When they were dating she said she liked to read but she soon learned she and her date had entirely different definitions of what it meant to be a reader. He was committed, carrying a book wherever he went. Wherever. He. Went. (Okay, so many of us are cheering him on and nodding our heads emphatically right now. But stay with me and empathize with my poor... eh-hem... "reading" friend.)
Did he notice her poor literary habits? If he did, he never said anything. Maybe his nose was stuck too far in his books, or maybe he figured once he slid a ring on her finger, everything would change. Bookworm friends, you
know we do that, subtly placing novels throughout the house, conveniently opened to the most intense portions of the book. Hoping, just hoping, our loved one will get hooked. Because then we'll have something to talk about. All. The. Time.
Anyway, time passes, and my friend's little secret is uncovered. "A couple years after we were married I think he figured he'd married a dumb blonde," Rieta Greenwell said. "Because I would have rather watched tv but on a plane, I would read."
Why? Because there was nothing else to do? We get it, and we know what to do with fair-weather readers right? But hold on, before we start throwing Moby Dick or Little Women at her, let's listen to the rest of her story. Maybe she had a reason for avoiding the most pleasurable entertainment known to man.
According to her, the problem wasn't with the content but rather the effort it took for her to get to it. "Part of my problem is being kind of A.D.D.," she said. "I didn't have the patience to go to the library and pick out books. If I entered a library I would grab anything with an interesting title and call it a day."
Her husband approaches book shopping differently. He peruses all the "Reader" pages for suggestions and keeps an exhaustive list "rating" all the books he's read for years.
Now this is where I get nervous. I'm pretty sure both of the Greenwells have read a few of my novels. Should I ask where they land on his list?
Suffice it to say, Rieta's husband is a voracious, like flips-through-the-pages-fast-enough-to-get-whiplash reader. He devours, on average, 60-80 books a year. Based on my conservative page-number estimates, that's over 20,000 pages a year. How many of you are jealous right about now? How many of you can relate? (Don't tell us. We can only handle envying one person at a time.)
So what does a man who perpetually lives in book world do when he discovers his wife is basically a--gasp!--nonreader?
"It started one Christmas years ago--like 30," Rieta said. "He checked out a carefully chosen set of about a dozen library books and wrapped them." His gift to Rieta included allowing her the time to lay about a read them. How many ladies are swooning right now? I mean seriously, could you imagine? Men, take notes. If you want to sweep your wife off her feet, forget the dinners out and fancy jewelry and do like Dr. Greenwell.
"Now we have a small bookshelf in our bedroom," Rieta said. "When I want to read I grab one of the chosen books from the bookshelf. He does all the reviews and provides about 10 books constantly on the bookshelf and I just grab one when I finish the last. This year I also read 61 books. I seriously considered reading golden books just to beat him. ;o)"
What a fun challenge!
Am I the only one who found this story incredibly romantic? But it doesn't stop there. This book-devouring couple are now raising their infant grandchildren to love books. How do they do this? Note the picture to the left.
If you're reading this blog, I'm assuming you're a reader. Was that always the case or did someone you love plant a love for story within you? If you're a parent, are your kids readers? If so, what have you done to instill a love of reading in them? Share your thoughts and examples with us in the comment below.
And speaking of books, I have fun news! Yesterday my novel Breaking Free released. Yay! Grab your copy at your favorite online store or at your local bookstore. (Christian Book Distributors currently has the best price for paperback. Buy it HERE.)
Read a free 30+ page excerpt HERE.
Learn more about my reasons for writing Breaking Free HERE.