…but DON’T marry him.
When you’re dating, it’s all so cool. You’re proud of the fact that you’re dating a man who reads a lot. You’re thrilled he has more books than he has clothes. You find the idea of you and him, cuddled up in bed, reading, oh-so-romantic. You find that concentration so hot. You’re happy that when it comes to buying gifts for him, you don’t have to rack your brains too much; all you have to do is gift him a book, and he’s the happiest man in the world. You’re already churning up visions of him reading to your children as he tucks them in at night. All that ‘intelligent’ conversation gives you such a high. You melt into little pools of adoration when he quotes from your favourite books, and doesn’t give a second glance at a hot chick passing by when his nose is buried in a book (alright, I exaggerate here. Such a man does not exist. Even with his wife sitting next to him, he will still check out other women. That’s just how they’re wired).
So awesome he is, no?
That’s what I used to think too. I used to find the idea of a guy who reads very attractive. I still do. Especially since reading isn’t a habit that men adapt to naturally. Also because none of my exes were much into reading. They’re a very rare species, the man who likes to read rather than watch cricket or fiddle around with his tab. I’m not saying they don’t exist, but they’re quite rare. To be honest, I have always wanted to cuddle up in bed with my guy, reading, falling asleep with the book open on my face. I have wished that my boyfriend would be awed when he set his eyes on my collection of books (which, incidentally, is bigger than my collection of clothes I think), and would, without wasting an instant, lose himself in them, forgetting about me altogether (yeah, I’m THAT kind of girl. Ignore me for another girl, I will punch your face. Ignore me for a book, I can forgive you). But like I said, none of exes found books as magical and essential as I did. I didn’t grieve too much about it, though. Because they were awesome in their own ways.
God must have thought, so what if you didn’t date a man who reads, puttar? I shall get you married to a man who reads. And you both shall live happily ever after in your home filled with books in every possible nook and cranny.
And that’s exactly what happened. I got married to a man who really does have more books than he has clothes. We cuddle up in bed reading, and when I fall sleep with the book (and my spectacles) on my face, he puts it away very gently, taking care to not wake me up. While all this is super-awesome, I soon found out that being married to a man who reads as much as my husband does, comes with its own share of problems. And what are those, you ask?
2) Me (in the morning): Please take the trash out, baby.
S: Hmm (but of course, reading)
Me (in the afternoon): Please take the trash out. (an octave higher, this one).
S: Ya… (still reading)
Me (in the evening): Take the trash out!!
S: What? Oh, yes. I will.
Me (next day): Take the fucking trash out! I’ve been telling you since yesterday!
S: Oh sorry. I forgot.
3) The whole family is sitting around talking. Dad, mom, uncles, aunts, cousins, nieces, nephews, siblings. We’re all meeting after months. Everyone’s talking at the same time, one over the other. Catching up, gossiping, laughing. And in the midst of all this, one guy sitting silently with –yes, you guessed it- his nose buried in a book. Before our last trip to my native place, I told him that if he did that again, I will throw the book into the pond in my mom’s house. Surprisingly, it worked.
4) Karma can be a real bitch, you know. For all the times that I used to pretty much ignore my mom when she tried talking to me during train journeys because I was too busy reading, God is now paying me back. I get the royal ignore in the train from S, who takes out a book before the train even leaves the station. I have had to grab the book from his hands many times and say to him “Talk to me!”.
5) 8 out of 10 times, he will not be paying attention to anything I’m saying, because he’s too busy reading. And then when I bring the same thing up a few days later, he’ll be all “What?? When did this happen?! You didn’t tell me!!” Umm.. sure I did. Maybe if I had written it in a book and given it you, you would have remembered it better?
6) Reading in the toilet. Need I even elaborate?
7) Sweetheart, do you know why I request that we switch off the lights during sex? Not just because the tubelight is a mood-killer, but also to make sure that you don’t start reading even during the act, in case a book is somewhere there in the vicinity. Because frankly, I wouldn’t put it past you.
8) And to top it all, he has ebooks on his tab as well, which he will bring out when he doesn’t have a book handy. As if I didn’t have enough competition already.
9) We were travelling by a night bus to Palakkad a couple of weeks back. Since it’s a night bus, they’ll obviously switch off the lights. So I thought “Thank god, at least now he won’t read and will talk to me instead”. And out comes the stupid fuckall smart phone in which- no prizes for guessing!!- he has ebooks stored! That pushed me over the threshold. I would’ve thrown it out of the window if it hasn’t been an AC bus. I made up for that loss by confiscating the phone and keeping it in my handbag for a while. Can you imagine!!
So ladies, don’t complain that your guy spends too much time on his phone and tab. Consider yourself lucky. I, on the other hand, have to compete with books, magazines, ebooks, newspapers, tabs, smartphones-with-expandable-memory-that’ll-allow-you-to-store-damn-ebooks, the internet, brochures, condom packs, cereal cartons, CD covers, Wikipedia, “I fucking love science”, graffiti on the walls, blah blah blah.
But the silver lining to all this is that I can spend as much as I want on books and he’ll never ask me why. Ha!
P.S. I love you. Which, by the way, is a book by some lady, in case you want to read that as well.