What-are-you-reading?I’m flying up to New York City, stuck, as usual, waiting, as usual, on a delayed flight due to weather, as usual. After a few moments privately grousing over how travel just isn’t as fun as it used to be, I decide I’d better be more practical and make good use of my time to come up with the next week of blog posts.

And as we’re prone to do in airports (writers most of all) I start people-watching. More specifically, I start watching for what folks are reading. Sadly, there don’t seem to be many travelers who just carry a book anymore. (Remember those days… when your paper ticket served as a bookmark and that’s all you bothered to bring on the plane because back then they didn’t charge you 10% more to check your bag?) But I digress.

I’m not seeing any book covers because everyone coming off the plane has their reading material tucked into a sexy briefcase or space-age backpack. And that’s if it’s a book at all, what with all the titles hiding behind clever Kindle or iPad or smart phone screens.

I turn to focus on the sea of passengers waiting in the endless row of connected blue padded chairs. A few, like me, are clicking away at their keyboards. But more are reading those smart devices. And just when I’m about to lean over to my neighbor and ask, “Hey, what are you reading?” it happens: The guy behind me asks his neighbor the same question.

Ah, the serendipitous thrill of hearing those four wonderful words: What Are You Reading? I long for them to replace the dreary, “How about this weather?” And I warm to every person that asks the question… even moreso when they’re moved enough by the answer to click through on their own happy reading device and buy the recommendation their neighbor just offered up…

So here’s one way we can all embrace this brave new world — Ask that nearby stranger at the airport, in the park, in the food court – What Are You Reading? And be sure to share your favorite book, too – It may likely be your own!


ShariStauch Five Tips to Start a Thriving Writers GroupCreator of 80 viagra viagra and love source url thesis statement for everyday use alice walker https://www.dimensionsdance.org/pack/4365-can-viagra-hurt-you.html research paper outline form see url procedure for research paper click here click here https://pittsburghgreenstory.com/newyork/phthisis-bulbi-pronunciation/15/ enter https://chicagocounseling.org/5907-academic-editing-service/ conclusion thesis statement canadian pharamacy ampicillin history development christmas wrapping paper rolls sale https://pacificainexile.org/students/paper-towns-summary-part-1/10/ buy paper dolls clothing philippines http://kerulos.org/3457-levitra-effectiveness-reviews/ fun homework go site custom law essays uk go to site https://creativephl.org/pills/valtrex-order-in-canada/33/ https://www.go-gba.org/5453-environment-and-pollution-essay/ purchase speeches online physical therapy research papers http://wnpv1440.com/teacher/thesis-statement-rules/33/ best resume writing services in india Where Writers Win, Shari Stauch has been involved in publishing, marketing and PR for 30 years. She is also the principal author of the WWW blog, and speaks at conferences around the country. The Where Writers Win team’s newest collaboration is The Winner Circle – vetted book review directories, book clubs and other cultivated resources for emerging authors.

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13 thoughts on ““What Are You Reading?” Starts Reader Conversations

  • August 17, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    This post is so timely. I’ll be travelling soon, and can’t wait for someone asks me what I’m reading. I’ll be reading an erotic novel in preparation for interviewing the author. How many shades of red do you think the inquirer will turn? Will they clam up in shock or take the opportunity to ask me to expand on the contents?
    Either way, there’s fun ahead.

    • August 17, 2013 at 2:45 pm

      Too funny, Flora! Guess it depends on if they’re reading 50 Shades of Grey… or red πŸ™‚

  • August 17, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    GREAT post! I’ve been traveling a LOT these last two years and am totally guilty of people-watching, mentally writing travel poetry or just travel metaphors in the process. I really should bring my books along to promote them and see what happens. Would it be tacky to leave them in the airplane restrooms? πŸ™‚

    • August 17, 2013 at 2:00 pm

      LOL… better in the lounges, perhaps – nowadays all the plane restrooms have those overzealous attendants throwing things away and handing you paper towels and mints to get tips πŸ™‚ We have had clients cleverly stick their bookmarks into books in similar genres in bookstores, though – which is kinda’ fun… imagine the mileage (pardon the pun) in an airport bookstore!

  • August 17, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    Shari, your post reminds me of the time in 1969 when I was returning from a vacation in the British Isles and asked a woman across the aisle how she liked the book she was reading. I had seen the cover and knew it was the 1967 historical fiction novel, Christy, by Catherine Marshall that I had previously read. She was enjoying it, too. We then began a conversation. We soon learned that we each belonged to the same church in Kansas City, Missouri. She suggested I get my ticket changed to continue on the same flight as hers from New York to Kansas City after a layover, saving me a plane change and a stop in Chicago.

    That happened on a Sunday afternoon. In our church we observed, during each worship service, a brief time called The Ritual of Friendship when members were encouraged to reach out and greet a visitor or someone else new to them. I submitted a story to the pastor about my encounter with another Second Presbyterian Church member. In the following week’s newsletter it appeared with the title, “Ritual of Friendship at 10,000 Feet.”

    • August 17, 2013 at 2:02 pm

      That’s a great story!!! Now, in the fictional version, it would’ve been a man… you’d have dated as a result, gotten married, invited the book author to your wedding and all lived happily ever after in the resulting film πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing…

    • August 17, 2013 at 2:26 pm

      Hi Barbara,

      This is a beautiful story. Congratulations on your trust and willingness to change your travel plans so you could have this amazing experience. Also, congratulations on sharing the story in your church newsletter and now here on this blog. That enables a wider audience to be inspired by it. Thanks.

  • August 15, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    Fabulous topic! A few years ago, a friend of mine was carrying my book on a plane. She told me that several people asked her what she was reading and she was able to show them, tell them, and offer a short verbal review. Since then, I tell every author I know… get a friend to carry your book on a plane! One gal even left my book in the library on a cruise ship! Intentionally, of course!

    • August 15, 2013 at 12:30 pm

      Ooh, what a great idea! Could leave books everywhere!!! Like those books they put the travel pages into to see how far they travel around the world…

  • August 15, 2013 at 11:51 am


    As a former flight attendant and presently a publicist for authors your article
    made me feel whimsically nostalgic. The wonder years of all things paper!

    It’s comforting to hold a book – or an airline ticket for that matter, because
    every boarding pass is like a haiku of adventure ; every three letter word destination (LGA-CHS) has a backstory.

    Sometimes a book can be used as defense. Like when you sit beside a less than interesting
    person. You pull your book up close in an attempt to block their vacuous gaze. On the flip side
    a book has served as the springboard to lasting friendships, turning complete strangers stuck on a tarmac into grateful travelers where books were the bond.

    An airport is a cosmos of curiosity. Where are you going? Who are you visiting?
    Where are you from? What are YOU reading? Time has a different feel to it.
    Of urgency and intensity.

    The people at an airport ARE the story. Who says flying isn’t fun!!!?

    • August 15, 2013 at 12:21 pm

      Awww… lovely words, Lynda and thanks for sharing this with us. Yes, in fact have shared many a book story with flight attendants as well – and they are QUITE the readers! Continued success and I’ll be flying back Friday, looking for more readers in all the right places πŸ™‚

  • August 15, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Loved this idea! “What are you reading” can lead to a much more interesting conversation than “the weather”…

    • August 15, 2013 at 11:34 am

      Thanks, Katy and yes, help us spread the word! I’m thinking giant billboards, like “Drink Milk”…. Wee!

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