Posts Tagged ‘love’

The blogosphere has seen a flurry of repostings and responses to You Should Date an Illiterate Girl by Charles Warnke. I only came upon poor Charles’ post after first reading You Should Date a Girl Who Reads – which I posted and responded to earlier this summer.

While many people seem to focus on his ending paragraph:

Don’t date a girl who reads because girls who read are the storytellers. You with the Joyce, you with the Nabokov, you with the Woolf. You there in the library, on the platform of the metro, you in the corner of the café, you in the window of your room. You, who make my life so god damned difficult. The girl who reads has spun out the account of her life and it is bursting with meaning. She insists that her narratives are rich, her supporting cast colorful, and her typeface bold. You, the girl who reads, make me want to be everything that I am not. But I am weak and I will fail you, because you have dreamed, properly, of someone who is better than I am. You will not accept the life that I told of at the beginning of this piece. You will accept nothing less than passion, and perfection, and a life worthy of being storied. So out with you, girl who reads. Take the next southbound train and take your Hemingway with you. I hate you. I really, really, really hate you.

I think they have missed his point. Poor Charles. He obviously  had his heart broken by a young, idealistic girl. My guess is that Charles was not living up to her dreams, dreams sparked by fictional heroines who have found their true loves and happily ever afters.

 You Should Date a Girl Who Reads, which I could relate to completely as a bookworm, seems to be a response to this paragraph of bitterness. But it’s an earlier paragraph that lets me know that Charles is truly not an ignorant fool who wants a mindless, thoughtless, girl who never picks up a book. At the beginning of his post Charles recommends finding, “courting,” and marrying a girl who does not read. He continues,

Let the years pass unnoticed. Get a career, not a job. Buy a house. Have two striking children. Try to raise them well. Fail, frequently. Lapse into a bored indifference. Lapse into an indifferent sadness. Have a mid-life crisis. Grow old. Wonder at your lack of achievement. Feel sometimes contented, but mostly vacant and ethereal. Feel, during walks, as if you might never return, or as if you might blow away on the wind. Contract a terminal illness. Die, but only after you observe that the girl who didn’t read never made your heart oscillate with any significant passion, that no one will write the story of your lives, and that she will die, too, with only a mild and tempered regret that nothing ever came of her capacity to love.

Charles gets it. He knows deep down that the girl who doesn’t read will not be able to challenge him, be his intellectual equal, be his true partner in life and love.

But right now he’s angry. He’s heartbroken. There was a girl he loved and she wanted more from him than he was ready to give. Maybe she was too idealistic and hasn’t lived enough to realize that life is not a fairy tale. Or maybe she was right and he will never grow up to be who she needs him to be.

Yes, Charles says he hates her. But there is the finest of lines between love and hate. And as much as he says he hates a girl who reads, when he grows up Charles will be exactly the type of man who needs to marry a woman who reads.


Read Full Post »

One tiny section of my bookshelves

I found the poem below on quite a few different blogs and thought I would repost because I loved it (although I don’t think it’s nice to lie or fail someone). It truly describes me as a reader (and quite a number of other women from the numbers who have also posted it). But I wanted to add my “I’ve been married for 14 years” advice to those single young bookish women out there. I included my advice after the poem.

Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She 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 finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.

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 if she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, 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 understand that all things will come to end. 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.”

“Date A Girl Who Reads” by Rosemarie Urquico

Marry a man who loves to read! You’ll curl up in bed next to one another every night, snuggled under the covers, noses in books. You’ll make trips to the bookstore and library together. You’ll share books you’ve enjoyed – Honey, I just finished this and you need to read it. Your home will feel cozier with the bookshelves filled to the brim (and piles next to the bed).  And if your husband truly understands your book obsession he might include a two day visit to Prince Edward Island during your honeymoon in order to visit L.M. Montgomery’s Green Gables and other sights found in the Anne books (well, at least that’s what my book loving husband did).

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: