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message 1: by Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner), The Founding Bookworm (new)

Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) (perpetualpageturner) | 4407 comments Mod
In another group i am in there was a thread about this and i thought it was really interesting..

Do you guys talk to strangers about books if you see someone reading a book you want to read or have read or if they are browsing in Borders? Do you like when someone asks you about your book? Have you ever had any strange encounters with a stranger because of a book?


I met a cute guy on a train years ago because i was reading The Bell Jar..we talked the whole rest of the way.. :)


message 2: by Bree (new)

Bree (breezybaby) | 144 comments I'm too shy to go up to people to talk to them about their books. I wouldn't mind if someone came up to me..but nobody ever has lol


message 3: by Sonja (new)

Sonja (crvena_sonja) | 78 comments This is a great topic Jamie! I currently work at Barnes & Noble so I talk to a LOT of strangers about books. Customers are always giving me tips on what to read or what not to read. Also, I talk to people who are picking up books I love and always give tips on other books that are similar.

Sometimes I have a hard time turning of my impulse to talk to people about books so I start up conversations when I'm not working. These usually work out well since most people who are reading something like to talk about what they're reading.

I know that sometimes people feel like they're encroaching on other people's space when they talk to strangers about anything. But a lot of times I'd love to have someone to talk to about my reading, especially on trips, buses and such, or out in public. Plus, if it can help you meet a cute guy, who am i to argue?


message 4: by Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner), The Founding Bookworm (new)

Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) (perpetualpageturner) | 4407 comments Mod
i'm with you..i really don't mind talking to strangers when i'm traveling..i mean..sometimes you meet really annoying people who never shut up and they are just wierd..but sometimes you can meet some cool people and have a good conversation. I tend to just see if the person look approachable and friendly and if they do..i'll try to start a conversation about their book if it something i truly am interested in or have read.

I would LOVE to work at a bookstore so i could talk books all day..not enough people in my daily life like to talk about books


message 5: by Caiti Casey (new)

Caiti Casey Spiess (mrssteven) I usually don't talk to people about books while browsing for them. And the coffee shop I go to is usually occupied with people with their laptops. Maybe that should be a new challenge for us, talking to a stranger about a book. I think I'm going to do it!


message 6: by Kelsey (last edited Jan 11, 2009 11:14AM) (new)

Kelsey (xtoloveistolivex) | 534 comments I also work at Barnes & Noble, so I'm constantly talking to strangers about books! I'll see someone pick something up and let them know if I think it's awesome. I also give a lot of recommendations to all sorts of people, and customers are constantly asking me what I'm currently reading or what I've liked in the past.


message 7: by Lynn (new)

Lynn I used to work in a public library so if I saw they were getting something I had read or wanted to read I would strike up a quick conversation with them. It's weird.. sometimes I'm really outgoing and sometimes I'm really shy and need someone to approach me. It depends on the setting and my mood I guess. But I'm always always always talkative! I've been trying to share my thoughts with others recently... like, I saw this girl at school and I don't know her at all but I'd seen her before and I knew we were both tutors. So we were up in the tutoring center and both waiting for the office to open and she had on this really cute dress. Normally, I would have just thought to myself "Oh that's a cute dress" but instead I decided to tell her and we had a little chat about it. Nothing lifechanging but it made me happy to think that that might have made her day. Getting compliments always makes MY day!

I think that even if you feel shy, you should just go for it if you have something to tell someone and don't really worry about encroaching on their space. I've never had someone not talk to me when I start a conversation with them. I think most people want to connect to one another.


message 8: by Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner), The Founding Bookworm (new)

Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) (perpetualpageturner) | 4407 comments Mod
ooh i love that challenge Caiti! :)
we could post here our experiences/people's reactions.
who knows..maybe we could find some new people to introduce to goodreads!

Does anyone else ever wonder when they are at a bookstore or a library if someone is on goodreads??

and lynn..i agree with you..i think really at heart most people do like making a connection and don't mind talking. that is what i hate about our culture sometimes..we have become so antisocial! or maybe just more social on things like the internet and stuff but forgetting to talk to people face to face!


message 9: by Caiti Casey (new)

Caiti Casey Spiess (mrssteven) Hahaha no I've never thought about it. But I did try to find one of my professors on here once. HAHAHA!

And Jamie that is so true about people getting caught up in just online relationships. We had to talk a lot about that in my Intro to Mass Comm class last semester.


message 10: by Heather (new)

Heather (andshewontsleep) | 278 comments I always have the weirdest people talk to me when I read on the train ride to work. They will comment that it's nice to see someone reading, and then go on to ask me all about the book and talk about random stuff for the rest of the ride. And I'm like.. uhhh yea, it's great I WAS reading.. but now I can't because this person won't leave me alone. Haha. I get really annoyed when people bother me when I'm reading.


message 11: by Katerina (new)

Katerina | 252 comments i would love if people came up and talked to me. i should definitely make it a point to try and converse with someone who is reading a book..genuinely..not just for the sake of bothering them. lol


message 12: by Lori, The Over-Caffeinated Coffee Girl (new)

Lori | 2109 comments Mod
I'd love for someone to come talk to me about what I'm reading in Starbucks. But unfortunately, I don't usually sit and read; I grab my coffee and go. I might make a point of reading in Starbucks from now on. I love talking to people about books and I generally try to steer the conversation to books. I mention this site a lot. I think my future husband (haven't met him yet) is going to have to read a bunch of books and be able to discuss them.


message 13: by Allison (new)

Allison i usually don't approach people about what they're reading, but will definitely carry on conversations about books.
most of them are with the cashier at borders/barnes and noble. they will either ask or comment on my purchase and then we get into similar books, etc.

i was a the gym the other day and i had an f scott fitzgerald short stories collection with me to read while treadmilling. when i got off, a lady asked me if i was reading benjamin button b/c she had just returned that book to the library a few days ago, having just read that story. so we talked for a few moments about it.


message 14: by Lori, The Over-Caffeinated Coffee Girl (last edited Nov 30, 2009 05:03AM) (new)

Lori | 2109 comments Mod
I love talking to people about books! One day, I hope to be sitting in Starbucks, reading and drinking coffee, and some really attractive guy sits at my table and introduces himself and we talk about books for hours. That would be the perfect meet-cute.


message 15: by Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner), The Founding Bookworm (new)

Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) (perpetualpageturner) | 4407 comments Mod
aww that would be cute. i always wished for that..but..i do love my non reading boyfriend..at least he supports the habit! :)


message 16: by Katerina (new)

Katerina | 252 comments that is like my ultimate dream!! A smart, well read, HOT guy who likes coffee!!


message 17: by Anastasia (new)

Anastasia (spencerafreeman) I'm a shy person, but there's nothing like a conversation about books where I just open up and start blabbing nonstop! I was at my birthday dinner with my mom, dad, stepmom, and boyfriend and my stepmom mentioned she was in a book club. You know I just couldn't let that go, so I started on about GR and our 'bookclubs' and we got into talking about the books we've read for our groups... At the time I didn't notice everyone else not talking with us, but afterward my boyfriend pointed out that when I started talking about books I just 'got into the zone' and he and my mom & dad had NO idea what I was talking about! haha.
Gotta love book chats! I'm such a nerd, because I really, honestly do get excited about it- especially if I convince someone to read or convert them into "one of us."


message 18: by Lori, The Over-Caffeinated Coffee Girl (new)

Lori | 2109 comments Mod
That would be the almost perfect guy. I keep imagining that someday I'll go to New York and Derek Jeter will walk into the Starbucks I'm in and start talking to me about books. But I have no idea if he reads or if I'll ever get to New York...but a girl can dream.


message 19: by Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner), The Founding Bookworm (new)

Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) (perpetualpageturner) | 4407 comments Mod
Today I had a great encounter with a stranger and talked about books. It wasn't too surprising..I was at the book sale..but I also told her about Goodreads and she sounded soo interested in joining! It was cool because we kept throwing books each others way and recommending different books and talking about the books we had both read and loved! I'm so happy I got to talk to someone else about Goodreads & books! :)


message 20: by Molly (new)

Molly (slinkyxo) | 153 comments I'm too shy to talk to people about books lol!



message 21: by Anna (new)

Anna Shumaker (Annashu) I usually don't talk books with people but every now and then a customer will mention a book or be carrying a book and I'll start blabbing. Most of the time they are happy to discuss books but every now and then someone will get really uncomfortable about it, which I suppose is understandable because books can be pretty personal...or maybe that are just shocked that the deli girl is literate haha.


message 22: by Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner), The Founding Bookworm (new)

Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) (perpetualpageturner) | 4407 comments Mod
Anna wrote: "I usually don't talk books with people but every now and then a customer will mention a book or be carrying a book and I'll start blabbing. Most of the time they are happy to discuss books but eve..."

haha i get that at my job alot..i mean not the literacy part..but when I actually hold a conversation with them they realize that I am an actual intelligent human being rather than thinking I was some dumb high school girl..it's funny because their whole demeanor changes with how they talk to and treat me once they realize I am older, mature, and intelligent. I love it..but at the same time it bothers me so much.


message 23: by Anna (new)

Anna Shumaker (Annashu) I like when they realize I'm intelligent, but kinda scared of what they thought I was before.


message 24: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (sezza) Ohh I have a creepy experience for this thread. I go to the same Barnes & Noble like once a week just to sit and hang out with a friend or browse the books. Because of this, the people that work there generally recognize me. Well, this one guy that worked there at the time (this was about 3 years ago when the incident took place), struck up a conversation with me while I was standing in the magazine aisle. He was probably in his mid-30s/early 40s. We stood there for awhile talking about all sorts of books and since he is a history teacher, he ran off to grab some for me to look at. I told him since it was near closing time I should leave, but I would look at them the next time I was there.

He happened to be working the next time I was there and asked if he could sit and show me some of the books. I was being friendly so I didn't object despite the fact that I wasn't in a talking mood. I should have gotten the hint that he was trying to flirt with me, but I must have been on crack because I didn't think of it at the time.

Anyway, he asked me if I wanted to get a cup of coffee or something at the cafe with him when he had a break the next time he was working and I think I just said something vague like, "If I happen to be in the store then maybe."

I purposely went to the store on a day I don't usually go, just hoping that I wouldn't run into him, but of course as (bad) luck would have it- he was there. He sat at my table without even asking and then proceeded to tell me he was planning a hiking trip and asked if I wanted to go. He said he had talked to his friends about me and had wanted to ask me out. Then he told me he was divorced and had 2 kids.

This was probably one of the most awkward moments I've had in recent years. I had noooooo idea what to say. At the time I was about 21 years old, so I was really weirded out that this much older man was hitting on me- especially while he was WORKING. I think I made some lame response like "My parents would worry too much if I went camping with somebody I just met. Plus, I have a boyfriend" (even though at the time I didn't).

After that I decided to go to a different Barnes & Noble for awhile. When I finally did go back, he was gone. I don't know if he was fired or what, but I'm glad I never had to see him there again!


message 25: by Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner), The Founding Bookworm (new)

Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) (perpetualpageturner) | 4407 comments Mod
Sarah wrote: "Ohh I have a creepy experience for this thread. I go to the same Barnes & Noble like once a week just to sit and hang out with a friend or browse the books. Because of this, the people that work th..."

eww oh my gosh! that is so CREEPY!I bet he tried to pull that stunt with someone else too..and I bet the caught him and FIRED his creepy butt!


message 26: by Sara (new)

Sara (thecrazygal) | 403 comments That's why I have brothers--to sic them on creepy people. Not that I've run into any in real life yet.

The rest of these sound so cool, I'd love to be able to strike up a conversation about books with some random person. ^_^
(Why? Well, I can't strike up a convo. about books with relatives or friends so random people is fine)


message 27: by Anna (new)

Anna Shumaker (Annashu) Sarah, that is so creepy, faux beaus are always a good strategy though.


message 28: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (sezza) Jamie, you're probably right! I noticed that one employee kept walking past us and gave him the evil eye at one point. I think it's even creepier that he's a teacher. I have no idea what grade level he teaches, but if he would hit on me (I look like I'm between 16-early 20s) then I can only imagine his students :\

On another note, I LOVE talking books with people. My mom loves to read but we don't like reading the same genres so we don't talk too much about specific books. My boyfriend on the other hand is a dream come true because he's as big of a book nerd as me and we love the same genres :)


message 29: by Lori, The Over-Caffeinated Coffee Girl (new)

Lori | 2109 comments Mod
Sarah! Oh my goodness! That's beyond creepy! I can't believe that happened to you!

I need to find someone in my life who likes the same kind of books that I like. I'm an English major, so you'd think I'd find someone, but the people I like are so much more well-read than I am. That's why I like the idea of meeting a stranger and talking books with them.


message 30: by Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner), The Founding Bookworm (new)

Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) (perpetualpageturner) | 4407 comments Mod
Another good topic to bring back up!


message 31: by Lori, The Over-Caffeinated Coffee Girl (new)

Lori | 2109 comments Mod
This seems as good a place as any. Don't you just want to hit someone if you're reading and they walk in and ask what you're doing? I'd like to throw my book at them whenever this happens, but then I'd have to go get my book. Usually, I settle for a terse "I'm reading," and then I go back to my book without asking any follow up questions. Seriously, there are so many good ways of starting a conversation, but that's not one of them. (And have you noticed that the person who asks that is usually someone you don't even want to talk to in the first place?)


message 32: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly (KimberlywithaT) | 2140 comments Lori wrote: "This seems as good a place as any. Don't you just want to hit someone if you're reading and they walk in and ask what you're doing? I'd like to throw my book at them whenever this happens, but th..."

Ugh, yes! I hate that. I usually just stare at them for a few moments and then slowly say "Uh, reading maybe?" and hold the book up. And you are right, it's almost always someone I don't feel like talking to.

I love talking to people I'm standing in line with when I'm at a book release, it's always fun talking about the book and our predictions of what will happen. The habits I've picked up as a bookseller will never die, I have this habit that if I'm at a bookstore and I see someone looking at a book I've read and enjoyed, I make a point of telling them that I think it's a good book.



message 33: by Drew (new)

Drew Hamilton (DrewHamilton) Unfortunately, in my circle of people reading isn't exactly a common occurrence, so meeting a nice girl is a little difficult. As far as talking to strangers goes, I will not actively pursue a conversation with someone about books, but I will introduce it into conversation. Of course, this does not apply if I'm at a book store. hehe.


message 34: by Anna (new)

Anna Shumaker (Annashu) My mom always interrupts while I'm reading to ask what I'm doing my most frequent reply is "I'm just staring at these pages filled with words but obviously not reading, just waiting for you to come in" she then calls me anti-social.


message 35: by Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner), The Founding Bookworm (new)

Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) (perpetualpageturner) | 4407 comments Mod
Lori wrote: "This seems as good a place as any. Don't you just want to hit someone if you're reading and they walk in and ask what you're doing? I'd like to throw my book at them whenever this happens, but th..."

UGH. I HATE THAT!! My boyfriend thinks its funny to ask me that just because he knows it ticks me off!!


message 36: by Lori, The Over-Caffeinated Coffee Girl (new)

Lori | 2109 comments Mod
Drew, I know what you mean. I feel like finding a guy who likes to read is going to be difficult.

Glad I'm not crazy about hating people asking that.

I don't know that I'd go up to a complete stranger and start talking about books. But I'd definitely do that to someone I do know.


message 37: by Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner), The Founding Bookworm (new)

Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) (perpetualpageturner) | 4407 comments Mod
I've just accepted the fact that my boyfriend doesn't like reading and never will. It's actually ok with me because he is supportive of the habit and he'll always listen when I tell him about a book. I wish that he read but at the same time I'm ok with it.


message 38: by Matthew (last edited Nov 30, 2009 12:21PM) (new)

Matthew I can't believe it took me this long to find this topic. I'm a bit of an extrovert (shocked, I'm sure), so I start conversations with strangers fairly often. As a side story, I once had an hour to kill in a park in NYC; my brother, who was with a mutual friend, asked what I would do with myself. Our friend responded, "It's Matt, he'll make friends." But I digress, I work at Starbucks and we'll constantly discuss books with my customers. Also at Barnes and Noble, parks, book sales, trains, and bars. A few times I've been sitting in a bar, reading a book, and had random people come up and ask what I was reading.


message 39: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer I do at times, I'm really quite shy, but I do work in a library so people+their books are pretty prevalent. Occasionally I will mention that I've read whatever they are holding. It goes the other way though, I sure get a lot of people interested in what I'm reading. I suppose that's what happens when you carry a book everywhere :p


message 40: by Anna (new)

Anna Shumaker (Annashu) Matt: You reminded me of this time I was in a book slump so while my friend and I were getting ready to go out one night I decided I would ask everyone their favorite books. I ended the night with a purse full of cocktail napkin/matchbook recommendations and a lot of funny looks. Also I occasionally read books at bars and mostly people just seem shocked that a person is reading at a bar, do you ever get that reaction?


message 41: by Tahleen (new)

Tahleen So I work at B&N as many of you know, and I have to share this story that happened to a (female, middle-aged) coworker of mine. She was coming into work a couple of days ago, and some younger woman asked her if she's read the newest Eve Ensler book--I Am an Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls Around the World. She hadn't, and the younger woman told her that she MUST read it!!!! It's AMAZING apparently, so amazing that woman offered to BUY it for her, or to at least read page 85 (which ended up being about Barbies). The younger woman had to go to the bathroom, and my coworker wasn't about to wait around for her and figured she'd see her while working. She never saw the other woman again and to this day she thinks it was a scam.


message 42: by Ashley (new)

Ashley (readerandwriter) Always. I can't help but be curious when I see a book in person's hand.


message 43: by Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner), The Founding Bookworm (new)

Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) (perpetualpageturner) | 4407 comments Mod
Tahleen wrote: "So I work at B&N as many of you know, and I have to share this story that happened to a (female, middle-aged) coworker of mine. She was coming into work a couple of days ago, and some younger woman..."

That is kinda bizarre! lol. People do the strangest things and you find that out working in retail!I had my fair share of crazies.


message 44: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly (KimberlywithaT) | 2140 comments Jamie wrote: "People do the strangest things and you find that out working in retail!I had my fair share of crazies."

Too true. I once had a guy come into the bookstore I worked at and tell me in so many words that I was going to hell because we carried the Twilight books. He also stood next to the display for about twenty minutes and told everyone who looked at it what an evil book it was.


message 45: by Kelly (new)

Kelly | 308 comments Jamie wrote: "I've just accepted the fact that my boyfriend doesn't like reading and never will. It's actually ok with me because he is supportive of the habit and he'll always listen when I tell him about a boo..." Sounds just like my boyfriend. He always wants to know what I'm reading, and what it's about, but never picks up a book for himself. lol

On a side note I Love asking people what they are reading. I add so many books to my list based on what others say. Sadly nobody really askes me. Most of my friends don't really read. Such a shame!


message 46: by Caitlin (new)

Caitlin I talk to anyone about books... If I see someone reading and they don't look like they'd be upset if I said something (or they're not wearing headphones) I'll generally ask them how the book is, why they're reading it... then if I've read it, tell them what I thought of it, ask what part they're on...

People don't ever really ask me... but I have a new book every other day, so I guess that's okay.

<3


message 47: by Kelly (new)

Kelly | 308 comments I was waiting on my mom today at the doctor's office and was reading My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands the nurse asked what I was reading and I was a little embarrassed just because it's a book about one night stands lol, but then she was like oh I love reading anything, just started The Last Song. Made my day. I love meeting people that read and talk about books!


message 48: by Lori, The Over-Caffeinated Coffee Girl (new)

Lori | 2109 comments Mod
I've noticed that people here don't really talk about books to people they don't know. You don't really see that many people here reading to begin with. It's been really disappointing because I'd love to talk to strangers about books; it's a great way to start a conversation.


message 49: by Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner), The Founding Bookworm (new)

Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) (perpetualpageturner) | 4407 comments Mod
Agreed Lori! I pretty much only talk to my best friend about books. I'd love to just start chatting with a stranger about a book I'm reading. When I go to book sales I tend to talk with people about books.


message 50: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly (KimberlywithaT) | 2140 comments I miss being a bookseller, I loved talking about books with customers. Or authors that came to do signings, they're some of the best people to talk about books with.


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