• David Unger, PhD

Can I Buy You a Book?



I read on a friend’s Facebook page that if people in bars buy drinks for one another, why can’t people in bookstores buy books for one another. Some think your chances of getting lucky in a bookstore might exceed your chances in a bar. It is an interesting norm that has evolved over the years that people offer to buy another person a drink as an opening gesture towards exploring the possibility of ...


It is not easy to reach out to a stranger and say you would like to talk with them and see what happens. Many a person has seen someone that interested them and not had the courage to reach out. I have written about my own disappointment in myself when I would not seize the opportunity to introduce myself to someone. Over time I discovered that when I rejected myself and did not allow myself to take a step forward with someone that interested me, that rejection of myself hurt more than if the other person has just told me to go away. Neither rejection feels good, but better them than me.


Sure there are times I shy away from reaching out to someone, but my batting average has gone up. It still is not easy to open myself up to someone else who may or may not appreciate the opportunity. Which I guess is partly why people take these chances in a bar when they may have imbibed some liquid courage.


But, what if you wanted to reach out to someone in another place? A place where maybe people weren’t drinking. A place like a bookstore. Would it be okay to go up to someone who was browsing and say: “Can I buy you a book?” It would be a bit more expensive than a drink, so you might be more discriminatory. Especially since you may not be operating with that liquid courage. You would have to muster up sufficient interest and courage to walk over to someone and offer to buy them a book and hope they didn't tell the manager to ask you to leave.


I gather there is a bit of a movement to encourage people to accept this new social norm. I imagine if someone came up to you and asked if they could buy you a book, you might be a bit freaked out. But if it became more of a thing, than bookstores would be a place where someone could more easily meet someone who might have the same literary interests.


And, once bookstores become a more socially interactive place there is no telling what might be next. "Could I buy you something from the frozen food aisle? There is a gelato I am particularly fond of..."

#Bookstores #Meeting #Drinks

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