It’s pity party time.
When I started my blog I did it for one reason: to share my thoughts about books and bookish things, and find people who love these things as much as I do. I mean, I’d love to make money off my blog like some people do, but currently I only have like a hundred people who follow me, so I’m working on it. But really I just want to talk to people about the things I love because let’s be honest, I can’t find anyone in my area who loves to talk about books like I do.
Now I know what everyone is thinking: “That man needs to join a book club.” And to be honest, I would love to.
“So why don’t you?”
Well the central problem is that I work six days a week and still manage to have no money at the end of the month, so I work more and have significantly less time to do things like blog, continue writing my book, let alone go to book groups.
“So just make friends with people who like books.”
I won’t go into detail about the making friends topic, which has been enough of a struggle as it is. But the other challenge is finding people who like to talk about books. With a few exceptions, whenever I try talking to people about books that we’ve both read the extent of the conversation is usually as follows:
Other Person (OP): So what kind of books do you like to read?
Me: Most of them. I just finished reading What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell.
OP: I’ve never heard of that one, but I loved Outsiders.
Me: Oh yeah? I read that one a while ago and also loved it. I love how he can take something completely ordinary and make it fascinating and in the end tie it all together with the overall topic.
OP: Yeah it was pretty good. He’s definitely an interesting writer.
Me: I was pretty skeptical with some of his claims, but his approach was so methodical I had a hard time disagreeing off hand. In that book specifically it seemed like he answered the question so easily that I felt there had to be more. What was your favorite part?
OP: I don’t know, I liked the whole thing. It was interesting.
The depth, or rather lack thereof, that people want to talk about books is the problem. When it comes to fiction I enjoy examining the characters and discussing what they were able to bring to the overall story (or as is sometimes the case, what they failed to bring to the table). I love taking a look at the plot and examining how the author used different tools to accomplish the things he did. When I talk about Stephen King I don’t want to have a two second conversation about how the book was good and I like his work. He is a master of plot building and character development. When I finish one of his books I feel like I know the characters. I get wrapped into the plot so that when he builds the suspense I get hooked and can’t let go.
So when I say that reading is a lonely hobby it’s because too many people seem to think that reading is a solitary pastime. It isn’t. You can read aloud, you can read by yourself and then get together with friends and acquaintances for discussion, or you can debate books that you and a friend liked or disliked. When I finish a book I want to talk to someone about it and share my thoughts, but 90% of the time I just can’t. I write a blog, publish it, and then move on to the next book. All of my thoughts, opinions, and feelings find themselves organized and placed into my mental filing system in case the day comes when I find someone who’s read the same book and wants to talk about it. Until then, I continue to build the library in my head in the hope that someone will come to check something out.