Shelby Says: The social aspect of anti-social activities

It’s no surprise that I’ve always been an avid reader. Even as a child, I was rarely without a book. I got in trouble for reading in English class once, no joke.
She was not my favorite teacher. But it didn’t discourage me from always having a book with me.
And growing up, reading was always looked at as an anti-social activity. It wasn’t unusual for me to curl up with a book in a corner at school or after school in the theater during play practices. Even during recess I liked sitting on the blacktop against a wall so I could read instead of fighting other kids for a turn on the swings. It could have been because I’m an only child, but I was perfectly comfortable being by myself.
But as an adult, I’ve noticed that when I have a book with me, I have more conversations.
This isn’t a bad thing, I love talking about books.
When I have a book with me, I get asked how I like it, what it’s about, and if I recommend it. I’ve been approached in multiple book stores by other bookish people for recommendations, and even out in public by people who know me.
Just last week I was selling my own books at a vendor event and reading a different book (I’ve already read my own many times over). Someone I know was walking by, noticed the book in my hands, “They Both Die at the End” by Adam Silvera, and said she had that book but had yet to read it.
I’m happy to report that I finished that book around six hours after starting it, and I enjoyed it. And I enjoyed the conversation we had about books at the event.
Finishing that book also brought me up to 11 books read so far this year, which is an accomplishment for me as I only read 19 new books last year. I did reread a lot last year as well.
I find that as an adult, having a book with me gives an easy conversation topic to other people who love reading. It shows a common interest and a way to connect with others.
The same thing I’ve found happens with other activities that used to be looked at as anti-social, such as video games.
I’ve also always enjoyed video games and computer games. As a kid, that meant sitting at a computer or in my room playing games that were single player.
As an adult, I jump on a voice call with my friends and we all play video games, either together or separate. Sometimes I’m just sitting at my kitchen table building a puzzle while they play video games, but we’re still all talking and enjoying each other’s company over the phone.
I think one of the best things about adulthood is getting to know people with common interests. That we can take these activities that used to be seen as anti-social and turn them into a social activity.

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