Us book lovers may be stereotyped as introverted loners who would prefer a good book over any form of social interaction, but this is only true 95% of the time. That other 5% of the time, us readers love finding other people we can talk to about books! Books we love, books we hate, books on our TBR, the best tropes, the worst tropes, genres we devour, genres we avoid. If you start a conversation about books with a book lover, be prepared for a detailed break down of all of these topics and more.
But the question one may ask is this. Where can one find fellow book lovers to befriend and talk about books with? Us book lovers know a lot about books, sure. But people, even bookish people, are scary. How do you approach one? How do you know if they read the same books as you? How do you start that very first conversation that will become the start of a beautiful bookish friendship?
Fear not! I have compiled a list for you today of 5 very practical ways to find fellow book lovers and easily befriend them. Just try these methods out and you’ll see exactly how easy it is to make some bookish friends!
1. Lure Them With Free Books
I put this tip as the number one option because it’s truly the simplest. All you have to do is make a trail of books leading from a bookstore to your home. The book lover will follow the trail, impressed by your reading taste, and end up in your living room ready to talk about all the books you laid out for them on the way to become your friend. Sure it might mean you gift 25 books or more to a stranger just to lead them to your home, but friendship is all about giving!
2. Hunt For Them at the Bookstore
You can often find other readers at the book store, browsing, reading, or purchasing books. This is because a bookstore (or library) is a reader’s natural habitat. As with any hunt, it is important to first stalk your prey. Depending on what kind of reader you’re looking for, that’s what corner of the bookstore you should camp out in. Looking for a sci-fi reader? Well, you won’t find them by looking in the non-fiction section! Camouflage is essential. Be sure to pretend to read any random book you picked off the shelves. Wearing bookish merch may be a good idea as well, if possible.
When you see your prey picking up a book you’ve enjoyed, that is the proper time to strike! Strike up conversation, that is. Ask the person if they have read any other books by that author. Tell them whether or not you recommend the book. Gently recommend other books they might also enjoy. If you manage to keep this conversation going for longer than 5 minutes, your prey has been caught!
3. Write a Book
Listen, maybe you don’t have the money to lure people by buying 25 new books. And maybe you’ve been banned from your local bookstores because you’ve hunted for too many friends and it didn’t go well once or twice. But don’t fear! You can still make new friends!
You see, readers tend to love and want to befriend their favorite authors. So the solution is simple really. Write a book. Now, of course this book needs to be a best seller and become people’s favorite, but I believe in your skills. Write that book, get it published, and in no time you’ll have adoring fans reaching out that you can befriend. Plus, as a bonus, you might even make author friends as well in the process! ALL THE FRIENDS FOR YOU!
4. Write A Thesis About Their Favorite Book
Bookish people love discussing their favorite books. This is just a fact. It is also a fact that people bond over shared interests. But that can take a long time. If you want to speed up the process, you just need to make that bonding moment that much more potent. Therefore, a great way to make a friend is to write a thesis about a book either you or someone else is passionate about. This could take time, so you might want to combine this with getting a PhD in Literature or something, but never lose sight of the fact that you’re writing this thesis for the sake of new friends only.
Once you’ve completed your detailed analysis going chapter by chapter (or line by line, you do you) of why the book you chose is the Best Book Ever, publish the thesis, post it on a blog, print out copies and hand it out to random strangers. Do whatever you need to do in order to make that thesis reach the hands of other fans of the Best Book Ever that you just dissected. Readers will read your analysis and then track you down to discuss various points – things they agree with, things they disagree with, points you missed. I’m sure it will be the start of a beautiful friendship!
5. Create a Book Convention
My last suggestion arguably takes the most amount of effort and planning, but it can also yield the greatest results in terms of how many friends you can make in just one or two days! All you need to do is pick a place, invite some publisher or authors, arrange some signings and giveaways and advertise your event! I know I just said it takes effort and planning, but look at that super short list of what you have to do. It’s simple really! Once all the book lovers gather to meet their favorite authors and to chat with publishers, you can roam the event and introduce yourself as the event founder, and instantly make lifelong friends!
There is one other method that I could have listed, but it seemed too obvious, so I didn’t. You can start a book blog and start chatting with people in the comments and on social media. But since you all already do that and have been kind enough to befriend me in that way, I figured I’d mention some less obvious methods for you to try. In a way, this post is my thank you to all of you for being my friends. Now go out there and make some new ones!