Musing Mondays

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about talking to strangers…

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)

I love talking about books, but sadly not many of my family members or friends are booklovers. Before I started blogging, I keep my opinions on books to myself while hoping that one day, I would turn my family or friends into booklovers. So far, that day has not arrived, but I did find a lot of enthusiastic bookbloggers who share the same passion and I am very happy to know them and call them as friends.

As much as I love blogging and chatting with friends online, I have to say meeting with people upfront and talking to them about books is entirely another different matter. Not really an extrovert, I don't think I will walk up to any person and strike a conversation with him/her in a bookstore. Also, I guess it has to depend on the person if he/she is approachable. If they give me the impression that they are chatty, I guess I would. Then, there were also times that someone came up to me and asked if the book I was holding is interesting or worth reading, and I was more than happy to talk to them.

And because I am a frequent patron of one particular bookstore, most of the bookstore assistants there knew me and we would talk about anything just like old friends. They would ask me about my reading and would also highlight me on any new releases, or their bestselling titles. And for a person who loves to read during the commute, I do feel curious to know what other commuters are reading but the most I will do is to try to sneak a peek of the titles they are holding.

How about you? Would you approach anyone to talk about books?

32 Responses
  1. I'll sometimes try to talk about books with people, but I find it much easier to talk to you guys about books. It's funny the looks you can get from a stranger when trying to spark up bookish conversation!! :)

  2. Melody Says:

    Trish - LOL. That's what I thought. ;P And that's why you guys are still the best! :D

  3. Anonymous Says:

    I wish I could find a good, smaller book store near me where I could get to the know the workers. I usually go to a Borders that is usually packed so no time to really chat with any workers. I have my answer up here:

  4. NoBS Says:

    Funny how many bloggers consider themselves "shy". Me? I'm just not a "people person". Blogging gives me full control :-)

  5. I am so behind on my blog visits and then to come visit you and everything's changed! I love the new look, Melody! I want to copy you! I won't, but it'll be hard. :-)

    I admit that I am often shy about approaching others to talk about books. I may try and take a peek, but more often than not, if I don't know the person, I won't say anything. I never mind someone approaching me though.

  6. Alice Says:

    I'm more of an introvert when I am alone with books or during browsing at the stores. I don't mind, though, if people start coming to me and asks me. It happened to me once when a guy came over and asked me about Salman Rushdie's book. We talked for a bit about one of his banned books.

    My family is not really into books but they love making fun of me. :p

  7. Melody Says:

    Debbie - The bookstore I frequent is classified as one of the major bookstores, but because there aren't too many crowds and moreover, this branch is not as big as compared to the other branches, thus I suppose that's why I'm able to get more attention from the staff, haha.

    NoBS - Yes, I can be shy meeting a stranger, but blogging is another matter, haha.

    Wendy - Thanks, Wendy! I'm happy to hear you like my new template! :) I had wanted to change for a while but just couldn't find any template until this one comes along... Feel free to copy though, I'm completely fine with it. :D

    I can be shy approaching others to talk about books, but if I find them approachable I might ask them for opinions anyway! ;)

  8. Melody Says:

    Alice - Aha, I just posted my reply to the others when I came across your comment. ;)

    I guess I'm like you... I enjoy the time to myself browsing through books but I don't mind people asking me about books too. :)

  9. Anonymous Says:

    I'm like most others here too - bit shy to talk to strangers, but I've managed to convert my husband to reading and we talk about books together. Also my son is an avid reader.

  10. Sandy Nawrot Says:

    I will talk to anyone about books. God help me if I stop a serial murderer to talk about books... Sometimes I feel I need to reign myself in, because I will talk forever and wherever. I partly started blogging, because I felt I was too pushy and obnoxious about making unsolicited recommendations to people all the time!

  11. Yvonne Says:

    I don't really have any friends or family who like to talk about books either. So, I never talk to any of them about my books. They wouldn't appreciate it.

    I go to a local UBS and I know the owner of it. We always talk about books and it helps that we read the same genres.

  12. Beth F Says:

    I'm kind of like Sandy -- not at all shy about talking books with anyone anywhere. I'm fortunate that my family, my in-laws, and pretty much all of our friends are readers, so I get to talk books all the time.

  13. Anonymous Says:

    If I see someone reading a book that looks interesting (or checking out a book that I've already read and would recommend) then I will approach them to chit-chat a little. Book lovers always like to talk about books!

  14. caite Says:

    I think that I blog in order to 'talk' about books. Much easier for us many bookish introverts. :-)

  15. Jo Says:

    I'd never approach anyone! 'll quite happily talk if they talk to me though>

  16. Jenners Says:

    I hear you about trying to get your family interested in books. My husband is a non-reader and I've been working on trying to change that but it has been hard. The closest we've come to discussing books is when I got him interested in Nelson DeMille!

  17. Jenny Girl Says:

    My family and friends are not book people either, which is why I started my blog.
    My girlfriend just invited me to join her book club, so hopefully that will be fun. My first one is in two weeks. Wish me luck.

    Your blog is beautiful. Great job!

  18. My husband is a reader who has been on a ten year hiatus from reading, but none of my other family or friends really are. That is why I have loved blogging, too.

  19. zetor Says:

    I don't feel very comfortable confronting strangers about books, my full answer is here,

  20. kayerj Says:

    love your "page". I discuss books with the family and avoid the strangers

  21. Sherrie Says:

    I don't have anyone in my family that are book readers either. I share mine with book bloggers! Which to me are the greatest! Have a great day!!


  22. Debi Says:

    I would never have the guts to approach a stranger and just start chatting books. Wish I did. But I'm one of the lucky ones...most of my family and friends are readers themselves, so even in person I can find someone to talk books with.

  23. Nise' Says:

    That must be why I talk to so many family are not big readers.

  24. Robin M Says:

    My family loves to talk about books. In fact, my husband constantly stops reading to share what he just read. LOL!

    I love the new look - it's great.

    My post is up now.


  25. Ana S. Says:

    I can't remember ever starting a conversation with a random stranger. Much too shy :P

  26. Anonymous Says:

    I'm the same way, more reserved and passive. It depends on what people are reading, if they're interested to talk, and most importantly, my mood. :)

  27. Iliana Says:

    I tend not to go up to people first either. If someone approaches me and we start talking about books that's one thing but typically I don't start a conversation. Now when I was working and had a long commute I really didn't want to talk to anyone I just wanted to read my book :)

  28. Jeane Says:

    Like so many of you, I'm shy of approaching strangers in public. But if someone asks me about what I'm reading, I'm only too happy to reply. One of the best bookish conversations I had was with a man waiting next to me in line at the DMV. We ended up giving each other new author recommendations.

    But never as many as I get from you guys.

  29. Melody Says:

    Margaret - I'm glad my 5-yr-old daughter shows an interest in reading! :) When she's older, she gets to read my collection, haha.

    Sandy - LOL. I wish you're staying near me, and then we can talk endless about books!

    Yvonne - That's great that you and the bookstore owner have great commons in books!

    Beth - I wish my family and friends are readers like yours, haha. It'd be nice to discuss with them about books besides other things in life.

    Stephanie - I don't think I'll make the first move, but I'll be very happy to talk if they talk to me first, LOL.

    Caite - Yes, that's why I find bookbloggers are the best! :P

    Jo - I share the same sentiments, hehe.

    Jenners - My husband is into computer books. It's one of his interests!

  30. Julia Says:

    I agree, that chatting online and chatting to someone in real life is two different things. I find myself being more chatty online than I am in person. I am shy but if someone approached me and say something than I talk back. Sometime I would walk up front and talk but that rarely happen.

    Good answer, Melody!

  31. Melody Says:

    Jenny - Thanks! I'd love to join a bookclub if there's one around my area, but unfortunately there isn't any here, at least not one I'm aware of.

    Lisa - I'm hoping to get my husband hooked to novels instead of his computer manuals one day! ;P

    Zetor - Me too. But I'll be happy if they come up to me and talk about books. ;)

    Kaye - Thank you!

    Sherrie - I think bookbloggers are the greatest too! Hope you've a great day too!

    Debi - Yeah, I don't think I'll strike up a conversation with a stranger to talk about books. Who knows, they might think we're weird, haha.

    Nise' - It's great that you're able to approach strangers and talk about books! I wish I'm like you!

    Robin - Thanks! I'm still hoping to convert my husband into a bookworm one day, haha.

    Nymeth - Me too, unless they made the first move! :P

    Matt - Ah yes, I forgot about moods! :P

    Iliana - I hate to be disturbed during the commute too. There were a few times someone tried to peek at the titles I was reading... but they didn't make the move of asking me what the book was about, LOL.

    Jeane - I don't think I ever have that experience before, but I think bookstores are the best place to strike a conversation as compared to any other places! ;)

  32. Melody Says:

    Julia - Glad we share the same sentiments. :P

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