where I give myself away as something other than a reader

Don’t panic. I’m a reader, too.

I found a blog post recently that has inspired me to share.

Some of you may have noticed that I have a great passion for bicycles. I have other passions, too, including high-quality, independent, craft beer, and little dogs. (Check out my personal website here.) I have a friend (Hi, Will!) who once said the man who convinced me to settle down was going to have three things in common with me: beer, bikes, and dogs. He didn’t say books.

Husband in support role. literally

I’ve always been a reader. For as long as I can remember, I read more books than the average bear; read at the table; read in bed at night; read all summer; read between classes waiting for the bell to ring. Read in the car on road trips. I like to discuss books. This is why I very nearly headed off for a post-grad degree in English before switching tracks to study library science; this is why I took some post-baccalaureate English just for fun. This is why I joined a book club; this is also why I quit the book club very shortly after joining, because it wasn’t enough like grad school for my tastes. (My bad.) This is why I have this blog. But perhaps my choice of a reading blog, rather than a book club, is revealing. I feel that reading is a very personal activity or passion. I can talk about the books I read with other people – I like to – but the reading of it is an individual pursuit.

Husband was never going to make it without a love for beer, bikes, and dogs, all of which of course he has in spades. The cycling, especially: during race season (at least 7 months a year) we travel 2-3 weekends out of the month, and I get up before 6am, 7 days a week, for 4 months straight every spring. We drive thousands of miles; we take cycling vacations; we spend our weeknights and weekends on the bike year-round. It is a physical fact that if we did not share this hobby, we would not be together. He shares it. It’s all good.

Husband & I in Terlingua

But reading? He doesn’t share this interest. He barely reads at all. Maybe magazine articles. (We scour Bike magazine’s annual Trails Issue for vacation ideas. Like, that’s how we decided to go to Vermont.) That’s okay; he doesn’t bother me when I read. He watches more television than I do – and is responsible for my recently acquired ability to tune out the television (um, mostly) while I read. But generally he’s a doer, not a sitter. And how great is that? This is a man who, given the day off or to “work from home,” will bake a batch of bread, build a deck in the backyard, change his oil, and sew on a button before he makes dinner. I am not complaining.

We don’t share reading as a passion, but he’s tolerant when I want to tell him about a book I’m reading. And he has actually come around to books, when they’re audio: when he flies on an airplane, he gets me to bring him a few audiobooks for the flight. He’s discovered he likes Michael Connelly and Lee Child (see, we’re like bookends). And we made this discovery in the best possible way: on a long road trip, together, to some of the best mountain bike trails in the driveable world. We listened to audiobooks, together, and shared the suspense, the surprises, and the enjoyment. Together. I guess this is the most important part, to me: that when it does come time for “reading” (eh, listening) to be a shared activity, we share the same tastes. That’s kind of the common factor here: having tastes in common. We like to eat the same foods, drink the same drinks, listen to the same music, go to the same places on vacation, ride the same trails. That’s how we get to spend time together, see?

So while I need for the Husband to share several of the passions that are most important to me, I don’t need him to share the books. Only one of us can read the same book at the same time, anyway! (I mean, physically, the same copy of…) But the little dogs are not negotiable.

Husband's caption for this is, "I'll be right here..."

I love you, darlin.

5 Responses

  1. That is a very nice article about us, thank you! I love you too…

    p.s – your power steering is fixed and the tires have been rotated.

  2. You’re precious.

  3. My husband share a love of books, bikes, dogs, and (more recently, since I got a home brewing kit for him last Christmas) beer; it’s great, but now I’m thinking about the benefits of having a husband who is more of a doer rather than a sitter 🙂 We both are terrible at getting stuff done around the house, and that’s not always good!

  4. Wow Dorothy, we could hang out, couldn’t we? 🙂 It’s great to have a doer around!

  5. I’ve never met your husband but I love him too! :–)

    I used to have someone in a previous life with whom I shared biking, food, and music, but then we broke up, and I tried to keep riding anyway, but then I had a horrible accident, and then I never got back on the bike, and then I entered a different life path, and now I just sit and read, but especially on beautiful crisp fall days I sure do miss the biking life! (I couldn’t bike now if I wanted to because we live in Tucson where (a) it is over 100 degrees most days and (b) people drive like insane people and (c) I never got over being scared after my accident.) But I’m so glad to find someone that I can live it all over again – AND the reading! – vicariously!

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