Saturday, February 11, 2017

How To Make Real Life Bookish Friends

In my last post, I talked a lot about bookish friends, both online and in real life, and how I appreciate both. The first few years after I started blogging, my main bookish friends were online, which was great and I love you all so much (yay pocket friends!). But over the last year or so, I've also met a good bunch of real life book nerds, who I promptly stalked until we were besties. (Well, maybe it was a little less dramatic, but basically.)

I know a lot of people online who have complained about not having friends in real life that can discuss books with you, and SO! Here I am to give you my sometimes useful and sometimes questionable advice on how to broaden your book discussions into the real world.

TIP #1: Go places where there will be people who like books. 

This may seem kind of obvious now that I've said it, but for any fellow introverts, it may not be (or it may be intimidating). But book signings, book clubs, etc. are fantastic places for meeting like-minded bibliophiles. Bookstores and libraries are great too, but you've got to be a little more talkative there since it's easy to just browse and not interact with anyone except maybe the check out person (or maybe not even anyone if your library is super introvert-friendly like mine and has self check-out). Basically, put yourself into situations where there will be bookish people, and it's more likely you'll click with someone.

TIP #2: Bring books up in every conversation.

If you're at a bookish event, this is pretty convenient and simple. Also, you get to skip the small talk (!!!), and go straight to book discussion. What do you think of {the book in question at the event}? Have you read anything like it? What are you reading now?

But even if you're NOT at a bookish event, this tip still works. Mention books or reading in every single conversation* and if you see the face of the person you're talking to light up, YOU'RE GOLDEN. Proceed to fangirl. Because honestly, I've found once you've reached that "face-light-up" moment, the floodgates open, and the conversation becomes a torrent of fangirling (or fanboying) and book discussion.

*Yes, I said Every Single Conversation. No excuses, no exceptions. You've got to be committed. 

TIP #3: Exchange book recommendations

Once you've found someone who is a potential booknerd bestie, one of the next steps is to exchange book recs! This is a fabulous way to get to know someone. For example, if you start talking passionately about Maggie Stiefvater (as we all do, I'm sure) and trying to explain the epic weirdness that is the Raven Cycle, and you mention that The Raven King gave you nightmares and this is a good thing - and then the person STILL goes and gets The Raven Boys from the library, THAT is a good sign*. Hang out with them. They have immense potential for BFF-status.

And then THEY can give you their recs and you  get to grow your TBR pile even more so everyone wins! (Unless the TBR falls on you and you die.)

*This happened to me. I may need to revise the way I recommend The Raven Cycle to the uninitiated.

TIP #4: Invite your bookish acquaintances to go to bookish events with you.

One of my best friends has become kind of a permanent book-signing buddy for me. We used to take the bus home from classes together, and talk about life, and we realized we both loved YA. We bonded over Marissa Meyer, and then went to the Winter signing together, which was by this particular friend's house, and she let me sleep over! This is the kind of booknerd BFF you are looking for. Going to signings together, letting you sleep over after those signings, staying up discussing books at these sleepovers - it's fantastic and I love her so much. So far we've been to two Marissa Meyer signings and a Leigh Bardugo signing together, and we've got lots more planned!

TIP #5: Make your online friends real life ones!

This is honestly both the easiest and the hardest way to have real life bookish friends. Hardest because geography can be a problem. Why is the world so big? Why does teleportation not exist yet?*

However, it's also easiest, because you literally can tweet "HEY FRIENDS I'm going to {insert event in your neighborhood}, who'll be there?" And then you coordinate meetups and it's lovely.

*Actually, it does exist, but it literally splits you up into your individual atoms and then puts you back together at your target location, so it's not exactly safe. You may be put together wrong, so you may become a slightly different You at the end of it, or you may be even dead. This is Real Science, see?

SO now I want to hear YOUR tips on finding bookish friends in the real world. Also I want to hear about all the ways you've met your real life bookish besties. Let's chat!

I'm sorry this post is just text and no pictures but I am honestly not in the mood now to do any photo editing or making pretty header images sooooo this is what you get. It's the new Sophia who's stressing less about blogging and is instead just posting random stuff. Wheee!