Wednesday, September 22, 2010
I have always been a lover of books. I can recount the days of my youth spent with my nose between two worn pages of a Nancy Drew novel, where I ached to be a genius child detective who'd solve neighborhood capers.
Then I grew bolder and decided horror was the way to go. Goosebumps of course. Getting lost in the possibility of werewolves in my backyard or haunted carnivals was almost too much for my already over-wrought imagination.
I moved swiftly, from genre to genre; fantasy, romance, comedy, thrillers... I grew up, went to college, discovered whole new arenas of books unexplored and unappreciated up until that point. I started reading the classics, poetry, non-fiction, memoirs, short stories and sonnets. I yearned to soak up literature like a wet sponge. The words, the turn-of-phrase, analogies and imagery fascinated and enthralled me like Charlie entering the chocolate factory.
To a girl like me, spending five years in college with the written word was like going on an extended honeymoon with my greatest love: books of course.
Hearing professors wax poetic about the most talented writers of all time from Poe to Hemingway instilled an awe in me that still trails me today, into my bedroom, onto my bookshelf, even at work where I brush up on the thesaurus just for the pleasure of discovering new words.
And for being a lover and advocate of words, I can't quite describe to you how important and vital it is to me that the man I settle down with/tie the knot, all that hoo-ha, be semi if not over-the-moon in love with reading as well.
I am not trying to hold up too high a bar here. I understand there are deal-breakers for every girl, but this one is rather simple as I have lost far too much patience with men who respond that their favorite reading is Maxim. Or tell me they recently checked out a car magazine in a gas station.
No. Sorry. You have just insulted my very being. To say your favorite piece of reading is Maxim is like telling me that dead possum you just ran over on the highway is fine cuisine.
You clearly wouldn't know fine cuisine if it ran you over so don't waste my time. And by fine cuisine, I obviously mean literature. If you haven't spent time between the pages of any book, sports memoir to Charles Dickens; then you haven't experienced the joy of using your imagination. And I am sorry my friend. I see no future with you.
The thing is, I don't have to have a man who literally finds a new unused word in the dictionary and gets no small amount of glee at the prospect of adding it to his vocabulary. I don't expect mountains here, but I do expect some semblance of an appreciation for something that is as vital to me as breathing.
After all, my mother got my very name from a romance novel. The moment I left the womb I already had the etchings of prose pumping through my core.
So to save any would-be suitors the trouble, I'll give you this tip: If you haven't picked up a book in the last 24+ years of your life or tell me that you think Playboy is an excellent source of reading because they have fine articles. Well, just keep on walking, my good man.
I'll take my books over you any day.