while looking for one novel, you might remember that you'd always meant to read something by another author whose last name shared the same first two letters.
Accidental: superstitiously, I almost always feel the need to buy any book that I knock over.
Prompted: both Mom and I gave very serious consideration to any book placed in the "staff recommends" section, particularly if it sported a yellow stickie (a.k.a. Post-it note) or a handwritten shelf talker - a bookstore neologism I love, because it conjures such a vivid image of a shelf talking to you, or of a person who talks to shelves."
That's another lovely passage from Will Schwalbe's The End of Your Life Book Club, and I applaud Will's 'creative justification' for buying books! The joy of browsing is in those happy discoveries and chance finds, and Will goes on to say that on the bookshop visit he's talking about there he bought Josephine Tey's Brat Farrar - a 'staff favourite' - and a volume of W. Somerset Maugham's short stories which he had knocked off a shelf.
There's clearly mileage (albeit with extra expense) in cultivating a degree of clumsiness in bookshops: "Oh dear, I seem to have caused the complete works of X to fall to the floor, taking with them numerous surrounding volumes by other great writers I've always wanted to read. I shall certainly have to buy them all now ..."
Do you have any bookshop rules, rituals or superstitions? Any serendipitous discoveries?