Saturday, June 7, 2008

The New Place For Men To Meet Women -- The Bookstore: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

(Don't forget to also check out my podcast entitled Things That Matter With Mike And Nev. Only at

I'm a reader. I enjoy sports autobiographies, Harry Potter books and the occassional mafia-related tale. It's this love of reading that led me to my friendly neighborhood Borders bookstore in Northridge the other day, where I saw the following things:

---A guy going to a group of girls at a table at the bookstore coffee bar, asking if he could buy one of the ladies a latte.

---A guy hitting on a female Borders worker.

Are you a manager here? No? Really? Because you're smart. You're smart enough to be a manager. You're helpful and cool. Don't laugh, you know you are. What's your name?

The girl responded by saying "You should know already. My name tag is right near my breasts, which you keep staring at."

The guy didn't know what to say.

---And a guy whispering something in a girl's ear, which made her smile and give off one of those giggles that says, "I'm saying no but I'm not thinking no, but I want you to work just a little bit harder to make me say yes."

Women the world over know exactly what I'm talking about.

And as I thought about all these things, the following social reality occurred to me:

Outside of online dating, bookstores have replaced bars and clubs as the place where guys go to meet women.

At first, I thought to myself: How could this be? When did bookstores become the central place for people to meet the love of their life? (or love of the night, depending on what they're looking for.) How did this happen?

But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. The more I pondered, the more I realized that it was only natural that bookstores take their rightful place as "Meet People Central" in today's society.

Speaking from a guy's perspective, I came up with the following three reasons for this new trend:

It's quiet. Even in my younger, wilder college days, I could never understand how guys could think in bars or clubs. It's too damn loud. You want to know why a guy fails when hitting on a girl in a bar or club 95 percent of the time? It's because the guy can't think.

It's true. Guys may disagree, but let me tell you this, single males: You'd be surprised what kinds of creative lines you can come with for approaching the female gender when placed in a quiet place where you can actually...


Try it sometime. You'll amaze yourself.

It's cheap. Go to a bar and you're compelled to buy a drink. Go to a club and there's a cover charge. But bookstores, God bless them, let you stay there for hours without looking down at you if you don't buy a thing.

For men, this is like Eden. For the first time since the bar in "Cheers," there's a place for men to meet single women and -- should they fail to do so -- it doesn't have to cost them any of their hard-earned money.

If any single guys reading this have the need for a good cry right now, it's perfectly understandable.

It shows "intellectualness." I have a fair number of female friends, and each and every one of them are leery when a guy approaches them in a bar or club. The woman thinks the guy is only looking for one thing.

Which is true. Hence the leeriness.

But bookstores are different. They're less threatening, and the woman won't automatically assume that the man is only looking for one thing. I mean, it's a bookstore!! A place of research and learning. A woman may think several things about a man in a bookstore. Perhaps he's a graduate student working on a thesis. Maybe he's a business executive getting background in preparation for a big presentation. Or maybe he just likes to work on his mental as well as physical muscles.

"Yeah," a male bookstore patron told me, "it shows off my intellectualness."


Never mind.

And now for this week's:


A jumbo black watermelon recently sold in Japan for the meager price of $6,100.

Typically, watemelons in the country sell for the low, low price of between $188-$283.

But this particular watermelon, according to an agricultural spokesman, looks like a watermelon, but it doesn't taste the same.

So it's got that going for it, I guess.

(Weekly Signs of the Apocalypses can always be found at Tell all your end-of-the-world-fearing friends.)


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The best sportswriters in the world are women (I have always said this). And the best in the world is none other than my girlfriend Ramona Shelburne, sports columnist for the Los Angeles Daily News. Read more about her at

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Stephanie Friedberg. She’s a writer, she writes a blog about the art of writing, and she’s one of the few women on Earth who understand Major League Baseball’s "infield shift" concept. Read what she has to say at


Wilson said...

Thanks for this article I have always had the idea that the bookstore was a good place to meet women but I was afraid of getting rejected "publicly" unlike a bar where few people might notice or what do you think?

Nev said...

I think that the majority of people in bookstores are so in their own world, that if the woman publicly ridiculed you and screamed "THERE IS NO WAY IN THIS LIFETIME I AM GOING ON A DATE WITH YOU, LOSER" absolutely no one would notice or care.

Plus, unlike the bar, you wouldn't have wasted money buying this woman booze. :-)

Stephanie said...


Apparently, I need to hang out in bookstores.

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