If the idea of a book, a quiet corner, and a cup of coffee sound like your idea of heaven, you might think that meeting new people would be a challenge. After all, when you read you're involved in the inner workings of your mind, thinking about the characters you're reading about. But there are many ways booklovers can connect with one another. A shared love of reading will give you something in common so you can make small talk easily with people at events like these.
Author Appearance, Reading, or Book Signing
Authors frequently travel to book stores and libraries to promote their works. Many times they read from their latest book and take questions. Events like these are a great way to find out more about a favorite author, his writing process, and hear about any new books he's working on.
This is also the place to get your books signed. Some authors will only sign the current book they're promoting, while others will allow a specific number of past works. Either way, this type of event is good for meeting other booklovers. You'll have a few things in common right away, like:
- An appreciation for the author you've come to see.
- A love of reading in general.
- Geeky details of related books or facts.
If the author is a popular one, you'll probably have to wait in line to get your books signed, and that's a good thing. The more time you can hang out with the other booklovers in line, the more opportunities you'll have to make small talk. If you click with one or two people in line see if they want to meet you for coffee after the event.
You can start off small talk with someone by:
- Asking if they have read the author's other books.
- Commenting on any purchases they've made (and may have in their hands).
- Talking about other events that may be held at the bookstore.
Very often colleges or technical schools offer extracurricular classes in literature-related topics you can attend even if you're not looking for college credit. These class are filled with booklovers who seek a deeper understanding of books and the writing process.
Classes like this are typically a few weeks in length, which is perfect for getting to know the other students. Hang around before or after class to see if anyone gathers for some quick small talk, and see if there is someone who would like to get to know a little better. The class will give you plenty to talk about initially, and you'll be able to more quickly get into deeper subjects that are important to you both.
Volunteer at the Library or Work at a Bookstore
Very often people who love to read just like books in general. They enjoy being around books, talking with others about them, seeing the occasional author come through town, and recommending books to people.
Volunteering at your local library or even working at the bookstore can give you an opportunity to meet others. This is especially helpful if you normally have a hard time connecting with people. You won't need to go out to find folks to chat with because they'll be coming to where you are.
Online Reading Groups or Chat Rooms
Don't forget the online world when it comes to meeting other booklovers. Places like Goodreads and Amazon.com have discussion groups where people talk about books. You can also find online groups through your favorite author's website or Facebook page.
Several print magazines, like Real Simple for example, offer online book discussions. Real Simple has the No Obligation Book Club, which boasts no specific deadlines or timelines. Each month an editor chooses four books to discuss and readers vote on which they'd like to dive into. The editor and readers read the book and provide thoughts online throughout the month. If you missed that month's book selection, you can always go back to previous books that were read and comment on older discussions.
Online friendships can stay in the virtual world, or become real-life friends at some point if the opportunity presents itself. Online friends can be an important part of your life when your real-life friends aren't available.
Many booklovers appreciate the written word in any form, so you'll find a lot of them at classes that teach you how to improve your writing skills. Just like the literature class listed above, this is a good place to get to know other likeminded folks and bond with them before or after class.
A book group (or club) will connect you with others who enjoy reading a specific genre or author. These clubs can meet in people's homes, bookstores, or even community centers. Ask around your office or public library to see if they know of a group that meets in your area.
Another good place to find a book group in your area is Meetup.com. Search for the type of group you'd like (which genre, business, fun, etc.) or just pop in your zip code to view all the groups available. Joining a Meetup group is easy as each one has a page that describes the types of books they are reading, members of the group, and a calendar of upcoming events. (Here's more on how to make friends at book club.)