You know that moment? When you meet someone new and after talking to them for a while you find out that they are readers? That they are not just readers, but ‘big’ readers like yourself. The moment that you feel baffled and overjoyed and start blabbering away about all kinds of books to make up for the time you couldn’t spent talking about books to ‘non-reader’ friends? I have had that happen to me only a few rare times. Of course I hit the jackpot in the ‘best-friend’ department, because she happens to be a booknerd as well and I can always ring her to geek out over books. And I of course I made some friends going to events (as rare as they are in the Netherlands), but in everyday life it remains something that doesn’t really happen a lot.
That is until you decide to study English Language & Culture in University. Whew. Insert deep breath. Suddenly talking books wasn’t that weird of a thing! You mention a book and instead of realising that you should’ve kept your trap shut and wincing in advance for the horrified faces that are sure to follow (slight exaggeration maybe, but still, you get the memo), somebody actually responds with excitement. During Introduction Week somebody noticed the book I was carrying in my bag, and it ended up in a conversation that lasted for about an hour. They didn’t even blink when I opened my bag and pulled out a book. I mean I knew I wouldn’t have time to read it (everybody knows that the whole introduction week is so busy and when you do get home all you want to do is sleep), but I still brought one because, well, just in case… I always do! Of course it did lead to some laughter when I shared that I’d brought a total of 5 books for the whole week. It was a slightly big amount… especially since at the end of the week I hadn’t read a single page (I was going through serious withdrawals at that moment). It is such a relief to not have to explain myself as to why I carry around a book.
It was actually a pretty fun to realize that others knew the books I mentioned. Even more fun was when they found out I had a blog and promptly opened it on their cell phones and scrolled through my posts. The feeling of hitting the jackpot after mentioning Rainbow Rowell and others responding with equal enthusiasm (or getting a text message asking: Fangirl or Landline? Because she’d already ordered Eleanor & Park). That feeling is awesome.
I didn’t realize it, but I am just so tired of people making comments about me reading so much. There’s just these little things people say, the way they act when they find you reading quietly in a corner, that gets old. I’m above it most of the time, best way is too just reply with some wit or keep quiet, but these small comments get on my nerves. So it’s quite refreshing to realize that people are actually interested in what you’re reading.
It’s not like I want to talk books all the time. It’s just having the option to talk about the book you’re currently reading, the book you just finished and are completely in love with, the book that shattered all capability of speech, or fictional crushes that make our hearts beat faster and you just need to gush about. Twitter and blogging friends are great for that too, I love my quality time online discussing books with all of you fellow booklovers , but nothing beats an actual conversation with friends. And boy am I glad that I found that in University!
Do you have any good friends that you can talk books with?