FOUR THINGS TO ASK A STRANGER (almost a parody)

Welcome to Mary Anne Radmacher's blog.

One way to get to know a person you've just met is to ask them to tell you about their favorite friends. It's said that a person essentially becomes an aggregate of the five people with whom they spend the most time.

There's another telling question to ask a stranger. It's all about a book.

1) Is there one book that you have re-read and will read again (and again)?
2) What is the most recent book that you've read and what stands out to you most?
3) What is the title of a book you recommend most often to friends?
4) What was the last book you read that made you so sad when it came to the end? (Because you wanted to keep on reading, not because the ending was sad!).

If the person you are just getting to know has never re-read a book, can't remember what stood out from the last book they read, doesn't recommend books to friends and has never felt sad to stop reading an excellent book...

I suggest that you stop conversing with them. And, perhaps, run. Kidding (not kidding). Perhaps you might consider striking up a conversation with someone else that you might want to get to know. AND start THAT conversation off by recommending a book you've recently read...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Jane Smiley said it well in her book...

13 Ways of Looking at the Novel....
"Many people, myself among them, feel better at the mere sight of a book."

regardless of reviews. regardless of the condition of the cover. regardless of the
work that has come before, or the books that are stacked under it or around it...
a book has a presence. it represents a new possibility: the relationship between
you the reader and the soul of the writer, captured there, on paper, via little
glyphs. the meaning you take from those symbols and marks is no longer
what the writer intended but what you, the reader, create for yourself.
so is the power of a book.

what world might you read yourself into today? what quality might invite you in
through the pages of a book? how might you embrace the heroic within yourself
inspired by marks on a page? what are you reading?

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