After spending some time with relatives this weekend, I found a wonderful common conversation thread to discuss books. Book talk is kind of like weather talk. To me, it is always interesting to hear about the weather and how it affects people, my friends, and my family. Books are the same way. Plus, you can learn something about the person just by hearing them talk about a book. Again, kind of like the weather. (But hey, I don’t like the wind – so, you psycho-analysts out there – what does that say about me?). Often times book talk will elicit emotional responses from the reader. If they choose, they may share those responses in a discussion. If they are still savoring or dissecting the emotional experience, they may not share it directly in a book talk, but through some other form or other discussion.

 Start talking about your favorite genre with someone and you’ll receive a newly recommended title. And the reverse works too. The advantages of reading and discussing books is that the listener will learn through the reader’s experience, even if the listener has not read that book. (I just learned some facts about Evita and also about Frida Kahlo through this very method!). This does require decent listening skills and also an open interest in the reader’s book. (Most people tune out what they are not interested in). Okay, so if you sense that your conversation partner is not really into the book you’re talking about, change the book talk to another title of a different genre and bingo! you might strike up a conversation or common connected experience and come away with a list of more books on the wish list to read. This is why I do not watch TV. I can’t really discuss a TV show the same way that I can discuss a book or an article that really affected me.

Here’s to a future book talk – I’m looking forward to it!