Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about talking to strangers. To read more Musing Mondays on this topic, visit Rebecca’s blog Just One More Page.
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? (question courtesy of Dena)
If a book is one I’ve read or one I’m interested in, I won’t hesitate to strike up a conversation — assuming the setting is appropriate and the person appears to be “safe” (e.g., I might not strike up a conversation with a blood-spattered, mad-eyed person holding a copy of American Psycho). I recently started a conversation with a fellow mom at my son’s karate class when I saw her reading Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild, which I loved. We had a lovely conversation about the book and then talked about more general things. We had both sat in karate class before but never spoke; it took her reading that book to get me to open up and talk to her.
I do confess that I will not strike up a conversation if the book is a genre or author I don’t really like. For example, I would probably not bother talking to someone who was reading a Danielle Steele novel. (No offense meant to Danielle Steele readers, but we probably don’t have the same taste in books.)
Before I got my Kindle, I saw a gentleman sitting in first-class on a plane reading one and I asked him about it. It was only a few seconds but my interest in the Kindle overrode any embarrassment I may have had. In fact, I had to stop myself from lingering there and asking to hold it and try it!
I don’t usually bother people in libraries, but I will strike up a conversation in a book store if I’m browsing in the same section as someone else.
I don’t mind if people ask me about a book I am reading — in fact, I would welcome it. My feeling is if you asked me about what I’m reading, you are probably interested in it too!