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Do You Have Bookstore Bravado?

Your couch keeps you comfortable. That’s kind of the essence, form, and function of it, right?

However, comfort is the antithesis of what it takes to get you up and out and socializing and dating. The saying “Life starts outside your comfort zone” is totally true.

If you enjoy sports, attend sporting events. If you enjoy the arts, attend arts & cultural events. Strike up conversations with individuals in ticket lines, coffee lines, grocery store lines, any lines! (I got hit on in line for the bathroom at a live music event once. It was a little odd but not a big deal. That line might be better for making friends than finding dates. Just saying.)

Anyway... Where to go and how to hunt is one of the first things I cover with my coaching clients when they’re first getting started with me.

A current client of mine loves the bookstore as the place to scope out potential singles. She likes to see what people are reading as a view to what makes them tick. (I love this philosophy!) I recently asked a different client, “What type of books do you like to read? What’s your genre?” It tells me a little about who they are and what they value. Whatever your answer is – that’s the first aisle in the book store you should be camping out in to try to meet like-minded types.

The second aisle of the book store you should be camping out in is the aisle that contains the subject that your “ideal boyfriend” or “ideal girlfriend” is in to. And it may not be the same aisle that you would naturally gravitate to. (If you’re not sure who or what qualities, exactly, constitutes your “ideal boyfriend” or “ideal girlfriend” I have an exercise for that! You’ll be flowing with the almighty forces of attraction and gravitation in no time!)

So, you’re perusing the book store . . . You know those cozy club chairs they provide for customers to curl up in as they sip their lattes and preview their purchases? Don’t sit in them. (I know, they're so tempting!) They tend to be positioned in nooks. Corners. Crannies. They're practically hidden! Nobody every approached and struck up a conversation with someone who was off in a corner in a club chair with a nose buried in a book. Stay in the aisle where your favorite form of fiction lives (or self-help, or sci-fi, or whatever).

Speak – if only briefly – to every person who spends more than a few seconds there. Don’t worry about whether (s)he’s married or single, young, middle-aged, or older, gay or straight. For now, you’re just exercising that dormant muscle called the “talking to strangers” muscle. It doesn’t matter whether (s)he’s attractive, intelligent, or your type. Just speak to them. Whether it’s to ask, “Have you read that one? I was wondering if it’s any good…” or offer an unsolicited opinion of “That author is amazing; I highly recommend that one!” you must make yourself break the ice.

The absolute worst-case scenario is that this puzzled stranger thinks you are exceptionally friendly. The best-case scenario is that a potential date thinks you are well-read and exceptionally friendly. If the conversation progresses in a natural, organic way, then viola! You’ve struck bookstore gold! If it doesn’t, then you’ll feel that much more confident and at ease saying something to the next person who heads down your aisle. And that’s a win as well.

Take it from me; it’s a low-risk way to flirt. Your odds are strongest on a weekend late afternoon or early evening since fellow readers will come strolling through feeling relaxed (they’re off work!) and ready for some leisure reading. Also, the moms and dads bringing their kids to the bookstore (and who therefore will have a higher chance of being married – or at least highly distracted by their offspring) usually go earlier during the day.

Plus, you have the perfect prop; if anyone you don’t want to talk to starts paying too much attention, you can busily engage yourself in the cover jacket of a best seller and pretend to be so intellectually engaged that you just can’t reciprocate their interest. ;)

Remember, the worst that can happen is someone thinks you’re more outgoing than you really are and you end up with a good book to read – which in turn will make you a better, more interesting conversationalist when you do land a date! It’s a no-fail!

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