Nerd alert! This couple is made up of two, certifiable book worms. We’re not ashamed of our super reader status in the least, however. This time of year especially, nothing is more fun than curling up with a good book on a weekend afternoon or squeezing in a few pages before you drift off to sleep. Reading keeps your brain active and expands your horizons, but when it comes to choosing a book, we have two very different philosophies.
She Said: I first discovered how much I loved to read for pleasure when I was seven years old. It was Christmas and someone had given me a box containing nine Babysitter’s Club books as a gift. I figured out then and there that being a reader, especially a reader of fiction, meant taking an interesting, escapist story with you wherever you went. I started reading under the dinner table, sneaking a book inside my desk at school and pushing my bedtime every night to finish just one more chapter. Thankfully, I’ve now graduated from The Babysitter’s Club, but I still hold on to the same philosophy. I want to read novels, and novels alone. I know mixing in some true stories every now and then is the right thing to do, so I try to make that happen, but I love living in the world of fiction. I don’t care if it’s a piece of historical fiction, fantasy, a love story or Stephen King’s latest slice of horror, I will find a reason to get into the story. From Holden Caulfield to Harry Potter, novels are my not-so-guilty pleasure.
He Said: I think I have a fairly balanced diet when it comes to reading for fun. I’ve gobbled up more than my fair share of novels and will continue to do so, but I will argue that non-fiction can be just as escapist as an invented tale. My wife thinks I have unusual patience for long pieces of non-fiction; especially those in the historical vein. As Courtney was breezing through The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society last winter, I lost myself in Antony Beevor’s D-Day, a 608 page epic on the battle for Normandy. There is nothing dry or starkly realistic about immersing yourself in an account of something you weren’t alive to see. Reading about ancient civilizations or past wars is as escapist as it gets. It brings something to life that is long dead; an exceptionally interesting concept in my book. So while my wife rolled her eyes when I giddily opened my copy of Roman Triumph on Christmas morning, I can assure you I’ll live the adventure with enthusiasm. To me, reading a well composed and well written book about life during the Cretaceous Era will always be as exciting as cracking open a copy of Jurassic Park.
The beautiful thing about mildly disagreeing on book choice is we usually don’t fight over a new paperback. Because we care about each other and value each other’s taste, we’ll always give a book the other has recommended a chance. Besides, differing literary styles helps to build an incredibly diverse household library.