It’s not aways easy finding mum friends, but they are the best thing ever so one must take it seriously and get creative while on the hunt for some. Sure, there are library events, mommy-and-me classes, community playgroups and the like at which one can meet fellow mums, but there is more work to be done once they are physically located. You’ve got their number and connected on social media, so now it’s time to figure out whether you just found yourself someone to only pass the time with during the kids’ class or a true friend to hang out in your kitchen with. The best way to do that if you’re a book lover? Sniff around their Goodreads profile.
Nothing tells you more about a person’s secret inner life and stance on issues that can make or break a budding friendship than the books they surround themself with. Here are some ways to use a bibliophile’s public profile to snuff out the cream of the crop from the unfortunate flops.
How They Name Their Bookshelves
An easy way to organize your books on Goodreads is to use the basic To Read, Currently Reading and Read shelves, then name additional shelves in a way that makes sense to you. Does this potential new friend sort their books in a way that matches yours? Includes your favourite genres? Entertains you? Makes you need them in your life so they can show you how to come up with clever labels like they do?
Personally, I get a kick out of when readers get creative with how they name or organize their romance selections, naming them anything from “wink-winks” to very specific kinds of kink (think: “merman erotica” or “hot cowboy sexytime books”). What makes me laugh draws me in, and that person—even if we have different tastes—will at least earn an invite to coffee so I can get to see if that cheeky side of them is the norm or only reserved for their reading time.
Which Parenting Books They Choose
There are approximately one bajillion types of parenting books out there for every step of the process, from expecting the arrival of a wee one, all the way on up to how to handle one’s adult offspring. Take a look to see if your style is copacetic with the books they seem to read (and finish) the most, or decide whether you’re comfortable with hanging out families run by different philosophies. I’ve had mums literally turn away mid-conversation when they discovered my parenting style, and it would have been a bit less offensive if they figured out I wasn’t for them before we were face-to-face.
I think it’s good to not totally jump to conclusions after only looking at what they shelve and where. Written reviews are a resource ripe with the best information one can find during potential friend reconnaissance. Do they take books that sound like duds and add a level of intrigue as they describe the experience of reading them? Did they try to read parenting books you were too horrified by to even crack open, but give them hilariously scathing reviews? Does their own personality come out as they write, making you want to get to know them better? Sounds like someone just found a new BFF.
But do they spill spoilers without warning? Clearly that’s the move of a monster: PASS.
The Want-to-Read List
For me, this is the place I believe also holds a lot of weight. Motherhood tends to gobble up reading time, so there’s likely a lot more waiting TBR than actually getting read. It gives a peek into their non-mom interests of the moment, even if clingy babies or kids who need to be constantly driven around all day don’t allow the time to actually read them yet. I admit to getting excited when I discover someone has a truly diverse list especially if they’re into teen reads as much as I am), and leery when someone only wants to read one kind of book by one kind of author about one kind of person/experience.
Also? Bonus points on the friendship test if we have some of the same books listed, because loaning them out gives me a great excuse to see them again and the perfect topic to discuss when we do, giving me even more insight into what just might turn out to become a beautiful partnership. WOO HOO.
More About Friends:
- How to Keep a Friendship Going After Your Kids Break Up
- Making Friends as a SAHM Is the Hardest Thing I Have Had to Do
- 5 Friends Every Mum Needs