Nick Hornby is the sort of author you find yourself trying to remember, "Is he just super popular or is he actually a really good writer?" You know that the movies High Fidelity and About a Boy were solid, and maybe you could even be charmed into liking the dumb Red Sox movie with Jimmy Fallon if you started dating someone who found it to be an innocuous rental. So it ended up being a pleasant surprise when we picked up his just-published sixth novel, "Juliet, Naked," and found the pages just started breezing by. Hornby is once again dealing with music obsession and the distance that exists in the personal relationships of the obsessive types most of us know, or possibly are.

Tonight the author will be reading at Barnes and Noble, Union Square; yesterday he talked with us about his short-lived Broadway career, which contemporary author he gave a small town shout out to in this book, and how stalking really comes down to good or bad timing, depending on how you look at it.

Are you already here in New York before the reading? I am. I arrived last night. I have friends here so I'll be seeing people within the next twenty-four hours.

Well I'm enjoying Juliet so far. I just started it, but it grabbed me as someone who has taken fan pilgrimages like the characters in the novel do. (laughs) Oh good. Where have you been? Oh, I went to Lorrie Moore's office in Wisconsin last year. But since it was summer, she wasn't there and I just took a picture by her nameplate. Well I guess not too many people have done that.

Have you ever done anything like it yourself? I guess beyond Graceland, no.

What do you think of the tour? I was quite taken aback by how ordinary and suburban the house was, actually. It's not the biggest house I've ever seen or anything like that. It was fun. I've been to Dickens' house and Faulkner's house. I like doing stuff like that.

Do you come over to New York often? Yeah, I get here about two or three times a year for work. There are six or seven cities in the US I could quite happily live in and this is one of them.

What's been your most unusual trip here, any stand out? I don't think so. My dad used to live in Connecticut when I was growing up. So the first time I ever came to New York was as a kid with him through that, in my early teens. I really fell in love with the US.

I guess the most recent is I came to see the Broadway opening of High Fidelity a couple of years ago. And that was memorable not least because the production bombed and it closed after a few days.

Did you see the writing on the wall when you saw it? No, I enjoyed the play. It was one of those Broadway stories where we went to the really nice party afterwards and the New York Times review came out while we were there. And everyone knew that that was pretty much that end went home. It was tragic.

It struck me that Bozeman, Montana was a location you mentioned in Juliet. Have you been there before? No, I never have. That was a tribute to a friend of mine who grew up in Bozeman, Montana.

Yeah, I only know Bozeman through Sarah Vowell writing about it. Yeah, that's who it's a tribute to. (laughs)

Maybe my next pilgrimage will be to Bozeman to track down the radio station she wrote so much about. I saw Sarah last night in fact. I wanted to pick some small town out of nowhere so I figured that it might as well be a homage to Sarah Vowell.

Do you get over to 826 much when you come to New York? Yeah, I've been there a couple of times. I've been to San Francisco's more. In fact, one of my readings is a benefit for 826 San Francisco.

Do you have anything like that in the UK? No, not yet. Roddy Doyle set one up in Dublin, inspired by Dave (Eggers). But we haven't gotten anything like that in London yet. I don't know anyone who has Dave's energy. He has a pretty prolific writing career, but that seems to be about one-tenth of what he does.

You named a fictitious band in this novel The Napoleon Solos? Was that inspired by the song of that name by the band At the Drive-In? No. Well, they got it from the same source as me, an old TV show called The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

When did you finish Juliet? Probably March of this year. What is the period in between then at it getting published usually like? It's one of the nicest times because all of your friends are being nice to you and you mistake that for general feelings about the book, so you feel good.

Do you have any favorite places to eat in town? I have no idea what they are. Sarah took me to a very nice Japanese restaurant last night. That's my favorite restaurant in New York at the moment. And I really like the Chelsea Diner. We only have greasy spoons and it's the same sort of food, but horrible.

So where do you think the line is between a pilgrimage and someone spilling over to stalking? I guess whether they're in or not. (laugh) If Lorrie Moore had been in and you'd taken photos of her office, that would have been stalking.