I spent over three hours tonight catching up with a friend on old TV shows, books, and podcasts. We talked about our experiences with others dealing with our mixed ethnicities/backgrounds and talked about different religions and how they view the world. I spent much longer on the Zoom chat than I thought I would, but I think it’s because I just found the conversation very stimulating. It actually made me think, particularly about topics and issues I don’t constantly think about day to day. Those are the types of conversations that seem to be lacking in my usual day-to-day, whether that’s with friends, family, or colleagues. I rarely hear anything that provokes me to stop and think, to really dig into how I feel about something.
But I think, even on a more basic level, it’s really refreshing and fun just to talk about books we’ve read, why we love them, and what they mean to us. Too often, and maybe it’s partly due to the context in which we are discussing, but when people talk about books, all that is really said is whether the person liked or didn’t like the book, whether they would or would not recommend it. There’s no conversation around what the actual plot line is in more than sentence. There’s no talk about the meaning of the characters, the nuance of the characters themselves and their personalities. There’s no depth in the discussion, if you even want to call it a discussion. I hate it when friends try to give me book recommendations, and all they do is say they liked the book, think I would enjoy it, and just leave me with the title. In many of these cases, I actually did read the book and hated it. Many of these books were books I never even finished because I found them so unbearably insipid. One of them is sitting in my Kindle, 43 percent finished, but will likely never get finished because so many other books are far more interesting to me.
I now have two friends I’ve met in the last few years who are both avid readers and have similar tastes in books that I do, so it’s been fun to talk about these works with them and see what gets them going. These are the types of people I need in my life.