Thursday, March 10, 2011

Reading: A Love Story

I've got a few things on my mind today and since none of you are here to sit and chat with me about them, I thought I'd do a little blogging instead. Presently, Sam's in dreamland, laundry is in the wash which means the smell of Mountain Fresh Gain is in the air, and a batch of just-baked cookies is cooling on the counter. I bet you wish you were here. And, well, I wish you were because I could use the company, but then I'm still in my pajamas and haven't brushed my teeth yet, so, on second thought, it's probably better that you're not here.

Anyhoo, I'm currently pondering this blog post on The Monica Bird. The post is called "Date A Girl Who Reads":

And now, I'm going to quote a little of it for you in case you don't make it over there to read it yourself...

I like this quote:

"It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does."

And this one:

"She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots."

And this one, too:

"Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads."

What a lovely way to describe those of us who wear corrective lenses because we've spent years with our eyes trained on small type under bedcovers with flashlights long past our bedtimes. I'm also a fan of the romanticizing of those of us who prefer the smell of old musty bookstores to espresso-scented Barnes and Nobles and feel our spines tingle when we stumble into hole-in-the-wall used bookstores and then subsequently lose ourselves there for hours upon hours.

So, I'm pondering these things and wishing that I had more time to read, wishing I was more disciplined about reading, and wishing I read what mattered rather than celebrity sightings, coupon blogs, and JCrew magazines (I realize these don't really classify as "reading"). I'm also lamenting the time I waste looking for deals online, checking email, and wandering around on Facebook when I could be using the very limited quiet time I have to read something that has real value.

I'm wondering how to get back to being a "girl who reads." The precious couple hours I have a day while Sam snoozes are so quickly swallowed up by the taking of showers (somewhat important), the picking up of toys (something of an effort of futility), the Facebook stalking (I just scrolled through all your vacation pictures from 2006). Seriously, I could be reading things that have weight and value and make me someone you want to chat with at parties. But, more than wanting a little intellectual stimulation and a few interesting ideas to bandy about at a dinner party, I want "the world and the worlds beyond it." I want the escape hatch that Narnia and Avonlea offer, the invitation to imagine and believe and wonder.

I've been settling for television and Facebook and magazines. I'd like to hope that I'll be "reciting Keats under my breath" in my old age rather than Michael Scott from "The Office."

Thanks, Monica Bird, whoever you are, for reminding me to read. I needed that.


  1. I'm a girl who reads who married the boy who reads. It's a good thing. We actually read every night before going to bed... but sometimes only for about 5 minutes until our eyelids get heavy. :)

    And i'd give anything to be sitting in your kitchen with you today, smelling fresh laundry and eating warm cookies. Sigh. I gotta plan a trip.

  2. Just you wait! Before you know it you'll be be the "girl who reads" again hanging out with your little man Sam, "the boy who reads." I adore rainy days when the kids and I sit quietly with our faces in our own books. It will be here before you know it! :)


  3. I think that you're in a stage of life that will pass all too quickly, so don't be too hard on yourself if you don't dig into Shakespeare and TS Eliot right now. That time will come back!

  4. As always, well said. I hope you spend time WRITING in addition to reading! You're gifted for sure.

    But hey- how 'bout quoting Keats AND Michael Scott, eh??? Now, THAT'S a woman! :)



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