This morning, yes, this first dark Monday morning after the clocks were moved back one hour, the sun was just rising as my bus stopped at the major transfer station near our home, and people rushed on to the bus. Morning is not a time I talk very much. A gentleman took the seat beside me. He had a book in his hand, Bk 12 of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time series. He noticed me staring at the book (he hadn't opened it yet) so I said, "I'm sorry, I was looking at the book because I read up to book 9 in this series, and I didn't realize Bk 12 was out now." And for the next ten minutes as our bus raced along the river drive into the heart of Ottawa, we discussed Robert Jordan, Isaac Asimov, Tanya Huff (he's read Enchanted Emporium, which I have sitting on my shelf to be read), Trudi Canavan (very good series he says, I haven't read it yet though I've had it from the library), and I mentioned Robin Hobb and Connie Willis, two of my favourite writers. My stop came first, and so I said goodbye, and as I jumped off the bus, I thought to myself, "I have no idea who you are, fellow bookworm, but that was a lovely conversation about books."
Now I do have to caution you, my Gentle Readers, that most of the time I don't talk to strangers! and especially not to strange men! but sometimes, books break down that wall of silence we all cast around ourselves as we make our way to and from work. This was a most unlooked for experience, as usually I have my nose in my book and I really am not looking to talk first thing in the morning. And truly, I was not looking for any conversation this morning, I just didn't want him to feel awkward with someone staring at the book he was holding.
So thank you, fellow bus-rider and bookreader, for an enjoyable conversation about books. And as for that stigma about reading books? What stigma? I feel so much privilege in being part of a society that welcomes anyone and everyone who delights in the written word.
It's still dark far too early in the afternoon now! I want that hour of daylight back!
I know I still have to do my roundup of books read for Carl's RIP 5 challenge. I did get my 10 books read, including - just finished yesterday - Phil Rickman's To Dream of the Dead, wonderfully atmospheric and moody and perfect for this time of year. So reviews coming shortly. We have just finished the annual two-birthdays-family visit-Hallowe'en rush at this time of year, on top of which everyone was sick with the cold virus going around Ottawa, so I am just now catching my breath. I hope you all had fun with the challenge, I've tried to visit as many of you, my Gentle Readers, as I could lately.