When You’re a Book Person, You Do This


How to Spot a Book Person

It was a winter Saturday morning. But the weather was warm, no rain, no wind. A great day to sit outside and read a book.

But while waiting in a long line with other people?

Well, if you’re a book person, yes.

We readers spot other book people anywhere.

We are these people:

  •  A book is in our hands at the doctor’s office or post office line.
  • We don’t walk out the door without our eReader shoved in a purse or pocket.
  • A book is within arm’s reach of our bed or desk or nightstand.
  • We have many bookshelves, but not near enough.

I immediately spotted the lady in line with a book. I was drawn to her. We’d never met, but I knew I’d like her.

And because of her book, I knew I was about to learn much more about her.

Book Talk

I asked what she was reading, of course. It was Madame Bovary, a classic (and one I’ve never read).

I asked her if it was good.

She liked it so far. She was intentionally reading more classics this year. She had missed many while growing up. Lately she’d been sifting through book piles at thrift stores and yard sales and had gathered quite a collection of classic books.


She’d recently finished Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Great Expectations. We chatted about each (we both loved Uncle Tom’s Cabin but I’ve not yet braved Great Expectations).

Even though we had different life’s circumstances, we were learning how similar we were.

Read the Book, Read the Person

While we can’t always judge a person by her book’s cover, if we keep reading deep enough, we can learn a lot.

I am currently reading these books. . .

Letters to a Young Muslim by Omar Saif Ghobash 
The Lake House: A Novel by Kate Morton 
Words on the Move: Why English Won’t – and Can’t – Sit Still (Like, Literally) by John McWhorter  
Idiot Brain: What Your Head Is Really Up To by Dean Burnett
• You Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain by Phoebe Robinson

I’m scared to ask . . . What does this say about me??? This for sure: I love my library because these are all library books.

We learn a lot about a person by their choice of books.

When I visit a home, I’m always drawn to the owner’s bookshelves. Without their speaking a word, I learn something about:

  • Who the person is by their books.
  • Or who they want to be.
  • How they like to escape.
  • What they want to engage.

Book selections explain things aside from their content.

Sometimes friends recommend a book for us. With this, we learn something about them, but we also gain a glimpse of how they see us.

I’ve been reading a Caroline Myss book with some relatives and friends this past year. By reading the same book, we align our thoughts and discuss questions when we gather and we grow in similar directions.

Thank a Book

When I finished my conversation with the woman in line, I asked her name. I wanted to be able to call her by name when we met again (likely while reading a book). We were kindred spirits.

Her name?

We both laughed when I told her I’m also Lisa, of course.

I’ve yet to see this Lisa again on Satuday mornings. But I always look. I trust our paths will likely cross again.

And again we can connect in person.

All thanks to a book.


* * *

God can use anything to connect people. Are you a book person? Do you have another interest that draws you to others? Please share in the comments.

For more, here are 13 Signs You Know You’re a Book Person from the Huffington Post. #10 is definitely me.


I read as I fold the laundry, walk to the mailbox, brush my teeth…

32 thoughts on “When You’re a Book Person, You Do This

  1. Jennie

    Yay, another book friend. Love how you started a conversation with another person reading a book. Oh yes, a book person!! I adore my book friends!! Stopping by from Coffee For Your <3

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I love my book friends, too, Jennie. 🙂 Thankfully one of my sisters is a book person as well, so we can talk books and understood the need for more and more book shelves.

  2. Michele Morin

    Yes, I read World Magazine when I brush and floss.
    (Great to have a place where it’s safe to admit such things . . .)
    And those quotes you shared about reading — So Good!
    I want to read more fiction this year, and also to re-read some old favorites. I ALWAYS like knowing what you’re reading.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Glad I’m not the only reader who multitasks when brushing/flossing. My husband has never seen such things until me (i.e., he’s not a book person). 😉 I read more fiction last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. Now I like to keep a novel going alongside my non-fiction books. Happy reading this year, Michele! I know you go through the books even more than I do.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes, I never leave home without a book either, at the very minimum I always have a book on my phone’s Kindle app. As long as we have books, we never get bored. I know you understand, Joanne. 🙂

  3. Pam

    Lisa, we are truly kindred spirits on this. I am most definitely a “book person” and even though retired now would still say I never have enough time to read!! I am guilty on all the items on your checklist!! I just finished The Sisters of Sugarcreek and it was one of those novels you sail along through and just enjoy the journey. I am currently reading Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis, Nothing to Fear by Barry C. Black, On Writing Well by William Zinsser, Earth Psalms by Francine Rivers, and my latest Inspiralized cookbook. I am not sure what I will head into next. I would need to check my stack by my bed, my favorite family room chair, or on my “to read” shelf on the bookshelves in our den. Have a great day of reading, my friend!!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      That must be another characteristic of book people, Pam—no matter how much time we have, we still never have enough time to read! I had to smile when you said that because I relate. Thanks for sharing what you’re reading because I always love to know. I used to read On Writing Well every couple of years, but haven’t lately. You’ve reminded me I need to dig that off my bookshelves.

  4. Valerie Sisco

    You had me at the title of your blog post! Last weekend I was feeling discouraged so I headed to the only place I knew would cheer me up — the library! I came out with a stack of books from a non-fiction look at the pilgrims’ journey to Plymouth to a memoir of a woman who discovered her relationship to God while attending Oxford — and a few foodie books in the stack too! Thanks for sharing this delightful encounter with a fellow reader and for sharing your current reading list too! xoxo

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Ah, a book person AND a library person. 🙂 The two don’t always go together. But more often than not, they do. I love a rambling walk through the library, too. Even when I have a list I’m working from, my favorite shelves are the “new books” where I can be surprised with something unexpected. I see you also read eclectically like I do, Valerie; I so relate to you coming out with that variety of books. Happy reading!

  5. floyd

    I’m a book person, but not as much as I used to be. I spend more time writing now than reading, and when I do read I read for a different purpose, which isn’t as enjoyable as it used to be.

    I even find I see life through a different lens now as well. I look at it in search of a story. I have to re-kindle the passion just for the sake of it in reading again…

    What a gift to find a kindred spirit in a line… no coincidences.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Writing versus reading…I find that I struggle between those two as well, Floyd. I still read more than I write, but I’ve discovered that those are often the two things that battle for any spare time that I have. Your blog posts are true to your lens of looking for stories. That’s one reason we love reading your words; you always draw us in with a great story line!

  6. David

    Ah yes. Though sadly these days I’m more likely (when on the bus or in a queue) to be reading something on my phone. Books are far more sociable. Once hanging around outside a supermarket reading Spinoza’s Ethics a chap asked me what I was reading. When I told him he flew into an impromptu presentation about Spinoza’s “essentially Johannine conception” of Christ’s divinity. Don’t think that would have happened if I’d been reading it on an app.

    The biggest shock for me was, as a grown-up with child, visiting other family homes, and realising that some other people don’t have bookcases in every room. Some immaculate middle-class homes with no books – books are untidy.

    Re HuffPo: #5 is definitely me, though I have missed a train connection because I was in the waiting room too engrossed in my novel.


    1. LisaNotes Post author

      No, your Spinoza conversation definitely wouldn’t have happened if you’d been reading it on an app instead of a book. I would never ask someone what they’re doing on their phone, yet it’s socially acceptable to ask about their book. Alas, it is sad that we have less real books to be nosy about (even though I don’t want to give up my Kindle!). Homes without books? Might as well not have a bed. ha. It is amazing how we grow up assuming everyone else is like our family. Both my parents were readers so we had bookshelves in several rooms. Books may be untidy to those who aren’t readers, but to me, books are lifeblood. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, David!

  7. Lois Flowers

    I LOVE this, Lisa … how cool that the lady in line shared your love of books AND Your name! In answer to your question, yes, I am a book person–my favorite place to read is on the treadmill. 🙂 Bookshelves are my favorite … I actually took a class on how to decorate them once. How are you liking “The Lake House”? I’ve read all of Kate Morton’s books and am hoping she writes another one soon! Finally, I’ve been mulling over some thoughts about recommending or giving books to friends for awhile now … your post is making me think it might be time to actually write something about that!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Reading on the treadmill; you’re killing two birds with one stone, Lois. 🙂 Good for you. I’m enjoying The Lake House, but more so as I get deeper into the book. At first it seemed like there were too many irrelevant details, but now I’m understanding there was a reason for much of it. Wish I could just sit and read all day but I’m saving it mainly for bedtime. 🙂

  8. June

    What a fun meeting, Lisa!

    Of course, you know I am a book person. I’m currently reading in paperback: C.S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces (with Michele Morin); Timothy Keller, Prayer (I wish I could remember who recommended this one, it’s life-changing); Edith Holden, The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady (a delightfully illustrated book found in an antique store). On ebook: Chicken Scratch (Kelly’s book); Jerry Bridges, The Discipline of Grace (yes, still! Reading through with a friend and discussing); Dorothy Sayers, Whose Body? (another recommendation). I love that I can pull up these books on my phone whenever I’m waiting in line, etc. Like you, I wonder what my reading list says about me 😉 Thanks for the opportunity to share and to learn about new reads!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      You are so my kind of reader, June! I love that long list of books you’re reading right now, both in “real” books and eBooks. Doesn’t it make life interesting! You’ve got many titles that I haven’t read yet, so I’ll keep this list. Thanks!

  9. Barbara H.

    I enjoyed this! You know I am a book person, too. If I go to anyone’s house and see bookcases, I am drawn to them to see what kind of books they like. And come to think of it, I think the great majority of my blog friends are readers, too.

    I thought I had read that book by Kate Morton and checked, but it was a different one with a house in the title – The House at Riverton. the writing was just beautiful, but it contained a deal-breaker (to me) bad word and some soap operaish plot elements, so I sadly haven’t read any more. Hope yours is better.

    Your reading lists are always challenging to me.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      You’re making me notice that many of my blog friends are readers, too! What does that say about us bloggers? 🙂 Or at least the ones we’re hanging out with. I think The Lake House is also a title for another popular book because every time I’d look it up in my library, two different books would pop up. There was also a movie with that title. I’m guessing it was from the other book as well.

      I also love reading your lists, Barbara. Almost time for another Nightstand!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      That’s my kind of vacation too, Nichole! I sometimes travel with my husband on his work trips, and while he’s at work, I stay holed up in the hotel room with my stack of books. 🙂 Not everybody understands the joy it brings me, but you would!

  10. Sarah Donegan

    When I saw the title, I got excited and thought, “me, me!” I don’t want to say books are my life, but, well, they are a big part of it. I don’t understand people who don’t like to read.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’m glad you’re a book person too, Sarah. Books are definitely a huge part of my life as well. And the older I get, the more grateful I am for reading glasses so I don’t have to give up reading books! 🙂

  11. Dianna McBride

    Yes, Yes, Yes…a thousand times yes, I am a book person! It is hard to imagine a day when there isn’t time made to read. I’m currently devouring Ann Voskamp’s The Broken Way. Hubby and I go to the gym to work out every afternoon…he works out for an hour…I work out for 30 minutes. Guess what I do while I wait for him? Yep…either it is a book in hand or else my e-reader.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I know you’re a big reader, too, Dianna! Such joy we get from words! I’m grateful that we live in an age where they are so easily accessible in many formats, everywhere we go. I understand you grabbing that extra 30 minutes for reading time. 🙂 I haven’t read The Broken Way yet but I look forward to it when I can!

  12. Linda Stoll

    i love this little post today, Lisa. so friendly and warm, fun and inspirational. just what’s needed on this damp and dreary January afternoon.

    you’ll love The Lake House. promise!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Oh, I’m glad to get that hardy promise from you on The Lake House, Linda! Makes me want to grab my Kindle right now and slip in a few more minutes of reading. 🙂

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Ha. I’m quite familiar with that “whole sack of books” myself. 🙂 It’s a little easier for me now that I have a Kindle, but I can’t totally trust it for a whole trip so I still have to bring many “real” books with me still. When we added our last two bookcases, I thought that would do it; I’d have enough. But no, I filled them anyway. I do need to clear out some books though soon!

  13. Beverley

    I don’t own a purse/hand bag that isn’t at least big enough to put my kindle in and if i see anyone reading a book, i try and see what it is by being nosy. This year my Goodreads yearly challenge on purpose, only 25 book, but i can add more, but it is about reading fully, rather than reading faster and faster. I am reading The Colour Purple by Alice Walker, lost count of how many times i have read it, but it felt like it wanted reading again, but i still have to remind myself – to read slow. And i love Great Expectations, you should slip it in somewhere and give it ago.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I love what you’re doing this year, Beverley. Reading fully rather than faster. I have certain books I do that way, intentionally going slow so I can actually absorb them. I’ve never read The Color Purple. I’ve seen the movie, but it sounds like I might need to read it, if it’s so good for multiple rereads for you. And yes, one day I’ll get brave and read Great Expectations. Maybe next year. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *