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New friends, old books

Last week I went on a great big adventure and travelled the farthest west I’ve ever been in my whole life. Which is only as far as Colorado, but sometimes adventures can be done in baby steps, right? Not only is it a gorgeous state with absolutely beautiful weather (at least while I was there), but I was attending a wedding that was equally gorgeous and beautiful and all those other nice adjectives combined. I was a little nervous, though—I’ll admit it—since I didn’t know anyone else in attendance besides the bride and groom and wow that’s a whole lot of people to meet in unfamiliar territory.

Luckily, people love bonding over shared interests and passions and when they’re even the slightest bit obscure, well then that makes for excitable, easy friend-making. I’ll be honest, I don’t quite remember the start to the conversation, but when I heard someone talking about one of my favorite, but rarely referenced books, I couldn’t help but jump in uninvited to animatedly begin extolling its virtues. The book itself is unimportant, and I’ve definitely talked about it on this blog before, but I’ll divulge anyway lest you die in the frustration of not knowing. Dodie Smith’s I Capture the Castle is a well-enough known (I think) book, but continually under the radar. I never meet people who either have read or remember it, sadly.

However! This time I did! And from there, we all got to talking about various other books, books in general and then who knows what else. All I know is that it was the perfect icebreaker as I was left to my own devices at the time. There’s something really lovely about initiating a friendship (or acquaintanceship) over a love of a particular book. So much less dull than “so, what do you do?” or “oh, this is your first time to Colorado?” which can really get old after a while. Similar taste in literature, however, speaks to an entirely more personal, relatable aspect and you’ll either have a great person to bounce other interests and ideas off of…or someone with whom to engage in lively arguments with and both are pretty cool.

I even made another friend over liking another book, but I’ll admit that this other person was two and three quarters and the book was made almost entirely of pictures. And we both also had curly hair and were born in the same month and were wearing tulle skirts, so actually that was the best friend I made on the trip…

2 Responses to New friends, old books

  1. Katie Newingham says:

    Awe, so sweet. I like books, tulle skirts, and hanging out with little people, too. I’ll have to check out I Capture the Castle!

  2. Joelle says:

    I love I CAPTURE THE CASTLE. Years ago when I worked as a locker room attendant in a country club, one of the women gave me her copy when she finished reading it on the treadmill. I’d never heard of it, but it was newly re-issued had just been picked by Oprah for her club and had a blurb by JK Rowling on the cover. My husband loves this book, too. And the movie is pretty great.

    If you ever come out further west (BC, Canada!), let me know and we’ll talk about it over tea. We can even sit in on the counter with our feet in the sink, if you like. I just went and looked at my copy…now I might have to read it again.

    P.S. My husband and I bonded over books, as so many couples do, but we were recommending unfamiliar books and both found new literary loves as well as each other!

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