I’ve Created A Monster

My husband has become a ravenous reader.  I’m not quite sure how it happened, either, because for the majority of our lives together, he’s never read more than the occasional action novel.  I could buy him a book for his birthday in October, and one for Father’s Day in June, and he could live off those two for an entire year, occasionally reading a page or two before bed or on a Sunday afternoon.

Not anymore.  He’s devouring books nearly as quickly as I am, making emergency trips to the library, spending inordinate amounts of time searching the internet for books and then placing them on hold at various libraries all across town. ( I’m certainly thankful he’s using the library, for if he were buying all these books, I’m afraid our basement bookshelves would simply sink the house.)

With the usual fervor of a convert, he simply can’t spend enough time reading.  This morning, for instance, I knew he had a meeting on the other side of town, and I- clock watcher that I am -could see he was running seriously short of time.  Yet, there he was, still propped against his pillows, happily engrossed in the final pages of his novel.  Meanwhile, I was completely distracted from my short story, hyper aware of the minute hand moving ever closer to the time he needed to be on the road.

“It’s getting quite late, you know,” I ventured, not wanting our first words of the day to be too negatively charged. 

He glanced quickly at the clock radio and flipped the last few pages of the paperback.  “I don’t care, ” he said, with an all too familiar tone of defiant finality, “I’m three pages from the end, and I’m finishing this book.”

Perhaps I could take a lesson from him, for I rarely allow myself the luxury of putting reading at the head of my list.  On the contrary, I consider reading time my reward for completing all the tasks on my daily “to do” sheet, which sometimes means my reading time is truncated quite severely. Isn’t that odd?  After all, I’m the one who’s supposed to be the reader in the family.  But  I was cursed with a very strong Puritan work ethic, which comes with a compulsion to put duty before pleasure. 

Could I be jealous of this new ravenous reader in the house? Perhaps the reason that, instead of being pleased he’s taken up a pastime that’s dear to my heart, I find myself annoyed that he’s spending the entire morning in his chair, lost in the pages of his book, is that I’d rather be doing that too, but I won’t allow myself the luxury.

While I’ve been thinking I’d created a monster, getting my husband hooked on books, perhaps I should allow the book monster in myself to surface once in a while, defiantly put aside those tasks I set each day and immerse myself between the covers for as long as I like.

The question is, will our household survive two ravenous readers and two book monsters? 

I’ll keep you posted. <smiles>




12 thoughts on “I’ve Created A Monster

  1. I can only think that reading must be infectuous: I’ve got the same problem in my household, someone who never read novels and suddenly is addicted to of all things genre, preferably chicklit…. what can I say – the house is suddenly cluttered with the stuff 🙂 As far as the Puritan ethic is concerned, that makes two of us: reading as a reward for hard work oh my…

  2. I think the puritanical thing must go hand in hand with being the “fairer” sex for I am the same way. I find that I get in trouble on the other end of the day, however, as I am guilty of losing precious sleep to finishing just one more chapter that turns into several (or maybe even finishing the book).

    I’m glad for both of you that you share a love of reading.

  3. This made me smile. Like you, I have a strong work-sense, cannot leave chores undone, or stand being late. My husband’s the opposite. He does not yet devour books like me, but if he ever grew the habit, I’m sure I’d meet a scene like your someday!

  4. Hee hee, at my house we’re the opposite. Hubby is the one with the work-ethic, which I attribute to his Dutch Calvinist genes. I on the other hand have no problem putting off my to-do list when I’m in the middle of a good book.

  5. Oh yes. Do let your book monster out! There’s always room for more maniacal readers in a house! and every morning when you wake up chant this: “I make it my solemn duty to put reading first” (as a meditation). Perhaps it will chase that Puritanism right out the door. What a fun post!

  6. LOL, well congrats to him for coming around. I started to say I wish that my own other half would take up the habit, but I fear we would never get anything done. My reading habits are very similar to yours, while I fear my boyfriend’s would be like your hubby’s. And I’d get bitter. lol

  7. I have just, over the past week, moved. And the worst part of the move was carrying my books to the car, out of the car and up a flight of stairs. After each box of books, I looked at my significant other and consciously thought about how thankful I am he isn’t as obsessed with reading (and buying) books as I am.

    What a great post to read when I’m finally done with all the book lugging! There is only one book monster in my household, and right now, for that I’m thankful! Maybe after my back and arms stop aching, I’ll wistfully ponder what it would be like to share a love of reading with him. 🙂

  8. hooray for ravenous readers and book monsters…just try to keep from reading the same book at the same time. I have a bad habit of picking up something my husband is reading and then getting hooked so we have to schedule time with the book! Not a good idea 🙂

  9. Wow, that’s great. I wish I could get my hubby to read like that. But he is taking audiobooks in the car, so I suppose that is progress.

    I can’t put down a good book once I start reading. I sometimes stay up way too late to finish them. I need to be in bed by 9:30 PM at least or I am a mess the next morning; work starts early at about 6 AM for me.

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