10 ways to strike up a conversation with strangers using books
I have found that one of the best props to have to spark conversations with strangers is an easily portable book. Fiction is likely a little easier, but it doesn't matter that much. Here are some examples of how this may play out. At point or another I've used all of these successfully.
1. Make sure the title of the book is visible.
On more than one occasion I've had people approach me about something I'm reading.
2. Open it up and start reading to pass the time.
As this becomes less and less common, people will notice the activity more. At least a few of the ones that notice will comment on it to you.
3. Ask someone else if they've read the book.
You could ask them their opinion on the book, the author, the cover art, the genre, etc. As a prop, the book is multi-faceted.
4. Find a public place (like the proverbial square) and start reading aloud.
Will definitely work better with some volumes than others. Good experiment to try. When asked I simply stated that I was practicing my public speaking and asked if I had encroached. The conversation flowed from that.
5. Leave it behind.
If you've finished reading it, or otherwise no longer desire to keep it, leave it in plain view as you exit. It is entirely likely that someone will spot it and try to get your attention. If no notices, Congratulations. You've just set another book free into the wild to continue its journey with future readers.