The Wonders of the Written Word

I have been an avid reader since childhood – in early high school years it was Mary Higgins Clark and her murder/mystery novels that filled my hours.  Then the summer after my sophomore year I became fascinated with William Shakespeare and I read everything I could get my hands on.  That was also the summer I read Jewel’s poetry book which inspired me to try writing a few rhyming words – but alas – that was a waste of time! (For me and Miss Jewel both, might I add).

Slowly my reading repertoire grew more challenging and broad.  Ernest Hemingway will now forever top the charts of best author ever in my mind.  I cannot walk into a bookstore without making a pit stop to the classics section to just to read the last chapter of “A Farewell to Arms”.  I slowly sink down and cry.  Then chase Baby G and Baby D who are likely running down the DIY yourself section looking for some crazy science experiment book/kit.

When I met The Man I discovered, disappointingly, that he was not a reader.  He read what he was obligated to read (literature books throughout high school and college, Popular Mechanics during his personal time) but he never read just cuz.  How sad.  So I bargained with him, pleaded and encouraged.  He borrowed  my treasured copy of “The Lost Symbol” by Dan Brown.  It took him a while to read it, I won’t specify how long because I will be in the dog house if I share that information – but he read it ALL.  It was fantastic!  We talked about it: the history, the art, the science – it was wonderful.  Then he asked me the best question ever: “What should I read next??”  Now I really loved The Man!

This past Christmas I bought him Stephen King’s very VERY VERY lengthy novel “11-22-1963”.  Over 800 pages of time-space jumping and Stephen King style sci-fi.  It would have taken me at least 2 weeks to finish it.  I could only hope that The Man, upon unwrapping this beast of a book, would not throw the text at me in a fit of “Are you out of your mind, Woman?!” Instead he took on the challenge: he started reading it.  And bit by bit, chapter by chapter, he would ask me, “Do you want to know what’s happening now?”  Well, of course I did!  Now, I really couldn’t have cared less, but I would never tell him that!  I wanted him to tell me about this book like it was his baby – I wanted him to finish it so I could show him how far he’d come from being a non reader to becoming an 800+ page reader!  And he’s done it.  The book is finished.  The story was truly great (Mr. King always impresses, after-all).

4 years after Dan Brown’s “The Lost Symbol” made it’s debut in The Man’s world, Mr. Brown greeted us with his latest novel, “Inferno”- based on Dante’s “Divine Comedy” – YOWZA!  The Man and I were so eager for the book to come out we were at Target the morning of it’s release and purchased it.  I am a speed reader so I dove right on into it and finished it within 24 hours.  Now it was The Man’s turn to read it, and I feared another [long] drawn out reading, but over the past years he has sped his pace up.

About 5 minutes before I started this post I received a text from The Man: “I just read Chapter 79…WTF!!!!!!!!”  That’s right!  Chapter 79 is right at the end of the book, when the plot twists so much you actually feel the need to re-read parts of the book to see how you could have possibly missed that point!  But what joys me the absolute most is his new-found passion for the written word.  Tonight, when he gets home, we will talk about the book like two gossipy little girls.  We will again discuss the art, the history, the science, the math behind the novel.  The ending of the novel will shock him as much as it shocked me. And we will contemplate that too (and honestly, Mr. Dan Brown should consider talking to a therapist because this novel puts him on the same crazy scale as Mr. Stephen King!)

But mostly, I will realize how terribly much I love The Man now that we have even this extra bit of something in common – the love for the written word and the wonderful world it opens us up to!

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