Last week I attended a dinner and left with two book recommendations from the guest seated across from me. Today I had a physical; the nurse practitioner and I chatted about our teens and their reading habits. Yesterday my son told us about reading essay responses to his freshman class’s community read. He was amazed that professors at his new college disliked the book, as he did, and one of them swore.
Earlier in the summer at two different parties I discussed my disinterest in reading Fifty Shades of Grey (too many good books in my “to-read” piles to spend time on a fad). During summer shifts at my local indie bookstore, Gibson’s, I talk about books with everyone I meet. At my local library today I checked out The Art of Racing In the Rain and got into a discussion with two of the staff about books with dog narrators. Last weekend when we FaceTimed with our nieces and nephew, they told me what books they’d checked out at their library.
After church, in line at the grocery store, on a walk in my neighborhood, in doctors’ office waiting rooms, really anywhere, reading is easy to discuss. Books break the ice with someone you don’t know well, connect you with friends you haven’t seen in awhile, and work as conversation starters that transcend age, gender, experience, or other differences we humans use to define each other.
So if you, like me, find Facebook and Twitter interesting but not as much fun as talking to people, try the original social media: conversation. And for starters, bring up a good book.