What are you reading?

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November 5, 2012 by chriszumtobel

Today, as I was waiting for the train in Portland, a man sat down beside me.  He seemed like a cool guy, he had a bike and a well trimmed beard.

I glanced up at him over the top of my Bukowski novel.  He was messing around with a bag that he had stuffed inside of another bag, making more noise than i would like but nothing I couldn’t handle.  I continued reading.

A few minutes later, he got quiet.  I looked up again to see that he was reading a book.  I don’t know what the common etiquette is as far as looking over people’s shoulders to find out what book they are reading is concerned… all I know is that I always do it.

“You’re reading Auster!” I said, “he’s so weird but I love him.  Is that the new York trilogy?”

He seemed surprised, I had sort of butted in… “Yea a friend recommended it to me a while ago and I’m just now getting started.”

“I found Auster a little while ago and have read a ton of him since. His stuff is awesome.”

“Same with Bukowski,” he said.  And we both resumed our reading.

That is why I love Portland. And that is why I love reading.  And people.  It was exciting, just to have something in common with a complete stranger.  Something to be excited about.  All because we each had something to read.

It made me think though.  Wouldn’t it be cool to know what he thought of the book?  To hear if he liked it? If he could recommend something else for me to read.

I wish I had a website and business card of a community of readers.  I guess I have my blog and the WordPress blogs but I didn’t want to just refer him to my blog.  Or ask if he had one.

It’s exciting to meet people reading things you like and I wish I had a way of communicating with them better.  Or that it was more commonplace to trade emails just because you are reading the same book.

Its just nice to talk to people and especially nice to talk to people about great books.

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