Friday, November 30, 2012


I've been reading a lot more blogs lately, book and other.  In some ways it starts to feel like a responsibility, but then you find the awesome stuff and you just want to read more.

And, not that you need me to sum up the internet for you, but here are a couple of great things I really wanted to share.

First: YES, I am book obsessed.  I mean, not everyone is like this?  I count 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 11, 12, 13, 14, and at least the first three that were added from the comments.  I don't think it will surprise anyone to hear that I tested positive for book obsession.

Then there's Worldbuilders.  This is the annual fundraiser for Heifer International sponsored by Patrick Rothfuss, author of The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear.  The charity supplies goats, chickens cows, and other animals for people living in third world countries.  The bookish part of this is that a donation through their website enters you in a raffle for one of billions and billions of books that have been donated and are being raffled off.  Especially for sci fi fans and people who like collectible books--first editions, autographed copies--there are lots of cool prizes.  There are also eBay auctions of bigger ticket items.  It's a cool cause and a really big deal--they raise hundreds of thousands every year.

And then there's this post, which is one of those meme things where everyone posts on the same topic on a certain day.  But because I'm always a day late and a dollar short, I'm just going to poke my response in here with some other stuff.  The discussion is about talking to people who aren't readers, and part reads thusly: "Am I the only one who...wonders at how other people can simply NOT do something that should be so essential? Who feels almost sad that so many people seem content to go through their lives without stretching their mental wings at all?  Can you imagine NOT being a Reader? How does it shape your life? Your perception of it?  How does being a Reader affect your relationship with all those folks who are looking at it from the other side and simply can’t understand how you can sit and READ all the time?"

First, I'm very much surrounded by readers.  Most of my friends were English majors, and most of the rest are readers for fun.  Reading has drawn me to a lot of my social circle (book clubs, friends who bonded over favorite books), and I used to work at a publishing company. 

But I know plenty of non-readers, too (most of my family, for example), and I find that they get me just fine.  I am about books how they are about TV shows or movies or comics or knitting or theater or something else.  Even if they don't have the same interest in books, they understand my passion and are able to be interested enough in a good story that we can talk about books, movies, and TV shows in a way that brings us together.

But the real reason I wanted to answer this question is because of my position on the other side, as the non-enjoyer--not with books, but with music.  Most people I know are at least somewhat passionate about music, at least to a minor extent.  I never have been.  The incredulity that's in this question is something that I've gotten from a lot of people when I look at them blankly after not recognizing a band name, or when my response to "what kind of music do you like?" is "whatever's on the radio when NPR is on a pledge break."  I don't dislike music; I just don't connect with it, and that really stymies some people.  But I know perfectly well that a) there's a lot I'm missing, and b) there's a whole life to be led and music is just a part of it.

The fact is, it's a big world, and we're never going to get to all of it.  I think it's really important to really that our part isn't the only one, or even the best or most important or "right" one.  It's just different.


Sarah said...

Oh my God. I am exactly like that with music. This is actually becoming an enormous problem at my job where music is the shortcut to teenage bonding. But it just is not so interesting to me. I'm not sure I can still claim that books are after my going-on-two-months of Not reading, but I loved this!

Lianna Williamson said...

Well said. My husband is a non-reader, but he's passionate about photography and building mechanical stuff. I kind of like it that we have our separate passions as well as our shared ones.