Do you have real life bookish friends?

17/08/2018 Discussions, Reading 24

Do you have real life bookish friends?

Books are a huge part of my life, and always have been, so it was strange to come to the realisation recently that I don’t actually have many friends in real life who also like reading. In fact I only actually have one bookish friend who I know in real life…all the other bookworms I know are people I’ve met online, specifically from being a part of the book blogging world.

My only real-life bookish friend is one of my very best friends though, which is how I know how awesome it is to have books in common with someone. Every time we get together we do all the usual catching up on each other’s lives, etc., and that always involves what we’ve both been reading. I love getting to have really long, in-depth discussions with someone about books, not to mention getting awesome recommendations!

And let’s face it: book shopping with a fellow bookworm is the absolute best! I mean, last time my friend and I went shopping we were in Waterstones for the best part of two hours, just browsing and talking books, and it was amazing!

However, for the most part, whilst all my friends and acquaintances are familiar with my love of books, it’s like my bookish life is a separate thing. The only person I talk to in detail about books is my lovely boyfriend, and that’s just because that’s what our relationship is like: we both have different interests, but we share them with each other. I love books, and he loves games, so we’re nerds, just in different ways.

On the whole though, I don’t feel like I get to ramble about books enough in real life! This is probably the reason why book blogging was such an amazing thing for me when I started it, as I suddenly had access to this huge, amazing community of bookish people. I think it can be hard to meet fellow bookworms in real life, seen as it’s such a solitary hobby, so being able to talk about books online is an amazing thing!

So what about you? Do you know many bookish people in real life, or are most of your bookish friends online? How do you feel talking about books differs in person, compared to online? 

24 Responses to “Do you have real life bookish friends?”

  1. Lory @ Emerald City Book Review

    This is a good question – I definitely have friends who like books, but I tend not to talk in person with them about literature. I find the online, written conversation better for sorting out my thoughts and sharing them.

    I’ve tried book clubs but I usually find the discussion unsatisfying. It generally comes down to personal likes and dislikes or veers off into unrelated chat, and we never go deeper. With blogging there’s time to consider and come up with some more interesting responses.

    I’m glad I have bookish friends who understand and appreciate my obsession though. Browsing in a bookstore is a nice way to connect to them, too.

    • Laura

      I definitely find it easier to express my thoughts about books in writing as well, so I know what you mean! That’s another great thing about blogging – getting to talk about books, but having the time to properly formulate what you’re trying to say 🙂
      I’ve thought about trying book clubs myself, but always suspected it would be as you said, and would go off into unrelated chat. Plus I tend to find in group situations where everyone is talking opinions, there often tends to be one person with very strong opinions who takes over! I guess it would depend on the group.
      I’m glad you have some bookish friends though! 🙂

  2. Aj @ Read All The Things!

    I don’t have any bookish friends. Most of the people in my real life don’t read books at all. I’ve considered joining an in-person book club but that hasn’t happened yet. I’m not sure if there are even any around here.

    • Laura

      That’s a shame that you don’t know any bookish people in real life. I’ve thought about trying book clubs myself, but I’m always a bit unsure what they would be like, and if it would be any good.

  3. Elley @ Elley the Book Otter

    I have many bookish friends, though we don’t always have the same taste in books. I come from a family that reads, and growing up my dad always had a western in his hands and Mom always had a romance novel. Now they both seem to gravitate towards mysteries/thrillers, which is nice because they share books. My brother is a voracious reader and some of our sci-fi/fantasy interests overlap, but he’s much more into sci-fi and I think thrillers/horror while I go more toward sci-fi/fantasy and romance. I have a weirdly large number of friends from high school who got their MLS degree and are now librarians, if that gives you an idea of how many bookish people I surround myself with, lol.

    I remember once in middle school, there was a “rule” about no reading at the table because lunchtime is for socializing. Friend A told Friend B “Hey! No reading at the table!” and Friend B said “But Elley is reading…” The response was “Yeah, well, she gets a special pass, she’s never not reading.” LOL

    I am lucky enough to have two BFFs who are readers, though one of them looks down her nose rather at my current love of romance novels. With her I mostly talk about fantasy or some sci-fi. My other BFF lives an hour and a half drive away but has really similar reading tastes, so we talk a LOT, but it’s mostly online over Facebook messenger and the like.

    My husband is also a reader, though not as voracious a reader as I am. He reads mostly Dragonlance books and the Wheel of Time series, and while I tried to get into them I thought they were boooooriiiiing. Still, sometimes I read a book that I know he’ll love, like Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game, and then I will throw it at his head (sometimes literally) and yell “READ THIS RIGHT NOW!” at him, and he does, and then we can talk about books together, which is pretty much the perfect romance, haha.

    • Laura

      Wow, your family sounds amazingly bookish! That must be so great to have so many people around you who love books as much as your do, even if your tastes are quite different 🙂
      And haha, yeah, I think when you know multiple librarians that means you must know a lot of bookish people! I don’t know a single librarian (although growing up I always wanted to be a librarian myself, alongside being an author!). And I love that you got a special pass for reading at the table from your friends! It’s good to know they clearly understand you! 🙂
      I’m glad you know so many bookish people! That must be so amazing (and being able to throw books at someone’s head and make them read it, so you can talk about it really does sound like the perfect romance! Haha) 🙂

  4. Malka @ Paper Procrastinators

    It’s funny because in one of my English classes my professor made us write about the personal impact literature had on you, and I wrote about how I make most of my friends through books! I have friends that aren’t bookish of course, but I’ve found that I tend to make friends with readers. But one of my favorite parts about being a part of the online bookish community is that it broadens the reading conversation. I find out about books that I wouldn’t have otherwise, and make friends with people who like different genres than me. I really like having both aspects. I wouldn’t change a thing about all my booksih friendships, in real life or otherwise.

    • Laura

      That’s so great that you’ve made so many friends through reading! There’s definitely advantages to both real life bookish friends and online bookish friends, so having a mix is nice 🙂
      The online community definitely is great for broadening the conversation though, and I think it’s so amazing that through blogging we can talk about books with people from all over the world, and discover so many new books, and try genres we might not have tried without a personal recommendation.

  5. Camilla @Reader in the Attic

    I definitely have at least three. But with one I’ve completetly different taste and budget condition, so we cannot always go to shop together. With another I’m kind of in the same situation and another again likes more the books i read too. But I tend to be a lot on “book twitter” mood when it comes to pick my read, and this friend is not.

    Yet, I can say that aside from these people, it happens that at the same time my bookish life get quite separated from the everyday one. And one part of me it’s okay like this. I appreciate having bookish people in real life but also I know that I read a lot in English and not everyone in my country does it. So it’s good to reach online to other people

    • Laura

      It’s great that you have a few bookish friends, although it’s a shame you can’t always shop together.
      I know what you mean though, about being OK with your bookish life being separate. Although I often wish I knew more bookish people in real life, in a way it’s also nice to have a part of my life that’s just mine, if that makes sense? And having few bookish friends in real life is partly what made me start blogging, so that’s one good thing that came out of it. It is good to reach other bookish people online! 🙂

  6. Nordie@writing about books

    When I lived in Ireland, I set up the local Dublin based group of “Bookcrossing” for the purely selfish reason that I wanted people to go drinking with, where I had at least one thing in common with (and it wasn’t work!). I left Ireland in 2006 and I believe the group are still going in one form or another.

    When I came back to the UK, it was logical to connect with the Birmingham version of the Dublin group, and we still meet on a regular basis. There are some “core” members (about 6 of us) and perhaps another 10 who make a semi regular appearances. We NEVER shop for books together (OK, some do, but that’s a different story). We follow each other on social media, tell each other off for buying yet more books, but are happy when those books then get shared around due to bookcrossing rules…

    • Laura

      Wow, that’s such an amazing idea, and I love that you set that up and it’s still going! I think the idea of going out for a drink with fellow bookish people, and sharing books around sounds like so much fun 🙂

  7. Angela

    My sister has really gotten into reading over the last few years, so I talk books with her quite a bit. I’m always recommending stuff to her, and she’s always bragging about all the books she’s gotten her library to buy from her recommendations!

    • Laura

      That’s so great that you have your sister to talk books with! And that’s so cool that she’s been getting the library to buy her recommendations 🙂

  8. ShootingStarsMag

    A lot of my friends LIKE to read, but they don’t necessarily do it a lot so I’m probably the only one in my “real life” who reads as much as I do, which does make blogging and being part of the book community online a wonderful thing. I can definitely talk about books more online than in person.


    • Laura

      It’s a shame you don’t know many bookish people in real life either, but being part of the online book community definitely is wonderful! 🙂

    • Laura

      I’m exactly the same! I really do need the online book community so I can ramble about books all the time! 🙂

  9. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    I don’t really have friends I talk books with. Like, I have friends who read, but they aren’t on the same level as me. I love talking books IRL, like I can chat books with my brother sometimes when it comes to sci-fi/fantasy which I love. And I can talk romance/UF with another friend sometimes but I don’t know anyone who reads as much and as widely as I do which sucks. I think sometimes when you’ve read the same books as folks it’s amazing to talk about them, it’s my absolute fave but for my everyday bookish needs chatting to other bloggers online is a must and I love that. They feed what I can’t always have with friends and family and I love that.

    • Laura

      It’s good that you have some people you can talk to about specific genres, but I know what you mean when you say they’re not quite on the same level. I think casual readers don’t always get quite as excitable about books as bookworms do, and when you read widely (which is something I do too) it can be hard to find books in common if they only read a specific sort. But as you say, that’s a gap that can be filled by the book blogging community, and I’m so grateful to have that! 🙂

  10. Kristina

    Not really.. I always had my godmother, though she prefer adult books, which isn’t quite my thing. Then when I was in high school I did shared a book in common with a friend – though she read mostly all in english and I couldn’t at the time; we also stopped talking like two years after graduating.

    I also have my mom but .. same as my godmother, though mom may pick a few things in my personal library, she don’t wanna talk about them very much.
    My relationship is also like this ! Though we are both gamers (slightly different games), he only reads mangas for the most part.. he do know how much I LOVE my books and so acts in such way that I can be happy (ie; take years in the bookshop but not telling me he’s bored xD) in return, i’d watch his favorite youtubers with him and ask questions about his animes and lifting weight.

    • Laura

      It’s nice to have people in your life who like reading, but it’s a shame when they don’t have the same taste as you, so you can’t really talk books with them.
      But I’m glad you have a relationship like that, where you can share your interests. My poor boyfriend has to do the long trips to the bookshop too, and pretend like he isn’t bored! 🙂

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