|Pick up a book once in a while...|
Afterwards, I thought about how rare it is that books figure into these conversations. Why is that? Are there just too many books so it's rare to find people who read the same books as you do? If I were at a party where most people had read something very popular (like Twilight or 50 Shades), would a conversation develop around these books? Or do they lack the complexity necessary to make an interesting conversation? (Or perhaps people would be embarrassed to admit that they'd read them?) It seems to me that books are better suited for a conversation between two people or in a forced setting (like a book club).
It's depressing, actually, because since I read all the time, I rarely have the chance to talk about a specific work I am reading or have recently read. I will occasionally have the chance to talk with someone about a writer whose work I admire, but it rarely gets very in-depth. And I'd say that my social circle reads more than the average person does (since I work in the book world but also since so many of my friends are writers, artists or those who work in the arts). The rare exception is when I lend a book to someone I know and we discuss it when they give it back (and this frequently centers around graphic novels, for some reason, since typically people won't take 2 months to read a graphic novel).
Movies, too, operate in this way like books do: if someone is interested in indie or foreign movies, there are so many that it's not likely we will run into someone who has recently seen a movie we have. And if one is into huge blockbusters that many people see, there is little in it to discuss since these movies are so rarely complex.
So that leaves TV. I don't mind this wave of TV that has been sweeping through North America the last 10 years or so. Certain TV shows have become the new water cooler topics since it's "good" popular culture. Still, being a book lover and promoter, I wish that element were present, too...