Have you ever had the privilege of watching the metamorphosis of a human being from non-book-person to passionate reader? There's nothing like it.
Especially when it's your spouse!
So, I married a bookless man. Or perhaps a man with a bookless soul. In his defense, I wasn't really actively reading when we started dating. It was my senior year of college, and who has time to read fiction then? More than that, though, I was a majoring in music, so all my non-dating time was taken up with practicing and student teaching and practicing and accompanying for the choir and practicing and bitching about my non-music courses and practicing.
When I finally reconnected with my love of literature, I found myself in a sort of husband-less black hole. I also struggled with having to set aside things I really would have loved to do, like curl up in bed with a book and a cup of cocoa on a winter's evening, or bring a nice, fat novel with me on a picnic. Reading was reserved for times when Mr. A was otherwise engaged, or perhaps out of town. Certainly I was able to sneak it in on the toilet, but that doesn't get you through too many books in a year.
As I dived more deeply into my writing, I also ramped up my reading. It continued to be that thing I did on my own, and I often found myself longing to have a nice, deep BOOK TALK with my beloved. But the only talks we had were about my own stories, which Mr. A was so very kind to read and comment on, despite a lack of true love for the written word.
Mind you, this had its own hazards. Not being well-versed in author-speak, he would absolutely go off his rocker about things like "he narrowed his eyes" ("What the heck is a narrow eye?") and "she opened her mouth and closed it again" (I suffered through more bastardized demonstrations of this than I care to count).
"If you read books," I would say, "you would know that these are normal ways of saying things in writing."
Ultimate eye-roll. "There's nothing normal about that."
So there it was. He was helpful and supportive and he read every novel I wrote. But he wasn't a reader.
This past spring, I read the blurb of The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey, and I just knew that my husband would like it. Just knew. I didn't buy it right away, though, and in the meantime, Mr. A saw the trailer for the movie, and exclaimed, "Hey, I want to see this." My response was, "Hey, I'm totally buying you the book, because you will love it and you know I will only respect you if you read it before seeing the movie." Or something like that.
(Disclaimer: The movie absolutely sucked. But that's another story.)
So I bought the book right before we left for vacation, since he was clamoring for a "vacation read" (things were already looking promising). I also bought myself Mary Pearson's Kiss of Deception, which I've gushed about more than once since having finished it.
Mr. A tore through The Fifth Wave like nothing I'd ever seen. (Well, okay. He read The Giver on a flight to San Francisco a few years ago, which was pretty impressive. But since that event didn't lead to any sort of permanent change, it pales in comparison.) Then...then!...he reached for Kiss of Deception. And that's when the real magic began.
My husband--my non-book-reading, I-don't-like-fantasy husband, DEVOURED Mary's novel. Gushed about it whenever he came up for air. (Honestly, "gush" isn't a word I often use in the same sentence as my husband's name.) He was, and is, absolutely in love with Mary's books. And yes, he has since read all three. In fact, I let him read the third one first (big-hearted wife that I am), and he is dying to discuss it with me.
Yes. My husband is DYING TO DISCUSS A BOOK WITH ME THAT I HAVEN'T READ YET.
Oh, the beautiful irony!
So the final 5th Wave book is on his table, and just last night he announced to me that he is buying a Kindle next month.
A freaking Kindle.
The first thing he's planning on downloading? My novel-on-submission. He's never read the final, polished, out-to-editors version, and he says he wants to read it with his new reading eyes, now that he's read Mary's books.
Which makes me sort of nauseated. I've begged him to read something--anything--in between my book and Mary's. I'm pretty sure I couldn't deal with the pressure! It looks like Rick Yancey will be the perfect buffer (different genre, different writing style), so I think I'm covered.
I've also suggested that he should read at least the first three Harry Potter books, and he has agreed. (This may be directly related to the fact that he recently overheard me having a conversation with someone about the names of different spells, which made him exclaim that it sounded like we were speaking some other language. Which we kind of were.)
I'm over the moon. I'm not sure who this man is, but I really, really, really like him and hope he stays. What's nice is that he gives me credit, as though I've somehow wrought this change. I'd imagine it would be kind of hard to live long with a writer/book lover without something rubbing off, but I can't take all the credit. Mr. A is a creative, imaginative, intelligent guy. I have to believe that it was only a matter of time until he found his inner bookworm.
Oh, and he's told me he'd like to read some adult fiction, and that he's particularly interested in thrillers (but nothing to do with serial killers, which creep him out). So PLEASE FILL MY COMMENT BOX WITH YOUR SUGGESTIONS! I don't read thrillers, so I can't help him out here.
So, yay, me! I have a TRANSFORMED HUSBAND! If I suddenly start expressing a deep interest in the NFL, you'll know why.