We were checking out book covers to see which ones we liked. We started on the internet, until one of us said, “Why don’t we find a bookshop and check them out on there.”
So off we go into town*, to Minotaur, which carries a large range of speculative fiction.
We’re looking at books, discussing individual covers, when the young man at the shelf beside us asks if we’re looking for something in particular and if he could help.
Most of the science fiction and fantasy readers we know are like that. Always happy to talk about books and to offer recommendations.
“We’re just looking at covers,” we say, and explain why.
That starts a conversation about covers. He likes striking covers, preferably without people. After that we move on to what makes him buy a book. Occasionally it’s the cover, but more often it’s the title. We go from there to recommending books for each other, and then move on to world building. Magic systems that work, then valid alien/fantasy races. We finish up discussing the aliens on the computer game, Mass Effect.
The three of us spent an hour discussing it all.
Spec fiction readers are great.
* Technically, ‘town’ is the city of Melbourne. I only realised a few months ago that my workmates thought I was strange whenever I said I was going into town (I live and work in the suburbs) because they go into the ‘city’. Old habits are ingrained. Even though I’ve spent more of my life now in a big city than I have in the country, it’s obvious from my choice of words that I wasn’t initially from a city.