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6 Reasons Why Bookish Friends are the Best Friends

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Claire Handscombe


Claire Handscombe moved from Europe to DC in 2012, ostensibly to study for an MFA in Creative Writing, but actually – let’s be honest – because of an obsession with The West Wing. She is the author of Unscripted, a novel about a young woman with a celebrity crush and a determined plan, and the editor of Walk With Us: How The West Wing Changed Our Lives. She also hosts the Brit Lit Podcast, a fortnightly show of news and views from British books and publishing. Blog: the Brit Lit Blog. Twitter: @BookishClaire

One of the reasons I love working in a bookshop is that I get to be surrounded by books all day. And, perhaps more importantly for the extrovert that I am, I also get to be surrounded by bookish people all day – both my lovely colleagues and our fab customers. And when I’m making a new friend anywhere else, it’s always a delight when I discover they love books too. There’s lots of reasons why bookish friends are the best friends.

source: from Pixabay --

Endless Conversation

I find that conversation never runs dry with fellow bookworms – and it goes deeper more quickly than it might otherwise, particularly when the friendship is new and you’re still figuring out what you have in common. One minute you’re asking what someone has been reading, and the next you’re deep into a discussion of its themes, whether that’s friendship, death, or which Hogwarts house you’re in. And, if you need more conversation starters to get you going, you can pick up Lit Chat – Book Riot’s own deck of icebreaker cards that will have you talking not just about your current reads but about what you loved as a child, or what you think of screen adaptations, or whether you judge books by their covers.

Someone To Sit With, Quietly

It’s not just extroverts that can benefit from bookish friends. Sitting quietly on your sofa with your flatmate, each of you absorbed in your own fictional worlds, is one of the greatest joys. Or you can arrange a coffee date that involves minimal talking and yet provides companionship as you slurp your lattes and turn pages opposite each other.

Someone To Play Bookish Board Games With

The Venn Diagram intersection of books and board games is one of the places where I’m at my happiest. I definitely need more friends to join me in that centre – there are so many board games I want to try. Papercuts, for example, is a book-centred Cards Against Humanity, and I look at it wistfully most days that I’m in the shop – just not convinced that I know enough people who would find it fun. It turns out that even I need more bookish friends!

Someone To Borrow Books From

I am really, really bad at lending books. But I like borrowing them! And I’m always grateful to find people who are more generous than me in that department. It’s also fun to see what they’ve underlined and the notes they’ve written – it’s another way to get to know someone better.

Bo0kish Friends Give The Best Gifts!

I  may be bad at lending books, but I like to think I’m good at giving them – finding just the right thing for a friend according to their interests: Evvie Drake Starts Over for my NPR-loving friend who is also into baseball, Ordinary People for someone who really misses London. And it’s not just books, either – there’s so much book-adjacent good stuff that a book nerd will love, whether that’s a “go away I’m reading” mug, a cute enamel pin marking them out as a book lover, or endless book journals.

Someone To Go To Literary Events With

Book events are one of the easiest things to show up to alone – and not speak to anyone if you don’t want to! – but I find I’m more likely to actually leave the house and go to one if a friend is coming with me, especially if we combine it with a Happy Hour beforehand or, even better, dinner and a chance to discuss the event afterwards. As Piglet and Winnie the Pooh taught us, it’s so much friendlier with two.