Reading friends and strangers

ReadingStrangers

What is the chance of someone sitting near you on the train who is reading a book you absolutely like?

This happened to me this morning when I was reading Michael Crichton’s Next. As I finished the book’s Prologue and moved on to Chapter One, I noticed a young woman sitting nearby who was also reading. Even better, she was reading Stephen King’s It.

This excited me greatly, as I had recently commenced re-reading all of King’s books. I had just finished The Shining and was due to start The Stand, but thought I needed a break. Crichton’s technological thriller on genetic modification came in handy as a temporary distraction.

So I was sitting there, trying to guess where this woman was at in the book. Judging by the number of pages she had read, George would have already died. Stan would have already received the phone call and was about to commit suicide, and Beverly would have already left home after beating up her husband. My favourite character, Ben, would soon be showing the scar on his stomach to the bartender.

And I felt like asking her: What do you think of this book so far? Have you read any other books by King? Do you read horror novels often? What other genres and authors do you like?

But I could not bring myself to do so. In our modern society, people seem to only talk about books either in book clubs or online. To openly inquire about one’s personal tastes in books seems rude. To do so in public may only make people suspicious about your “real” intensions.

Still, I hoped in my mind that the woman would be captured and scared a great deal by this book. I hoped she would continue to read King’s other books and eventually became a fan. Then, perhaps one day, I would meet her in some sort of online forum or book club. Then we would talk freely about the books we like and share the joy of reading together.

Image thanks to: Prints Charming, Reading and Book Nursery Art Prints

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