The “new arrivals shelf” reaches out to me each time I enter a library, whether I’m at the College where I work or my local public library. Most of the non-fiction that I read comes from the new arrivals shelf. I suppose I should plan my reading, look things up, go back into the shelves, but somehow that doesn’t happen. I stumble onto books on topics I would never think to investigate. Biographies of John Lennon, Art Williams (master counterfeiter) and Elizabeth Hughes (first child saved from diabetes by insulin). Memoirs by the wife of a reckless but astute field ecologist and by a man who trained to be an umpire in major league baseball. Odd bits of history from the New Deal and World War II.
I do try to keep lists of books I intend to read, recommendations from friends, authors worth a second or third look, etc. But so often I find myself at the new arrivals shelf, entranced, distracted, and delighted!