Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Why do you read?

People who blog, must be readers, so I relate the following story, and ask the following question:
My husband and I were discussing a book I am reading right now, “So Brave, Young, and Hansome” by Leif Enger. Roger has previously read the book because I actually bought this book FOR HIM, because reading the synopsis I thought he might like it. We had read the first book by this author, “Peace Like a River” and enjoyed it, so I figured I’d give #2 a shot.
Rog DID NOT like the book, so when I picked it up, and started reading it, I have to admit it was with somewhat of a negative bent.
His reason for not caring for it ran the gamut from, just “too wordy”, the guy said a lot while saying nothing, very little plot, etc. etc.(This from a man of few words, keep in mind),.
Now I readily admit that I am not a literature expert, I read simply for pleasure, and usually when my husband and I read the same book, which isn’t very often, we can come to some kind of similar opinion of it. However, as I started the book I got caught up in the language, the phrases he used, and actually found myself chuckling a few times. So when Rog came in from the shop and asked me where I was and I told him, I commented that I liked the book thus far, (I was over half way), and didn’t see what he didn’t like, he looked at me like “What did I miss?”
Now, I knew this would arouse questioning that would require specific answers; I was ready. (Do I know my husband or what?) I had pages earmarked with the particular phrases that had made me chuckle, or smile, or just caught my attention.

Phrases like: “In times of dread it’s good to have and old man along. An old man has seen worse.”
Or “I asked Hood what Kansas did for water before the windmill came—he replied, "Before the windmill there wasn’t no Kansas."”
Or one discourse between a Dr. and a man whom he has saved from death:
“Stay away from the black doors,” Clary whispered to Siringo, leaning forward.
“You’ll go through them before I do,” replied Siringo
“I’ll not go through them at all!” said the doctor.
“Got religion did you?”
“You are the completest argument for it I have ever met,” said Clary

When I read them to him, his comment was,
“Well, yea, I read that too, but………”
“You read books for the stories,” I commented, “I read them for the stories and the language they use to tell the story.”
He got a strange look on his face, (he also likes Readers Digest Condensed Books)
“Well, yea. What’s wrong with that?” “Nothing,” I replied, “if that is all you want to get out of it. Didn’t you learn that in literature class?”
“I didn’t take it.” He replied with a chuckle
End of discussion.
However, I did notice that night in bed with, he reading a book I had already read, and me reading the book he had already read, he started asking me my opinions and insights on the book he was reading currently. It was a fun discussion, but I told him “It’s just fiction. Don’t over think it, just enjoy it.” He grinned and read on.
So I ask you what do you get from reading a book?