Tuesday, August 10, 2010

by the cover

I have this impulse that is nearly uncontrollable -

When I see people on the train or in the gym or at the crosswalk holding a book that I've read - I desperately want to talk to them about it. It gets to the point where I have to physically turn my body and think about something else, so insistent is my desire to get their thoughts and opinions.

Well, whackjob, why don't you just join a book club??

I did! And I love book club, but for the most part the same 8 or 10 fabulous ladies have been in it for two or three years and so I almost already know what people are going to think about certain books...when you have strong opinions - they hardly ever change. And for real, sometimes these ladies surprise me with their thoughts and get me to look at things a different way, but mostly I'm ready for the page that they're going to be on (as it were).

Whereas - strangers? Oh man - I have No IDEA what that girl holding "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" was thinking, she was only like 50 pages in (judging from where her index finger was in the pages) and I so.badly wanted to be like, "I know, its slow and boring now, but just give it some time..."

The most amazing moment of this was when I was on the bus reading "Team of Rivals" (for Book Club). I was pretty engrossed but aware enough to notice that an older gentleman with a long white beard and a badass old man hat had sat down next to me. I was curious to find out what he was reading and I find that no joke he was reading the SAME BOOK. We were both reading Team of Rivals, next to each other on the same number #2 bus. How does that even happen??

I had soooo many questions and queries about that book, and I was dying to ask him all of them but he looked engrossed and like he might be an old man of the grouchy variety so I didn't. I did hold the cover of my book up in a very obvious way as to say, "Hey! Hey! Look at me! We're not a wasted generation as a whole!" He either never noticed or didn't care. To this day I wished I had worked up the courage to find out how he felt about the book and its relevance to our current political climate, because I KNOW he would have had some crazy interesting answers.

Some people do not have my willpower - and I have been asked before by strangers how I like books that are in my hands. This is pretty much the only time I talk to strangers ever. Of course, most of the time once they ask I go into an overly long diatribe about how I'm having trouble relating to the main character, and how the parents are just caricatures and the writing style leaves something to be desired and the people will give me a minor stink eye. And then I realize they're looking for a, "its pretty good."

I wonder if other English major/bibliophiles have the same problem or is it just I'm weird with a poor sense of social decency.

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She's pint-sized and amazing.