No books? No thank you!

by jscreationszs – If only my books were really so colorful!

Craig, our Contractor of Awesomeness was inside today, cutting trim to go around the inside of our skylights.  I was doing some handsewing literally in his shadow, and asked, by way of making conversation, what he likes to read.

“I haven’t read a book since I graduated high school,” this 29 year old reported, “but my girlfriend is reading The Hunger Games, and it looks pretty good, so I might try it.”  Note that this guy takes Community College classes, and had hoped to eventually go to law school before becoming a parent earlier than planned.  He owns his own business, is fun to chat with, and far from stupid.

My husband commented that he’s heard that something like 20% of Americans don’t read for pleasure *at all*.  I always figured that they were, quite frankly, folks who couldn’t read well enough to get past the technique and down to the content to a level where they could actually enjoy it.

Craig said that he preferred watching and playing sports, and spending time with his family, to sitting down with a book.  He is a very social guy, so maybe that is part of the difference?

I can’t imagine my life without pleasure reading.  We have tons (almost literally) of non-fiction around too, much of which is purely for fun (boy, howdy), but it is fiction that keeps me sane.  I sometimes get to where I *have* to jump out of my head and into someone else’s for a while, just so I don’t pull out my hair, or take a sledgehammer to my walls.  I enjoy getting out and doing, too, but those times are either social or introspective, and, either way, I *still* need to go get out of my head for a bit with a good read, preferably of the SF or fantasy varieties.  Something that is different enough from my reality to give me a break from it, and maybe even a different perspective on it.

Am I alone in this?  My husband reports that many of the writers he chats with hate public school English programs, as they make kids hate to read.  I’ve *always* been a reader, first second-hand, on my parents’ knees, but ever since I’ve been able to read to myself, I’ve had at least one book going at a time, if not more.  I look for the longest books and series I can find, since I *dive* into cultures, and want them painted in full detail, so I can move in.

I just don’t get not-reading.  I’ve frequently joked that if we were illiterate our home would be immaculate (if we still somehow could afford it), but that is belied by the toys and art/craft/science supplies that threaten the written word for dominance in our oh-my-head cluttered home.

I guess maybe at least non-readers have tidier houses?  Doesn’t seem worth it to me…

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