As anyone who knows me personally knows, I read. All. The. Time. I am almost never without a book. I have emergency books at work and in my car in case I forget the one I’m working on. Even in college and, to a lesser degree, law school, I read for pleasure whenever I could. My husband, on the other hand, is not a reader. I used to think this was perfect. I could have all the books I wanted and not have to worry about his collection butting up against mine. And for a while, that worked. But. We are now having a conflict about the books.
When we moved into our current home, there were roughly 20 boxes of books I could not unpack because I had no where to shelve them. We started buying bookcases from Ikea (YAY for Billy bookcases!) There are now 16 bookcases in the house. All but one are completely full. When we got the latest set of eight bookcases, evidently my husband said that was it. When they are full – no more books. I swear I never heard this. I worked hard and have given away six boxes of books. Which for me, is a LOT. When two books I had won showed up in the mail this week, my husband got mad.
And let me just say at this point, I’m kind of at the point where I don’t particularly care that he got mad. I’m not a crack head. I don’t drink. I don’t cheat. Diet Pepsi and books are the only vices I have (well, and maybe peanut butter M&Ms). So I was kind of offended that he got mad and said I agreed to no more books. Because. Let’s fact it. I would never, on my worst day, ever, agree to no more books. Never. Ever. In case that wasn’t clear – NEVER.
So we are at a crossroads. I don’t know what to do because he doesn’t read. He doesn’t understand. And I don’t think I can make him understand. Non-readers never understand the connection to books readers have.
I can look at Harlot’s Ghost and remember the exact feeling of rage at having read more than 1,000 pages to have “To be continued” staring me in the face. I can remember the feeling of despair when I finished To Kill A Mockingbird and realized life isn’t fair. I can look at November Road and know that I read a book so amazing, I have a hard time putting into words how much I love it. I can look at Russia House and revel in the descriptions of Russia that LeCarre writes and seeing in my mind’s eye exactly what he’s describing because I have been there. I can look at When Breath Becomes Air or The Unwinding of the Miracle and know how precious life is and how hard it is to live with a terminal disease.
I am going to have to accept that my husband will never understand this and we will probably be fighting this battle as long as we’re married. I will say this. I am not losing this battle.