7 Rules for Bookstore Flirting

Bookstores are the easiest place to pick someone up. Think about it: a conversation topic is usually in the hand of the other person, people often browse quietly and alone (no need for shouting over music or wingmen), it's easy to pass yourself off as just being polite if the person seems disinterested in talking with you. A low pressure, casual atmosphere for even the shyest bookworm.

I dated a guy I met at a bookstore for years, we both were embarrassed to be caught with I Ching (him) and Thomas Friedman's The World is Flat (me) in hand. Somehow we got past the ordeal. I give a longer account of our run-in and other tips on conversations with heavy readers in my book Judging A Book By Its Lover (Harper Perennial, $14.99). Much of the book humorously explains how to fake like you've read any author, what one's favorite author says about their personality, and how to speak condescendingly about the most revered works of literature (a personal favorite section). Here's my insight to bookstore flirting: