On Being Married to a Nonreader
August 26, 2013 | 12:36 pm
By Joanna Cabot
This fun little blog post hit my inbox this morning; a woman named Kellee writes about being married to a “nonreader” and what she’s learned from this.
The article struck a cord with me. The Beloved is not much for fiction books, and while I am sure he would appreciate the new respect Kellee has for her spouse after she concedes that not all reading happens in books, and that people who don’t read for fun can still be intelligent, I am not sure he would have welcomed the years of “converting” attempts that she says she tried to do on her poor guy before she had these epiphanies.
As for my boy, I long ago reached the same conclusions this woman has: he does read, just not the same things I do. He reads a ton of news blogs, specifically about baseball, but about general stuff too. He also has been blessed with a photographic memory, so his recall is excellent. We both watched the same movie about Pompeii last week, and read the same Wikipedia article afterward. I recall the general thrust of the story. He recalls specific dates, and because of his science background, probably has a better grasp of the technical details regarding the volcano than I do.
The other thing I’ve come to realize, and this isn’t something Kellee talks about in her blog, is that for most people, some specializing occurs because of their jobs, and this is the normal way of things. I am a language teacher, so I actually do make use of the literature knowledge I have on a daily basis. But I seldom have to use math beyond an elementary level, so my weak skills in this area never get tested and never progress much beyond the low level where they currently exist. Meanwhile, the Beloved is a Web developer and uses complex math skills on a daily basis. The last time he even had to give poetry a moment’s thought was when he was buying it as a present for me.
When we first started going out, I think we did connect a little on common pop culture stuff. He’s read a lot of the books that influenced me as a child and teenager—but that’s the thing, he read them as a child and teenager too. Now, as an adult, he reads in a different way. And if that way doesn’t include novels and poetry, that’s fine with me. I have other people I can talk about those things with—my sister reads, my mother reads. And he has other people he can talk about some of his stuff with.
So we don’t have the big library room with the heavy wood bookcases of shared literature that my dad had when we grew up. But we have, each of us, our own tablet devices. And I read books on mine and he reads blog feeds on his.
It’s Love 2.0, the next generation. But hey, it’s still love!