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A quiet recognition

Sunday morning, coffee’s hot; it’s hazy and cold outside.  There’s a whoosh as the furnace kicks on.  One lone squirrel scampers through the snow in search of something for his winter larder.

The hardest decision of my time off lies before me: which book to start next.

Last weekend, when all the kids and grands were here, our grand-daughter found my box of children’s books and happily marched herself over to my big leather chair, curled up and read.  Hubbs told me later, as he came in from outside, he caught a glimpse of her there in my chair, leg tucked under just as I do. Head tilted just so.  The resemblance gave him pause.  And me  ~ joy.

Some read because they have to ~ she reads because she wants to.  And my heart swells in quiet recognition of a girl who reads.

“You should date a girl who reads.

Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes, who has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she has found the book she wants. You see that weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a secondhand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow and worn.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas, for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry and in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who read understand that all things must come to end, but that you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes.”
― Rosemarie Urquico

*What’s on your reading list?  When you have a bunch of time off how do  you strategically plan to spend it?  Where would you like to be stranded? *

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Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Determination, Family, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Personal, Quotes, Relationships, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

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10 thoughts on “A quiet recognition

  1. What an amazing read….. I so wish your brown-eyed handsome man could have captured a picture of your sweet little granddaughter reading in that chair!

  2. I so love this. I remember at night, when my light was to be out, and I would read by the moonlight, when I could. My one regret, as a person who loves to read and write, is that these things bring my son no joy. With his dyslexia, they do not come easily, and as such, he wants nothing to do with books. When he was very young, I read to him every night: two and three books. But when it came time for him to read, it all became too unpleasant for him. I still dream of a day when he picks up a book and reads it for pleasure. I envy you and your granddaughter. So lovely!

  3. Perfect! As a reader/writer, I simply adore this post!

  4. Reblogged this on Renee Johnson Writes and commented:
    MJ and I have been blogging buddies for some years. She has delightful posts and has impressed me many times with her responses to readers. But this post really nailed the importance of reading and what it teaches us through the journeys writers take us on. I am thrilled to share it with you. Most of you know MJ already, but if you don’t, check out her blog. Thanks MJ!

  5. MJ, somehow I lost your blog — but just resubscribed. Word Press is messin’ with me again!

    this is a wonderful post. I agree wholeheartedly about kids reading. Just this morning I scratched my head to figure out what books to give my great-niece (10) for her birthday … oh how I love remembering the ones I enjoyed, and the ones my son and nieces and nephews enjoyed at that age. I think I’m giving her the Artemis Fowler series — you just can’t go wrong with farting dwarves!

    • Thank you very much Elyse! I adore the times I get to read and since i haven’t has as many opportunities lately, now I look forward to time on planes b/c I get at least 2 hours with no interruptions!! Whee! MJ And yes, farting dwarves, can’t go wrong there!!

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