Jessie: In New Hampshire where the snow is still deep on the north side deck but the star magnolia is beginning to break bud!
On Saturday all the Wickeds attended the Kensington Cozy Con in Cambridge, MA. My husband traveled with me and we made a day of it taking the bus from NH to Boston’s South Station and then the T to Harvard Square and from there on foot to the main library branch in Cambridge. Even though I had never been there before, as soon as we pushed open the long glass doors I felt right at home.
Over the years I’ve noticed that most writers and an awful lot of devoted readers are the sort of people happy to spend long stretches of time in solitude. In the depths of winter or when a deadline draws near I am perfectly content to speak to no one but the members of my household for days on end. Since I’m the only one home during the day most often I find the majority of my conversations are the one-sided variety conducted with Sampson, the poodle puppy.
I think most people in the writing business have a similar ability to enjoy their own company or at least the company of the characters we spend our time making up. Readers seem to be just as enthusiastic about hanging out with imaginary people between the covers of their favorite books.
So it is always sort of magical to me to see how such people come together in groups because of the love of solitary pursuits. Libraries are magnets for such souls and as I looked around the Cambridge library it felt as if I understood something fundamental about everyone else who was there. That feeling only intensified as the convention got underway and the mystery writers and mystery readers gathered in a single location to laugh and chat and gush about favorite books, old and new.
The hallway and the auditorium filled with voices as old friends embraced, new friendships were formed and readers found new authors to grow to enjoy. Even the quietest and most reserved reached out with ease to connect once the topic turned to books. It is like that at every book event I attend. There is just something so special about feeling as though you have something so important to you in common with a stranger. Age, gender, political affiliation and ethnicity are irrelevant in the face of a shared love of books.
I hope all of you have places where you are gathering together, now and again, with other readers. It does the heart good to be at ease with people who just get you. Why not strike up a conversation with another patron at your local library or bookstore, chime in on Goodreads or BookBub or join a book club?
And speaking of book clubs, I’d absolutely love it if you wanted to attend the Wickeds Book Club Facebook Event tomorrow evening at 8pm ET with Barb Ross and me! We will be discussing Murder in an English Village and even if you haven’t read the book the questions will be ones that make it possible for everyone to add to the conversation. We would be delighted to hear what you have to say!
Readers, what is your favorite way to socialize? Do you feel at home wherever books are the focus?