Our Reading Lives

Why I’m Obsessed with Book Readings

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I went to three book readings this past week on three consecutive nights.

Before this, I had maybe been to three book readings in my life. Liar, liar, my pants are on fire, I’m exaggerating for dramatic effect. It was probably more like six or seven readings. But still. I don’t haunt book readings like Penny Lane stalks Stillwater. I’ve never been a going-to-book-readings band-aid.

It’s a perfect storm of factors that’s turned me into a book readings fan. Factor one: there are no good movies out. None. Between Oz the Great and Powerful, Jack the Giant Slayer, Identity Thief, Dead Man Down, Snitch, 21 and Over, and Safe Haven I’m choosing… none of the movies. Factor two is I’ve been doing a decent job of keeping up with new literary fiction releases, so at the bookstores I frequent I’m seeing readings for books I’ve actually heard of and sometimes (le gasp!) have actually already read. Factor three is it’s light ’til later and the weather in LA has been spring-perfect and I don’t want to go home right after work. Factor four is that I completely forgot (or maybe I never knew) that book readings make for the RADDEST outings.

Let’s break it down. Readings usually happen in the 7-8 PM range on weekday nights or mid-late afternoon on weekend days. They’re going to last anywhere from 20-40 minutes. Which means you can go by yourself and not feel like a nerd, because EVERYONE can hang out by themselves for 20-40 minutes.

You can also go with a friend, and it’s a short and sweet low-pressure date. Check it, a few minutes of catch up before the reading, a few minutes of wrap-up after, and you’re done! If you want to get drinks or dinner after, you can, but the main event is going to get you in and out in an hour. It’s like getting together for coffee. But cultural. Cultural coffee, you guys!

Also, a reading would make, I think, a really cute 3rd, 4th, or 5th date. Think about it–you buy the book/get it signed, and tell your date you’ll lend it to him after you’re finished reading. If he’s a keeper, he’ll tell you that at the next reading HE’LL buy the book and lend it to you. Then you get married and have babies. Boom, I just planned out your life.

You guys, these days I’m in book readings to win book readings. I don’t think I’ll be going to three a week for the rest of my life, but am one hundred percent committed to going to more readings more frequently. Think about it, you get to spend time in a bookstore, you get to support a much-loved author or take a low-risk gamble discovering someone new, all your friends think you are just such a class act inviting them to a book reading instead of inviting them to a table at Starbucks. How many wins is that? Four, five, infinity?

Oh, and if you want a question to ask for the talk-back, you can totally steal my go-to’s: “What are your all-time favorite books?” and “What are the last great books you read?” Thanks to these questions my library queue has increased by, like, nineteen books.

Any other going-to-readings nerds out there?