Wednesday, November 18, 2009

To Read or Not To Read

Yesturday, Natalie Whipple over at Between Fact and Fiction had a post about how everyone can and should be a reader. Her message was that people who don’t think they like to read, just need to hunt more diligently for a book they will love. Her post reminded me of an experience I had when I was 16 years old.

Let me set the scene for you. I was an uber-dork – took all honors and AP classes, captain of the mathletes, ect. Except that I read at a second grade reading level, so I was stuck in bonehead English instead of honors English. I got all my text books on tape, and I also listened to three or four books for pleasure per week. At the time I filled all my audio book needs via RFB&D (recordings for the blind and dyslexic). This meant that I had to know the author and title of a book before I ordered it from RFB&D, so I was always on the lookout for good book recomendations.

Now enters my friend Nathan. Nathan was also an uber-dork – took honors and AP everything (including English), captain of the chess club, ect. For some reason I thought since Nathan managed to get a hire grade than me in Physics, he might be a reader too. So I asked him, “have you read any good books lately?”

His answer, “I like reading Calvin & Hobs, does that count?”

I was floored. Nathan was smart, he probably taught himself how to read when he was four or something. But he didn’t do it. He didn’t read. He just did his homework, and then built robots and stuff like that in his spare time. I couldn’t understand why anyone who could read wouldn’t want to. There was nothing in the world I wanted more than to be able to read. I just couldn’t get it.

Now let’s fast forward about fifteen years. I am now married to yet another uber-dork. He is an electrical engineer by day, and in his free time he enjoys fishing, woodworking, restoring antique farm equipment, and inventing zany new contraptions in his shop. The guy is definitely smart, and way to productive for his own good. But he doesn’t read. In the six years I’ve known him, I’ve seen him read exactly one book – and I wrote it. He doesn’t like watching movies either, and the only TV show he likes is Mythbusters.

When we go on long car trips, my husband never complains when I subject him to audio books. His problem with reading is simply that it requires sitting still, which he hates to do. So I write books, and my husband invents new fangled fishing loors. We are both entertained, so it shouldn’t really matter that we have different hobbies. Still, when I read a really good book that I know he would love it always pains me a little bit – knowing that he will never read it.

And as for me. I’m still a dorky engineer who is constantly plugged into audio books. Only now I am capable of reading dust jackets and usually do a pretty good job of finding titles to keep myself entertained, without depending on the recomendations of the non-reading computer nerds I live with.

Joke of the Day

Once there was a lady in on an airplane with a poodle. The man sitting next to her was smoking a big cigar, even though they were on a no smoking flight. The lady was seated in an exit row, so she opened the airplanes door and threw out the man’s cigar. The man then grabbed the poodle and through it out the door. The pilot saw what had happened and quickly did a loop-d-loop and the poodle landed on the wing of the plane. In the poodles mouth was the brick from Monday’s joke.

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