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…