Weird Bookish Conversations on the Bus

I overhear the weirdest things on the bus sometimes. And some people just talk and laugh so loudly that I get annoyed at the end of the day because I’m tired and burnt out and just want to get home and make dinner. So when I heard this “joke” – in quotes because I honestly don’t understand why The Friend laughed hysterically after listening to it – I was stumped. There was no punch line. My brain was completely going CAN’T PROCESS. CONFIRMED: conversation about books. UNCONFIRMED: funniness. So I thought I’d share it and see if any of you understand it or think that it’s funny:

If a book in a bookstore is read by many people, is it a really good book or a really bad book?

I think it’s supposed to be a play off of the tree falling in a forest and whether or not it makes a sound question, which is also not funny. And my answer is that it depends only on the reader. And I still don’t find it funny. Maybe it’s an inside joke and “books” and “people” aren’t really books and people? Maybe The Friend was laughing at how weird philosophical The Joker was being? Who knows.

Have you heard any strange bookish conversations lately? Please share, because anything’s gotta be better than this…


9 thoughts on “Weird Bookish Conversations on the Bus

    • Thank you, that’s a much more interesting question! 🙂 It makes me think that the book isn’t good enough to be bought… and it depends on if “reading” means finishing the entire book. But my brain’s still churning for a good answer, haha.

  1. HAHAHA! I’m laughing because of your reaction and because I didn’t get it either. I can’t think of any bus conversations I’ve overheard lately about books. I think bookstores and libraries are generally the place for that.

    • I’m sorry for such a weird post… sometimes I get tired and my brain thinks nonsensical things, but this time, nonsensical people + tired brain = more nonsense than usual. 😛

      It’s weird, but I don’t hear a lot of bookish conversations in bookstores or libraries mainly because I scuttle off to a quiet place ASAP, haha.

  2. “If a book is read in a bookstore by many people but never leaves the store, is it really good or bad?” – A Home Cook.

    Well… Most would say that it probably isn’t a very good book, considering that it has never left the bookstore, which most would say means that it wasn’t thought to be worth buying. HOWEVER. WE MUST THINK ABOUT OTHER FACTORS. In today’s world, money is not something to be thrown around anymore, especially on things like books which can easily be gotten at the library or much cheaper on an ereader. So what if the people who’ve come across the book (and/or the bookstore is not in an area where much money is) loved the book, and then got it at the library or purchased the ebook?

    ANOTHER THING. The book has been *read* already in the bookstore. If the book is an average length of 250-310 pages, this means that a person has had to spend at least three hours reading the book. I don’t know about you, but if I spent three hours in a bookstore just reading a book, it has to be pretty darn good. I’m also a person who thinks along the lines of “I already know this story, why don’t I get one I don’t know?” so I probably wouldn’t buy the book, because I’m a poor little child who depends on the wallets of her parents, and I want to get as many stories as I can. I’d be sad, but I would most likely put down the book I’ve read and get a new one.

    AND YET ANOTHER THING. All of us readers should know by now that a lot of bad books fly off the shelves while a lot of good books don’t. It’s something we wish was not true, but it is. OH AND ANOTHER THING. What if the book is the main character of a tragic story? What if the reason why it hasn’t been picked up is not because it is bad, but because it’s amazing and the tragedy of its story keeps dragging it down?

    And what if the readers are all pigeons? Pigeons can’t exactly buy books, you know.

    • AHAHAH OMG Lesley I missed your ramblings. 😛 I agree with many of your points, and I had to think hard about some of them. Re: book length… if this book was a picture book or poetry book or a book about jokes (aka relatively short), I can see why a lot of people would read it (because it’s easy and not as time-consuming!) but won’t buy it (because it doesn’t make them think as much and they don’t as attached to it).

      And I definitely get the poor-little-child feeling, but that might be a confounding variable because regardless if the book was good or bad, I wouldn’t buy it since I just read it. I’m more likely to buy a book when I’ve borrowed it from the library and thought it was amazing and worth buying (but then again I’m not much of an impulsive buyer!)…

      Aaaand “if the book is the main character of a tragic story” confused me – do you mean that the book is stuck within a fixed path of never being bought because that’s its part in a tragic (magical) story? That would make a lot of sense, except where’s the (magical) book prince/ss that swoops up the book and saves the day? :/

      And re: pigeons. Pigeons should totally learn from their crow friends and pick up shiny things (aka money) and buy books on their own!

      • “…do you mean that the book is stuck within a fixed path of never being bought because that’s its part in a tragic (magical) story?” <— That is exactly what I meant. Ahhh, a true tragedy wouldn't have a prince/ss to swoop in a save the day, though. TRUE TRAGEDIES END IN TEARS.

        But oh gosh, that made me think of a little sad book being forever stuck in a bookstore, but then a sweet little girl comes along and buys it and the book is just really happy… I'm literally getting emotional over a book. Not the story. The book. Welp.

        Re: re: pigeons. We must think of the human workers, though. Would they really accept money from a pigeon? I mean, not everyone has been educated by Hatoful Boyfriend.

        Oh, and I guess just costs in general should be considered. I've seen this one book that was about thirty dollars (or more…). And then there's stuff like comics that are like ten dollars but only take about twenty minutes to read… BY THE WAY. HAVE YOU READ SAGA? YOU SHOULD READ SAGA. NOT ON THE BUS, THOUGH. NSFW.

        • I just went from sad-face to happy-face during your second paragraph about the book’s happily-ever-after moment! There’s a princess to save this book after all heehee. All books deserve to be happy! End book homelessness now! (I’m sure there’s a PETA version for books somewhere in the world…)

          Re: re: re: pigeons. What if one really smart pigeon struck a deal with a non-worker human (let’s say the sweet little girl who bought the sad book) to give her the money so that she can buy books for the pigeon? And what if the sweet little girl was educated by Hatoful Boyfriend and kisses the pigeon and the pigeon goes *poof* and turns into a handsome prince? When the book finds out, its jealousy at having to share its human owner with the Pigeon Prince is so great that it turns into a Book Prince and they battle it out to the bitter en-😱

          I will never understand how book pricing works. I get most of my books from the bargain section in bookstores or just from secondhand bookstores and library book sales, and I don’t think I’ve ever bought a thirty-dollar book (which is a ridiculous price… but I also think that textbooks are ridiculously priced).

          I haven’t read Saga! Is it Saga as in Vinland Saga? Btw, I put Hourou Musuko on hold because I haven’t been in the mood for anything serious lately. I’ve been reading wayyy too much sports manga doh. 😳 EDIT: OHWAIT do you mean Saga by Brian K. Vaughan?? I haven’t read that either…

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