Here’s this week’s question:
We were all warned as children to ‘never talk to strangers’, but how do you feel about book-talk with random people? When you see people reading, do you ask what it is? Do you talk to people in the bookstore or the library? Why or why not? What do you do if people talk to you?
When answering this week’s excellent question, I’m going to pretend that I haven’t worked at a bookstore off and on for years! Because there, I’m paid to talk to strangers about books (pretty great, most of the time!).
When I’m a “civilian” (ha!) walking around a bookstore, I will often ask strangers what they’re reading — unless they seem totally engrossed in the book and not open to conversation. Most of the time folks are just browsing around, maybe skimming through a novel or checking out the back cover. If it’s something I’ve read and enjoyed, I’ll usually feel compelled to tell them that — which might be annoying! I hope not. But very rarely does anyone seem unwilling to chat. I think most book people love other book people! We love to talk about books, so why not share the joy?
If I pass a friend or coworker reading, I’ll almost always stop and ask them about their book. In fact, I just had a very long conversation with a coworker about thrillers! I’m not into the mystery genre, but I just might be changing that. I’m open-minded! And some of them sound pretty interesting.
Of course, on the flip side, I don’t mind at all if people talk to me at bookstores or at work — I love reading so much, I sit around and blog about it! It’s not a problem. I love getting suggestions and recommendations, and hearing about stories other people have loved. I’m constantly adding to the TBR disaster in my room and can’t hear enough about great new books. So keep on talking to strangers!