We read...

To know we are not alone. ~C.S. Lewis~

Monday, March 16, 2009

This week Bendy-necked Becca's Musing is brought to you courtesy of Dena...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 book store or the library? Why or why not? What do you do if people talk to you?

I agree with Becca, the book shops & libraries are the best places for talking to strangers about books and reading. This was one of my favourite things about working in public libraries, talking to the borrowers about what they were borrowing/returning/reading tastes. And my boss, who was very old-school, made this part of our job! He called it report-building. His aim was to make the library a community space of shared interests rather than scary places for the elite – he was a great first boss; taught me a lot about the ethos of good library practice.

My kids will tell you I'll talk to anyone. They have been embarrassed often by my penchant for talking to complete strangers while waiting in queues. If one of these strangers is waiting to buy a book I'm interested in I have no qualms about mentioning my interest. Usually they don't mind, it is after all a way to pass the dead time of a queue.

If I don't have my kids with me I'll be reading in that queue and strangers talk to me, usually to say 'what a good idea'. It's a no-brainer for me. If I'm out anywhere I have a book - there's no dead time with a book in tow!

I try to avoid the craning to see what others are reading but I did have a lady doing that to me today while waiting the RTA. This was the perfect stranger-chatting opportunity but she looked a bit crazy-eyed while she was trying hard to read along without me noticing and, with Jenners comment in mind,I might not strike up a conversation with a blood-spattered, mad-eyed person holding a copy of American Psycho I didn't say 'it's little women, have you read it?', fearing the blood-splatters were hidden!

My fellow bloggers crack me up!

9 comments:

Yvonne said...

I rarely strike up conversations - I'm generally a shy person in the first place - but if someone talks to me, I'll talk back :) Also, if I see someone at a bookstore looking at a book I've read, I'll say something.

When I'm on vacation, I do like looking to see what others are reading by the pool or the beach.

caite said...

no, I am content to leave people alone with their books. If approached with a book comment/question, I tend to keep it short.

Jo said...

I don't like initiating conversations. I'd be the one waiting for you to speak. Hopefully I don't look crazy-eyed though!

Jenners said...

Oh how funny that you put my comment in yours! And yes ... I steer away from crazy eyed people too! I love that your boss was so cool and open about creating a community for readers at the library! I wish our library was more like that. Many of the people who work at our library are a little cranky and act like they don't want to be bothered!

Jenny Girl said...

I also go every where with a book in my bag. You just never know.

zetor said...

I'm not very good at talking to strangers.

Robin of My Two Blessings said...

I don't generally strike up conversations with strangers, but have no problem discussing books if they address me. I guess it's just the introvert in me. My post is up now.

here

Nise' said...

I'm like you, I have embarrassed my kids by talking to complete strangers! My youngest son got my gift of gab and can talk to anyone, anywhere!

Rebecca said...

I'm sure the kids don't find you embarrassing Wendy, they probably just think you're crazy :)