The Next Best Book Club discussion

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Revive a Dead Thread > Book Talks With Strangers...

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message 1: by Kim (new)

Kim | 28 comments So, I have a problem. Whenever I see someone, even if I've never seen them before, reading a book that I've read and enjoyed I HAVE to stop and talk about it with them. Even if it's just a "Hey, I see you're reading ___. It's a good one, isn't it?" Almost always, I just get a "Yep" and a look that says "Someone just make this weirdo go away." I'm just trying to be friendly and express my book enthusiasm!

Does anyone else have this problem too? Please share!


message 2: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) All the time! It seems that there are a lot of anti-social readers out there.

I used to think that they just didn't like to be interrupted while reading. Maybe they were at a really good part of the story and I ruined their concentration (I hate when that happens to me!), but then I stopped poking my nose in WHILE someone is actively reading, and started only commenting if I see someone carrying a book I like or if I see someone maybe looking at a book in order to buy it, etc.

This doesn't really help. I don't know what it is! If I was looking at a book, and was torn as to whether to buy it or not, I would want someone to say "Oh, that is the best book I've read this year!" or "Don't bother with that unless you want to be banging your head off the wall 20 pages in!"

Other people just don't seem to want any input or opinion... Or maybe they just don't feel up to an intellectual conversation regarding a book. Or maybe they aren't even reading it, but carry it around to LOOK intellectual or chic or something... Haha, I don't know.

I just want to have a conversation, I'm not asking for a first born child or anything... yet. ;)


message 3: by Allie (new)

Allie Ah, I'm the same. People are generally so funny about being spoken to, and seem almost defensive so much of the time. My thing is with customers and books, though; whenever a customer comes in carrying a book, I have this burning desire to find out what it is. Which leads to me having to, you know, pick imaginary napkins off the floor to get a glimpse of the spine on my way to standing up. Heh, I am a nerd.

I've had a few people comment on books I've been reading on public transport, and I love it! Particularly while reading A Suitable Boy, actually; three women on three separate occasions patted me on the shoulder and did the whole 'excuse me, I don't mean to bother you, but I LOVE THAT BOOK!' thing. One of those incidents ended up in a whole tram-ride-home conversation about India, travelling and books. It was wonderful! I often regret not having .. asked for her number or something. I don't know what the appropriate etiquette is in situations like that. But it was lovely!


message 4: by Hayes (last edited Jan 11, 2009 06:20AM) (new)

Hayes (hayes13) If I'm just holding the book and someone talks to me, it's no problem, but if I'm reading I'll have to take the side of the disturbed reader!

When I'm reading I get so involved that I lose my sense of where I am. If someone speaks to me, it takes a few seconds to come back to earth, and mostly I'm thinking "can't you see I'm reading? Buzz off!"

Cranky, aren't I? I'd love to have a random act of book talk every now and again, but no one talks to strangers much here. Don't think many people read, either!!


message 5: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) When I was at a Borders a couple of months ago I was checking out some books. there was a women there that was so enthusiastic about the books I was looking at that she ended up telling me which ones she loved, liked, etc. It was great to see someone with as much passion for reading as me. We had a whole conversation about it. Sad to say, but she was better than the store employees.

I try not to interrupt people in public or strike up conversations if I see them reading a familiar book because people tend to be rude or give strange looks. I realize that not everyone is as passionate as me or my fellow TNNBCers.


message 6: by Fiona (new)

Fiona (bookcoop) No one ever comes up to me. :( Maybe no one is really passionate about reading in Portsmouth, wouldn't surprise me actually.

I'm too shy to strike up convos with random people though.


message 7: by Tonya (new)

Tonya (nyab2000) | 49 comments I love to strike up conversations with people in book stores or other places as long as I'm not reading or they are not reading. I have to agree with Hayes in that I tend to get pretty cranky when someone interrupts me when I'm reading. Even at home my kids know that when I'm reading they have to wait for me to look up before they say something unless it's a dire emergency. I can't help it so because of that I'm pretty slow to start a conversation unless the person looks open to it. But I have found that there are many people who just aren't very friendly these days and it's really hard to strike up a good conversation. I don't know why that is.


message 8: by Fiona (new)

Fiona (bookcoop) It's cos we live in a closed off world of computer, mobile phones and mp3 players. And according the the tabloid rubbish strangers are evil and you risk getting stabbed if you so much as say hello.

That's an exaggeration perhaps (the stabbing part) but I think we are quite anti-stranger. It's different on the internet I think as we're more willing to talk to people we don't know because there's no danger I suppose... and because we don't make excuses about time and that.


message 9: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) Aww! I'd have a random conversation with you Fiona... Although, does planning a random conversation negate the randomness of it? Hmmm... ;)


message 10: by Jessika (new)

Jessika (jessikareads) I'm glad I found this thread--hehe.

I love talking about books with anyone--whether it's someone I know or not.

I was in Las Vegas airport about 2 weeks ago, and I saw a woman carrying a book that I had been wanting to read, and I asked her how she was enjoying it. We ended up talking the entire layover!

I'm a pretty shy person--but I love reading so much and I always feel compelled to talk about books with other people!


Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) (perpetualpageturner) | 636 comments I don't really mind too much if people ask me about a book..it really depends on what kind of mood i'm in..most of the time..i would LOVE to talk to someone..but sometimes i am just in one of those "leave me alone..I want to read" moods. i did actually meet a really cute guy on a train once(when i was single of course haha) who was asking about The Bell Jar..i get kind of giddy when people ask me about my favorite books.

I always debate on whether or not I should say something to someone..i think for me..if they look friendly and approachable i will..and i wait to see their response to figure out whether we will keep talking or if that was just my one comment.


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