There is a definite art and skill to flipping through records, whether it be in a shop, at a Record Fair or at a Jumble Sale/Car Boot Sale.
Similar techniques are employed, and it is a skill that takes time to hone and refine. There needs to be an active connection between the flicking fingers, the eyes and the brain. Anyone can flick through a stack of albums, but it needs the “skill” to recognise, register and decide (often it’s a simple “Got, got, need, look at that later, hmmm … interesting, import version, laugh out loud, got, need” etc reflex).
The fist act is to choose a starting point (sensibly you should start at 'A', but it could be anywhere, as you will cycle through the alphabet to ensure all stock is covered), place feet slightly apart for comfort and balance, grip the top of the front record and "flick away".
My own particular style has always been that of a "two handed flicker". Thumbs resting on the edge of the front album, and then index and middle fingers walking like Steve Harris in a Yellow Pages advert. However, as a result of losing weight and now having thinner fingers, my ring is a lot looser than it once was (note: I am referring to my wedding ring, before all you filthy minded double-entendre merchants start sniggering).
A loose ring (stop it!) can be particularly annoying, as it works its way free of your finger and falls in a crate - valuable flicking time is lost as you delve in trying to retrieve run-away jewellery.
The solution? Jam the ring finger of the left hand into the palm, or revert to one-handed flicking (slower, but effective).
The two handed, or one-handed flicking method works with CDs too (albeit in a scaled down version), and is also accompanied by a gratifying clunk as the jewel cases rattle against each other. However, my local music emporium of choice (purveyors of New and Used CDs, Vinyl and various other music related ephemera) have taken to organising CDs upright with spines showing so all one has to do is scan the boxes - effective, but not as interesting.
Now, a combination of this form of CD organisation and not visiting too many Record Shops recently has left me out of practice. The problem here is once you're out of flipping practice it takes time to achieve previous levels of competence.
So obviously some sort of Training Programme needs to be developed (obviously accompanied by the Training Theme from Rocky)
I think I will need to visit at least weekly, and should also try and hone the skills in a variety of locations. It's a tough job, but someone has to do it.
In other news, the standard joke of ubiquitous records (ie Abba's Greatest Hits, Saturday Night Fever, Bee Gees - Spirits Having Flown, Boney M - Night Flight To Venus to name but 4) whilst having plenty of substance was, I thought, more apocryphal than reality. Oh no - on todays Record Shop visit I found 26 copies (!) of Paul Young's No Parlez. (I wasn't tempted to buy one because I've got 4 copies already)