I love my husband, I do.
There is something about him I desperately want to change — his reading habits. Not only (in my opinion) does he not read enough, but he’s not reading the “right” books, and he’s definitely not adequately pondering the works when he does. More pondering, please!
I knew about his crazy reading appreciation deficiency coming into our marriage, but thought my encouragement and Barnes and Noble purchases would be enough to get him to realize his inner-reader. Or, at least, enough to fulfill my daydreams of discussing the symbolism of Miss Havisham’s bridal gown while holding hands at the breakfast table.
I know I’m not alone in this bibliophilic bonding discord. And those of us who suffer can’t remain silent forever.
For fear that such a reading relationship should become toxic, sometimes you have to venture outside of the home for comfort. Don’t worry — this is much more innocent than it sounds. For me, I can find solace within my book club discussions, through blogging, and in conversations with my reading friends and relatives. Literary harmony in the home can then be restored.
However, not every reader has a ready network to which they can turn. How does a fiction junkie persevere among a sea of non-fiction mothers in her child’s play-group? How does a romance addict cope with the constant swooning when there is no one around to catch them? And, how should a biography buff proceed when in contact with a science fiction groupie?
The answer is, “very carefully.”
If you keep your ears and mind open, there is hope for such dysfunctional relationships. Befriending those with different reading habits can open you up to new authors, genres, and ideas.
My husband has been pleasantly surprised by some of my recommendations — others he uses as doorstops on windy days. We may end up discussing I am America (and so can you!) instead of Great Expectations, but it’s worth living part of the dream.
And sometimes we even hold hands.