Friday, March 20, 2009

TGIF: Weekly Meme Fun

This week's Musings Monday question:

We were all warned as children to 'never talk to strangers', but how do you feel about book-talk with random people? When you see people reading, do you ask what it is? Do you talk to people in the book store or the library? Why or why not? What do you do if people talk to you? (question courtesy of Dena)
"Excuse me. Pardon me. Oh! I'm sorry. Excuse me. Ouch! Pardon me."

It was July 20, 2007. Barnes and Noble was crowded with people buzzing about the midnight release. It wouldn't be long now! Friends and families were gathered together for the event; strangers became instant friends. We all had something in common: our love for Harry Potter. At a moment like that, it was impossible not to talk to someone I didn't know.

In most instances, I tend not to approach strangers while they are reading. I do attempt to take a peek at the title of the book, sometimes straining in an unusual direction in hopes of satisfying my curiosity. I cannot help myself. While part of my unwillingness to push myself on a stranger I see reading has to do with shyness, a bigger part has to do with the fact that it might come across as rude. Not everyone wants to be interrupted while reading. Just this afternoon, in fact, I had reached an intense scene in my book when a coworker wandered into the breakroom. "Please leave me alone; please leave me alone," I silently begged. Fortunately for both of us she did just that.

I generally do not mind if someone I do not know strikes up a conversation about books with me. It has happened on occasion as I browse through a bookstore. Maybe someone is trying to decide on a book and is wondering out loud if it would be worth it (okay, so maybe she wasn't asking me directly, but that's just a technicality) or perhaps he notices a book in my hand which he read and loved--or hated.

It is not very often I find myself reading in a public place where strangers have asked me about the book I am reading. And even though there are those moments when I would rather not be interrupted, more often than not, I wouldn't mind at all. So, the next time you happen to see me with my nose in a book, do take time to stop and say hello.

For this week's Mailbox Monday on Friday, I have one book to report.

Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews

Suggested by Janet:

How about, “What’s the worst ‘best’ book you’ve ever read — the one everyone says is so great, but you can’t figure out why?”

I can still remember holding it in my hands. I was nestled under Grandma's afghan with a dog snuggled up in the crook of my legs and a cat curled up on my lap. I was excited and anxious. I had an entire afternoon of reading ahead of me, and I could not wait to dive in and see where my book would take me.

Words filled the pages, black ink on off white paper. I was prepared for the images to form in my head. Only, something was wrong. Something terrible was happening. The book was silent. It was not speaking to me. Maybe I could find an old episode of Law and Order to watch on television. It always seems to be playing somewhere. Or I could work on that crossword puzzle that had me stumped. I found myself dozing off to sleep before I knew it, waking with a start when my dog jumped down off the couch to bark at the postal carrier who had just dropped the mail in the mailbox.

Oh yes. The worst "best" book. The one everyone said I should read. The one almost everyone loved. It is too bad I cannot remember the title.

1. Why do we have to sometimes stop reading at the best part of a book?

2. Anya curling up on my chest and arms while I sit at my computer is now a habit.

3. I have to figure out a way to make sure the thief doesn't steal anymore of my mail (namely those packages the UPS delivery person and postal carrier leave on my porch while I am hard at work).

4. I had never heard the phrase "the worm has turned" before today, and it is probably not one I will remember tomorrow.

5. I will figure out this mess and fix it the way I always do.

6. How was I to know he would be waiting right outside the door?


  1. Mail thief? Yikes! How awful.

    Have a great weekend!

  2. I am that same way when I am in the middle of a good part and someone walks in the room...I just keep hoping they will leave me alone until I am at a stopping point :) Good luck catching your mail thief!

  3. I'm jealous you got Show No Fear and I love your BTT!

  4. Can you ask the Post Office to hold those packages?

    Thanks for fixing the typo in #6!

  5. I try not to intrupt anyone when they're reading but whenever I find them looking at the books with that undecided look on their face or if they're holding one I've read before, I can't help myself!

  6. I love your BTT answer, but I can't decide whether you're being nice and trying no to insult a particular book, or if you disliked the book SO much that you've repressed the memory!

    Mail thievery? That's no fun. We had a couple of packages stolen from the front porch at our old place - so far, it hasn't happened since we moved.

    Hope you have a good weekend, Wendy, whatever your plans are (since you didn't post your answers to #7) :-)!

  7. A mail thief? I hope that stops soon. Geesh!

    I don't mind talking to strangers, but I try to be sensitive to whether or not I think they would want to talk to me. I'm with you ... I don't interrupt people when they are reading, but I've been known to crane my neck to see what they are reading.

    Have a great weekend!

  8. Oh no that's horrible having a mail thief! Hope the post office can help out. I hope nothing super important has been lost. Sending you a hug and good thoughts for the weekend!

  9. Thank you for stopping by the mailbox this week. Enjoy your books!

  10. Oh my! I haven't read any Perri O'Shaughnessy in a while. I hope you enjoy it.

  11. Mail thief? OMG! My sister in Sydney had the same problem too. Her courier packages (usually containing her chick lits) go missing. She had no choice but to have them delivered to her office address.

    I don't mind people talking to me when I'm reading a book but I usually preferred to be left alone. Especially my precious mornings with my coffee...

  12. Yvonne - It's very frustrating. :-(

    Samantha - It happens when I'm at home too--almost never fails that my husband will walk in the room and ask a question or the dog will decide to demand attention and won't take no for an answer. LOL

    Melissa - It may just be my first O'Shaughnessy book! :-)

    Janet - It would only work for the packages that come through the post office if I did that. Whoever is stealing my mail is also taking the UPS packages and the post office won't accept those or Fed-Ex packages.

    Jen - It is hard to resist sometimes. :-)

    Avis - Thank you!

  13. Florinda - Ha ha! Maybe it's a little of both. ;-)

    We've had this happen off and on over the years, but nothing to the extent its gotten to recently. I heard mail theft is especially high right now because of the economy. Regardless, I've been considering my options and am seriously thinking of getting a mailbox at the local UPS Store. It's more expensive than a P.O. Box, but at least they accept packages from other delivery sources.

    I hope you have a good weekend too!

    Terri - I'm going to see what I can do on my end to stop it, at least. It's very frustrating.

    I just can't help trying to see what others are reading. :-)

    I hope you have a great weekend too!

    Iliana - I don't think the post office will be of much help. Since the thievery extends to other delivery services as well, they won't be able to do much. Even then, the last time we approached the postal service about mail theft, they couldn't be bothered. It really left a sour taste in my mouth. I'm still kind of bitter about it, can you tell? LOL

    I appreciate the good thoughts and hugs. They are very much appreciated!

    Marcia - I always enjoy visiting your blog, Marcia. :-)

    Kathy - I hope so too! I've always wanted to read something by O'Shaughnessy.

    Alice - I guess there are bound to be thieves that read too. :-) I wish having my mail sent to my work address was an option for me. It would make things so much simpler. Unfortunately, my company has very strict mail policies (not to mention they go through all the mail).

    There should be a law against people interrupting anyone too early in the morning. :-)

  14. As always, you crack me up. Your description of the 'best worst' is brilliant.

    Hey, if you seriously have a thief, you can ask the carriers not to leave packages on your porch. Perhaps a neighbor would accept them for you? Or could you get them dropped off at work? Or, maybe mount a webcam some place where it can be seen...

    On a brighter (I hope) note, I've given you an award. Please stop around and pick it up when you get a chance.


  15. I had to laugh when you stated how you try to see what the title is that someone is reading by straining your neck in unusual directions...I do that too. It is the curiosity factor totally. I want to know if they're reading something that I read or maybe that is a book I need to read. I can't believe someone would be so bold as to come up to your front porch and steal your packages!!! That is so wrong.... I hope your enjoying a beautiful weekend!!

  16. I've just awarded you a sisterhood award! Come on over...

  17. Like you mention in the Friday Fill-in, I hate when I have to stop reading at the best part, too! In terms of reading at lunch, sometimes I just suck it up and read at my desk so I can just read (although I know it is anti-social). However, I sometimes just can't help ask a stranger what they are reading. I have to know what EVERYONE is reading! :)

  18. Happy Sunday! I've given you an award today at A Novel Menagerie.

  19. One of my most delightful conversations took place a few months before I left for Korea. I went into Barnes and Noble to find Kitchen Confidential. I wasn't exactly sure where it was so I asked the clerk. She took me over to the cooking section. A woman was sprawled in the aisle reading and when she heard the clerk murmuring "Kitchen Confidential.." and saw her scanning, she got up, plucked the book from the shelf and handed it to me and said "You must buy this's wonderful." I said I planned to, that I'd heard good things. "It's great," she assured me. I asked her what she was reading...

  20. This is a great post! I always enjoy coming here. Your writing is excellent and entertaining! I especially loved your essay on the worst "best" book. That has happened to me, too, and your descriptions are so well drawn!

  21. Hi!

    I gave you The Sisterhood Award

  22. CJ - Thank you! It was fun coming up with a response for that question. Thank you too for the award!

    We have talked with the post office and UPS about where to leave the packages, but it hasn't done much good. It could be because there are different people doing deliveries each time.

    I'm not sure I would want to mount a webcam outside in plain view. Not unless I am willing to replace it every time it disappears, which it very likely would in this neighborhood.

    Staci - Exactly! You never know when a title will catch your eye that you haven't come across before. :-)

    It doesn't help that I live on a busy street. :-( It makes my house an easy target.

    I hope you have a great weekend too, Staci!

    Sandy - Thank you so much!

    Trish - I wish I could read at my desk without interruption. I would do that every day if that were possible! Instead, I go off to my car or pray the breakroom is quiet or find an empty office to camp in for half an hour.

    Sheri - Thank you, Sheri. That is so kind of you!

    Bybee - How neat! I like it when situations like that present themselves. :-)

    Linda - Thank you, Linda!

    Yvonne - Thanks, Yvonne!

  23. Yikes! A mail thief! What if he/she has stolen something important?!

    I hope you had a great weekend, Wendy! BTW, I've passed you an award. :)

  24. Melody - I worry about that too! I hope you have a wonderful week, Melody! Thank you for the award!

  25. That's awful that you've had some parcels stolen! It makes me thankful for the efficient Japanese postal system.
    I love your answer for BTT! :)

  26. Nat - It's been going on for awhile, but I hoped it was just misplaced mail. When I started tracking packages and saw they'd been delivered (at least on the computer) and yet they weren't there when I got home from work, I knew there was a bigger problem. I'm using a private mail box now. I'd been thinking of doing it for awhile now and this was the final straw.


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