There is no surer foundation for a beautiful friendship than a mutual taste in literature.
-P. G. Wodehouse
Many times conversations have begun with the discussion of books, at least for me they have. Even before I became an English teacher, many of my conversations growing up and in college were about the books that I had read or was currently reading.
Growing up, my parents always read to me and then when I got to the point of being able to read by myself, it was something I did all of the time. And I mean, all of the time. I would take a book with me to school to read on the playground, I would climb trees to find a new place to read, I would take one to read in the car even if we were only driving 5 minutes to my grandparents’ house – everywhere I went I took a book with me. (In fact, I still try to have at least one book with me at all times.)
So even though it could have appeared as though I was being antisocial to some, really I was so interested in whatever topic I was reading about that I didn’t want to leave it. But to those who realized that I wasn’t being antisocial, it allowed us to create a conversation around the topic. In a way this was a crutch for me, because I had a hard time starting conversations with people I didn’t really know. (Sometimes I still do.) But once people realize how much of a bibliophile I am, that’s when the conversations really start rolling – we talk about books that we’ve read that are in common, books that have been made in to movies, suggestions for books based on what the other person is interested in – the topics sometimes just snowball from there, which is great!
I’ve also been able to continue to develop relationships through literature. As I’ve mentioned in past posts and book reviews, I am a part of the Pi Beta Phi virtual book club called Pi Phi Pages. This has allowed me to discover books that I wouldn’t have read before and I’ve also been able to connect virtually with sorority sisters who also read the books.
Even more recently I struck up a conversation with one of the Spanish teachers I work with about Machu Picchu because I was reading Turn Right at Machu Picchu and he is planning a student trip this summer there. This allowed us to discover common interests and a jumping off point to talk more when we see one another at school.
Of course, there are titles that I will jump right in to conversations with such as the whole of the Harry Potter series. Give me the opportunity to talk about Harry and Ron and Hermione and I am there! In fact, during a Cubs game during the post-season I wound up talking about Harry Potter and I loved it! I’m sure there are others that I am always able to talk about, but this series is one that seems to apply in any situation.
What are the books or series that you always come back to? Please feel free to share them below, and who knows, we might strike up an awesome conversation through literature! Happy writing everyone!