Leafing, Reading, Studying?
There is no obvious verb for what you do with a photobook. Although they usually mimick the physical form of a book of writing you can’t really say that you read them. So what do you do? Leafing through is too unengaged. Studying is too academic. Browsing sounds like passing time. The photobook is a strange beast. To corral photos between covers, eternally arranged in an unalterable sequence of numbered pages seems to consign them to a strange and unnatural fate. With prose, whether fiction or non-fiction, it works because the sentence, the paragraph, the chapter or indeed the whole work are all linear by nature. Once you have started you have to keep going along the lines to the end in order to get the full sense. The same is not true of photographs. They are much faster through your brain so if you are not disciplined you can be through a photobook in no time at all, and it all seems very unsatisfactory. My method is to use a display stand such as a small easel. Having taken a first tilt through the book I then prop it up on the stand and display a page or two a day. I may follow its sequence or I may not. Freed from their pen the photos seem to live and breathe more freely.