Posted in Freedom Friday


I have a ritual I perform every weekend during this time of year. I’m not sure if anyone else does the same thing, but it satisfies my hunger for something different. What do I do? Early in the morning on a Saturday or Sunday, I’m talking 7:00am, or late in the evening, 11:00pm, I hop into my car and head to Wal-Mart.

Paying for a good find
Paying for a good find (Photo Credit: Unknown)

Then, I stroll.

Yup. I amble through the aisles with one intention—to study the shelves. Why? I ask a lot of questions, don’t I? Well, how else would you enjoy Freedom Friday without my questions?

Getting back to my story, as I wander adjacent the neatly stacked shelves of the all-you-can-eat consumer buffet, I take note of the prices of items, how many sit on the shelves and the need of such items for our family. Things like picture frames seem always to make an appearance in my journeys since I’m rarely without my camera taking a shot of something interesting out in the wild. So when a nice picture frame comes on the market, I take notice of its quality and price.

Another item I look at is the TVs, then notice how my antiquated Sony Wega 32-inch CRT is so 1999. Every time I head to the electronics section, I lose myself perusing the digital displays hanging along the wall. Oh, to have one of those 80-inch TVs invade our home. But then I’d wonder where would we put it? There’s the whole problem of getting it into the house. Okay, that wouldn’t present too much of a problem since we have a double-door entryway, but where would we hang the thing? Seriously? We’re talking about finding a wall or an area filled with—virtually nothing. Hard to do in our house, considering we have stuff hanging everywhere.

Fancy big screen TV
Fancy big screen TV

Nice to dream.

Next stop, the book section. I love looking through the new releases, the older picks and the discounted items. I love the smell of the paper when I flip the pages, the look of the lettering when glancing at the covers, and the feel of the whole package in my hand. I get a high off of the gloss or matte finish the publishers use.

I need to buy more books.

Then I come upon the music section. Oh, how music inspires me. There isn’t a moment I don’t have the headphones on with some music playing in the background as I perform my daily routine. In this instance, I browse their CDs to check out the newest artists, albums, songs, and maybe even listen to a few samples.

Is there a point to this post? I suppose there is.

Every now and again, I enjoy browsing simply for the sake of browsing to see what stores have available. I also find it relaxing since I do not feel the pressure to buy anything. When I do come across an item that I deem as a good deal, I snap it up without a second thought.

I think browsing is a lost art form that presents unlimited possibilities on the budget.

And who knows, maybe one day I might just replace that old Sony Wega 32-inch CRT with one of those fancy widescreen monsters everyone raves about. It would certainly make for a wonderful surprise for the folks at home.


Do you browse the store shelves? Have you found any treasures in your travels?


Jack Flacco is an author and the founder of Looking to God Ministries, an organization dedicated to spreading the Word of God through outreach programs, literature and preaching.

16 thoughts on “Browsing

  1. I love browsing but it usually ends with me buying things and snacks that I definitely don’t need.

    I love that you mention the smell of the pages of books. I’m in the publishing industry and have always loved the smell of books and freshly printed magazines. It’s one of those things that most people seem to hate when exposed to it but I love it.

  2. You all make “Window Shopping” seem like fun. I totally abhor shopping…..of any kind. There is way too much stuff to choose from. Overload on my poor psyche 😀 I make a list then see how quickly I can get in and out of the store. The other thing I have trouble with is the crowds of people. Traffic jam of carts in the grocery aisle will give me claustrophobic fits. Weird, I know.

    Great post by the way. I like that you put a bit of yourself in this one. A peek, if you will, into the workings of your mind 😀


  3. I always like to see what’s new in office supplies when I go to Walmart. Have to admit, I couldn’t resist the big pack of Ink Joy pens after I saw them spirographing across my tv screen. $3.47 splurged but not wasted. Now I just have to see if I still have my old Spirograph. Ah….

  4. You left out something, the people watching. I find that you can learn much from observation of others. How a mother interacts with a child, the interactions of couples, and conversations. A lot can be learned about dialogue in observing others. Then there is my favorite, observing the other browsers looking longingly at the 80 inch television as they contemplate which area of their house they will install it. Another great article on a Friday, thank you.
    -Jerry B

    1. Oh, I do the people watching while I’m sitting outside on a bench. I find it relaxing knowing I can find entertainment with those who think their normal lives are not entertaining!

  5. I like to browse and yet I find it frustrating. It sucks to have expensive tastes. 😛 It must be nice and quiet at those times of the day. I don’t really like Walmart, but I can see the appeal if it’s open when everything else is closed…

  6. You’re a brave man for going near a Wal-Mart this weekend. I make it a point to avoid all malls and large stores around this time of year. You are right that browsing isn’t done that often. People rush to grab things and move onto the next errand. I know around here there is the added issue of suspicious sales people. When I worked retail, I was told that someone browsing is a potential shoplifter. So, I would have to watch them or bug them a few times to ‘remind’ them that I was around. Sure that would throw off a person’s browsing zen.

    1. No worries there, Charles. I’m not crazy enough to venture out there in the middle of this frenzy, even if our Canadian Black Friday sales may be smaller than some of the massive sales in the U.S. But I’ll probably head over in the coming weeks when the crowds are at their smallest.

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