The Sword and Laser discussion

IRL Friends That Read

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message 1: by Dara (new)

Dara (cmdrdara) | 2702 comments Everyone has their own nerdy pursuits but I realized that none of my IRL friends read books. It's such an odd thing to me because I'm almost always reading something. Has anyone else experienced this or are you lucky enough to have IRL friends to geek over SFF books with?

For those that don't, have you ever tried to get them to read SFF? Do you have a go-to introductory book to the genre that you recommend? I've tried to convince my friends to read but it hasn't taken (maybe I'm not that convincing). I'm patiently waiting for the day that they want a recommendation so I can choose something they'd like.

*Sigh* Sometimes it's lonely IRL but thankfully I have you lovely people here at S&L to nerd about books with. :-)

message 2: by Allison (new)

Allison Hurd | 227 comments I feel you, Dara! I have ~3 reader friends and when we get together it's just books forever. Most friends read a little of something, or are at least interested in media. They talk to me about movies and TV, I talk books (it's really hard to stop me talking about books, actually) so it works out.

If I do make recommendations, it's usually off of something they've already expressed interest in. Like reminding them there's a book for American Gods if they liked the show, or urban fantasy if they're Supernatural fans, or fawning over the Expanse series if they're sad about that.

message 3: by Caitlin (new)

Caitlin | 355 comments I do have a couple friends who read, but I find our tastes are only similar and that we aren't likely to read the same books in the same general time frame. I sometimes wish I lived in an area large enough that a local book club might actually succeed.

message 4: by David (new)

David (caddarn) | 40 comments I only know one other person that reads as much as I do and luckily much of the same genres... unfortunately we only see each other a couple of times a year :(

message 5: by John (Taloni) (last edited Jun 27, 2018 10:20AM) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 4271 comments I like SF conventions for this, because if you sit in the Con Suite and just start talking to people, you'll find books in common. But for IRL friends, yeah, it's hard to do that. Even if they're SFF fans, they aren't likely to be reading the same book at the same time, or even have read any of the same books in the past year or so.

Paradoxically, the last time I had this was for a TV show - Babylon 5. It was pretty much all SFF Fans watching, but more towards the reading side. Babylon 5 was like a book series in its depth and character development. And with the broadcast schedule, we were all on the same page.

message 6: by Silvana (last edited Jun 27, 2018 10:46AM) (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) | 1678 comments I must be lucky since I have at least six book related communities I am a part of (four of them are fantasy based): Tolkien, ASOIAF, Harry Potter, Jonathan Stroud fanclubs, and general Indonesian English book readers, plus Goodreads Indonesia offline group.

Whenever we meet we usually chat about books among others and share recommendations. My TBR is grown online and offline, it seems.

Some of my office colleagues are also book readers, three or four with Kindle devices. I remember chatting with my boss about Kameron Hurley (she's a hardcore feminist so I told her to read the God's War). One of my last recommendations was Ninefox Gambit for a friend who is a mathematician. I think that is the way to get them more into SFF. See what they like or their interests IRL then try to match it with the similarly themed books.

message 7: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new)

Tassie Dave | 3675 comments Mod
None of my family are book readers. I am the only one who reads any genre fiction.

I have a god-daughter who reads a lot of fantasy. I got her started on Harry Potter. We have geeked out over several Books, Movies, TV series etc.
She is an adult parent of 2 now and still into SFF and thankfully married someone who is as big a SFF geek as us. :-)

message 8: by Malaraa (new)

Malaraa | 90 comments In my twenties, none of my friends were readers. They might pick up one book a year and maybe not even finish that one. Now, while I know a few more people who read a little, I don't know many who read at a pace where we might even possibly be able to really discuss our reading, except in terms of books that are in the past for both us. Last time I had that in person was when my mother, sister, and I were all reading the same sets of mysteries back in the 80's and 90's.

Some of my friends only finish a book every 3-4 months or so. :/ Others have tastes that rarely overlap with mine, and when they do, it's usually because I've gone out of my way to join them in their choice, rather than the other way around. My partner reads SFF also, and comes closest out of anyone I know, and even he only goes through about a book a month. Which is a perfectly respectable pace, don't get me wrong, there's no wrong amount to read, but by the time he's done with a first volume, I'm done with a series. I think I almost have him convinced to pick up Leviathan Wakes someday, he's been enjoying the show.

One of the best things about Goodreads is that finally, there's almost always someone somewhere in the world who is reading/has recently read whatever book I'm on. And people who also read huge amounts, so I don't feel quite so freaky. :)

message 9: by HeyT (new)

HeyT | 32 comments The only person in my real life that is a reader is my mom and she finishes a romance novel every other day. We would be buried in books if I hadn't gotten her an ereader a few years ago!

I have one friend who humors me when I recommend books to her though and usually when she gets around to reading them she's like wow I really enjoyed that idk why I don't read more.

message 10: by Bill (new)

Bill | 105 comments I got my sister into audiobooks last year and fantasy on top of that. She uses my library and audible accounts so we end up reading some of the same books. Two of my other sisters have read ASoIaF so we had some good discussions about that.

Most of my friends read to some extent but we don’t have much overlap in what we read.

message 11: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8951 comments Dara wrote: "Everyone has their own nerdy pursuits but I realized that none of my IRL friends read books. It's such an odd thing to me because I'm almost always reading something. Has anyone else experienced th..."

Why are you friends with non-readers?!

That’s like being friends with people who don’t like dogs. Inconceivable!

message 12: by Colin (new)

Colin Forbes (colinforbes) | 524 comments Some of my colleagues have a book group, but it's a ladies only affair, and seems to be as much about the wine drinking as it is about the book discussion. I've got a couple of friends who admit to reading sci-fi, but we don't seem to have much cross-over in the books we choose.

... Which is all why I love S&L so much!

message 13: by Ian (RebelGeek) (new)

Ian (RebelGeek) Seal (rebel-geek) | 840 comments My girlfriend of over 5 years & I met on a dating site. We were both looking for someone who enjoyed similar entertainment (including reading). We often read the same books & discuss them with each other. Neither of us have other friends that we talk books with much, but we wish we did. It’s mainly why I became active on Goodreads & discovered S&L.

message 14: by John (Nevets) (new)

John (Nevets) Nevets (nevets) | 1651 comments I’ve gotten a little lucky with that in life, but I still don’t have anybody I discuss it with on a regular ( weekly) basis. Reading both fiction and non fiction was always important both in my immediate family and extended. While at holiday get togethers it was more likely the latest big biography, or mass market political book would get a good conversation, it would also stray to the latest mystery novels, and other non fiction work. I was still the biggest reader of SF&F but even before the HBO series came out several had read A Game of Thrones. I had an aunt on the other side of my family that leant me her copies of the foundation trilogy when I was about 12, and after Thanksgiving dinner one year went with me to see the latest Star Trek movie.

With friends I have had a few that read a lot, but not much genre work, and generally don’t talk about what they are reading unless you ask about it. Some don’t read much at all, and others who we will on a rare occasion.

I also have volunteered with a group that we all tended to have a love for this sorta thing, so those discussions always made the work go quicker. And is a good excuse to go back and volunteer more, just for the conversations.

But all that said, I do really appreciate the community and discussions that happen here, it really is an enjoyable place to hang out.

message 15: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 1250 comments I’m lucky enough that all of my family and most of my friends are readers, and most are open to at least trying SFF books.
The thing I find most frustrating is when people say ‘I don’t have time to read’ but then confess to binge-watching television all weekend...

message 16: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) | 1678 comments Ruth wrote: "The thing I find most frustrating is when people say ‘I don’t have time to read’ but then confess to binge-watching television all weekend... ."

There were Game of Thrones watchers who finally left my ASOIAF club since they could not stand book discussions and we readers are running out of ways to persuade them to read the books.

I have made peace with the fact that some people are not just readers, no matter how persuasive you are or how supportive their environment/financial condition is.

What baffles me is the people who claim they are readers but always could not spare time reading. I think they're lying to themselves.

message 17: by Erik (new)

Erik Melin | 114 comments I've only really gotten back into committed reading within the past few years and have actually had a lot of success getting friends family to read stuff that I've enjoyed. I've tried starting a few tiny book clubs (mostly just talking to individual friends while out at a bar and convincing them to read a book a month with me) and it's also worked out. My one buddy finished the Divine Cities trilogy and is now on The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet from me and I'm about to start Shadow & Claw from him. The other friend and I finished Red Planet so far.

Other books some friends have read off of recommendations include All the Birds in the Sky, The Buried Giant, The Hum and the Shiver, and Something Wicked This Way Comes

My parents love the Harry Potter audiobooks but haven't tried anything else so I recently got them Wool Omnibus and The Martian for their travels so see how it goes. The current entertainment of choice is sirius 60s or 70s every trip apparently so this HAS to be an upgrade. I would lose my mind listening to the same stations that many drives.

One thing I make sure to do is ALWAYS put friend recommendations near the top of my list. Regardless of how they end up I'd always rather read something I could talk to them about. Also it *encourages* them to read my pick *devil grin*

message 18: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) | 1678 comments ^^ Interesting

I wonder has anyone ever converted a non reader using an audiobook.

message 19: by Phil (new)

Phil | 1185 comments I've always been lucky in that I've always had friends and family and co-workers that are avid readers. I've often been able to help shape their reading as well by lending or giving books as gifts.
When I was young I got practically my whole family to read the Riverworld series and in recent years I've turned several co-workers on to Christopher Moore and Terry Pratchett.
I love my Kindle but one of the big drawbacks is that I can't lend out the books I read on it which includes most of the club picks.

message 20: by Dara (new)

Dara (cmdrdara) | 2702 comments I kind of love how this thread has almost become a S&L appreciation thread! :-) Not my intention but it's really great that we've all been able to find connection here.

message 21: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 1250 comments Silvana wrote: I have made peace with the fact that some people are not just readers, no matter how persuasive you are or how supportive their environment/financial condition is.

What baffles me is the people who claim they are readers but always could not spare time reading. I think they're lying to themselves

^ this.

message 22: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 1250 comments A slightly different point: how do y’all handle giving book recommendations?

My rule of thumb is: if someone asks, I’ll happily give them my recommendations, but if they don’t ask, I refrain from giving unsolicited advice on what they should read (with the caveat that, if someone is raving about Book X and I think they’ll love the similar Book Y, I might say ‘Have you read Book Y?’

I adopted this policy after getting annoyed with people repeatedly trying to make me watch Scandi Noir crime dramas. I am never going to watch a Scandi Noir crime drama. I don’t care how nice the cinematography or the knitwear is, they just all look dreary and depressing. Similarly, some people are just never going to read a book with dragons or spaceships in.

message 23: by Kat (new)

Kat | 37 comments I never had bookish friends until fairly recently. Last year we got a new coworker, and the manager who did the rounds with her introducing us all to her said to me: "You like to read, right? You'd be interested to know that Ms G. is a published author!" Ms G. blushed crimson at that, shook my hand and was whisked off to the next office for introductions. A week later I decided I need her to be my friend so we can talk books, and since I had no better idea how to bring that about, I walked into her office and blurted out "Do you wanna be friends? Would you like to grab a coffee after work or something?" We"re friends now, hehe.

A few weeks after that, we roped another coworker into our little book circle, by making her read Ms G.'s books and then piling book recommendations on her until she succumbed and joined us. I no longer work at that place, but the three of us meet up after work when our schedules allow, and drink wine and talk books.

At my new job I got talking to a coworker from the Spanish office during a conference on a business trip, and we decided to start a book club. Who cares if it only has 2 members! We email each other book recommendations and updates on our current reads at work.

Another coworker at the German office noticed my "Bookworm" and "The Book Was Better" pins on the lapel of my jacket while standing outside in the smoker's corner. We're not exactly friends as such, but whenever we happen to meet on a smoke break outside we talk books, and we've lent each other some books as well.

So I got 4. That's pretty good, considering I had zero before.

message 24: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 4271 comments Ruth wrote: "Similarly, some people are just never going to read a book with dragons or spaceships in. "

OTOH if you can get them to read later Pern books, they'll get both!

message 25: by Tasha (new)

Tasha My husband reads, but not the books I read. I've never met anyone in person who reads as much as I do. That's why I'm here!!!!

message 26: by Rob, Roberator (new)

Rob (robzak) | 6925 comments Mod
I've been lucky that several of my coworkers read SFF as well as a few friends, but I do most of my book talk at the monthly Northern Virginia, Maryland and DC meetup (which is happening this weekend!)

Ruth (tilltab) Ashworth | 1977 comments Silvana wrote: "What baffles me is the people who claim they are readers but always could not spare time reading. I think they're lying to themselves."

I can understand it. I love reading but I have tons of other interests that take up my time. Sometimes I set aside time for reading and find that I am simply too tired. Everyone has different priorities and needs, so reading probably just falls further down the list for some folk.

Back to the original question, my mum reads a lot, and it was her influence that led me to SFF. Outside of the family, there are a few who read, but not always the same kind of books, though a couple are willing to give things a go. What I find really hard is when people respond to any probing questions about book tastes with "I don't read books." As much as I try to hold onto an 'each to their own' attitude, such a blunt and direct rejection of something I hold dear is always jarring and a little incomprehensible. Like, no books at all? Really? How?

Helpfully, I not only have this group, but have made a couple of IRL friends from this group. :D I don't see them often, but it is always a pleasure.

message 28: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) | 1678 comments Tons of other interests but reading is just not a priority then? I am not sure I understand. See, I have friends who claims to be huge book worms but they just apparently have other things to do which are optional for them and do not even finish a book in six months or more. But, I guess if you did try to put reading somewhere...I don't know. In this day and age, ebooks and audiobooks can become solutions and many are free.

Ruth (tilltab) Ashworth | 1977 comments Maybe more shifting priorities? It can be tricky balancing everything in life sometimes. Right now, I prioritise reading, but I've been thinking lately that I might have to sacrifice that pleasure to some extent to accomplish other things I struggle to find time for. I don't think that would make me less of a book person. The love isn't going anywhere.

message 30: by Molly (last edited Jul 01, 2018 03:47PM) (new)

Molly (mollyrichmer) | 144 comments I have a couple friends who are into SFF, but unfortunately, neither of them live nearby, and I don't see/talk to them often enough to really dig into book talk. We will recommend stuff to each other from time to time and comment on each others' Goodreads reviews. My husband enjoys reading, but mostly likes biographies and also reads incredibly slowly. If we wanted to discuss a book, he'd have to start reading months ahead of me to finish at the same time, lol. I would love to get into an IRL book club, but I currently live in a small town where there doesn't seem to be much interest.

message 31: by terpkristin (new)

terpkristin | 4221 comments I've found, through a series of life things happening, that the friends I've stuck with most are the ones who are the most interesting. As it turns out, my friends who read are the most interesting. Not all of them are as into SFF as I am, but we always have something to talk about, and seem to be able to keep an open mind about new things. I attribute that openness to reading. For all of us, life gives us different priorities at different times (right now, reading isn't my highest priority, as an example), but it's something that still gives us a common interest (other than work, which only works for so long).

Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2898 comments My best IRL reading friend lives seven hours away so when we get together, we make sure we plan out "reading date" time and both being piles of books to read while we are together. (And she's a friend I made in a virtual world and ended up knowing IRL so hopefully that counts!)

Many of my best reading friends come from Goodreads .... Do they have to live in my town to be IRL?

message 33: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) | 1678 comments Reading date sounds fun! I once read about a community called Silent Reading (or was it Readers?) who basically have meet-ups in a cafe or library then everyone will just sit and read.

Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2898 comments Silvana wrote: "Reading date sounds fun! I once read about a community called Silent Reading (or was it Readers?) who basically have meet-ups in a cafe or library then everyone will just sit and read."

Yeah like this!

I've thought about working with my local bookstore to try starting one of these....

message 35: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) | 1678 comments Do it! Let us know how that works out.

message 36: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8951 comments A few weeks ago I saw a tweet relevant to this topic and I’ve been trying to find it ever since. Being unsuccessful, I’ll just recreate it:

Me: I love books! I’m a total bibliophile!
Friend: Cool! So what good books have you read lately?
Me: Okay, so here’s the thing....


message 37: by Dara (new)

Dara (cmdrdara) | 2702 comments I saw that tweet as well, Trike! :-) So true.

message 38: by Gillian (new)

Gillian Wiseman (gillianwiseman) | 2 comments I'm a librarian. My husband is a library employee (business office). Everyone I know is a reader. My main job every day is helping guide people to what they need to read. But I rarely get to have deep discussions of books - instead I get asked for the next James Patterson-alike...

message 39: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (j-boo) | 322 comments I am sad to say I don't know very many IRL readers to talk books with

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