I have written in the past about my husband being a book snob. He doesn’t think that I am well read because I don’t spend the majority of my time reading THE CLASSICS. He seems to feel that THE CLASSICS are the only fiction worth reading if you are going to read waste your time reading fiction instead of nonfiction. Bless his little heart. I thought I had beat this thought out of him by introducing him to some fiction that he loved even though it was written for kids. (Terry Pratchett’s Tiffany Aching series and the Nomes series). But yesterday in the car the man said to me, “I just wish you had some historical context in what you read. I mean, you read some historical fiction but that doesn’t count.”
I swear, my first thought was “I’m gonna need a Rihanna GIF to tell this story.”
My second thought was, “Excuse me, what?”
He has lately been listening to Yale lectures online and it must have gone to his head. He ordered a few history books that were recommended and that’s lovely. I’m glad he has some books he is interested in. But we have had this discussion before. I have explained to him that I read about 25% nonfiction. Did this fall out of his brain along with his common sense right before he decided to pick this topic of conversation?
I asked sweetly if he would like a list of the history books I have read in the last year. He laughed and said “Yes, can you do that?” like he thought I was bluffing. The poor soul doesn’t know about Goodreads. I pulled my phone out and pulled up my read list.
I started reading off a list of my nonfiction reads and giving him a summary of each. The second one was The Wright Brothers audiobook that he also listened to. He said, “But that was entertaining!”
I kept talking. Twenty four books and summaries later I said, “And that takes us back to January 1, 2015. Shall I keep going?”
He says to me again, “But those are very readable and entertaining. They aren’t like the books I’m reading.”
“So you mean the authors I’m reading can actually write in a way that people want to read? Do you require footnotes? Several of these had those. Do only textbooks count in your world now?”
“My book has references like duality of Saturnalia…”
“I EXPLAINED THAT REFERENCE TO YOU! I probably learned about Saturnalia in some book you wouldn’t have approved of me reading! You can’t learn things if you enjoy it? Did you like The Wright Brothers?”
“Yes, it was entertaining.”
“Did you learn anything?”
“Did you learn anything????”
Tell me I don’t have any historical context….
What is the most annoying thing people say to you about your reading?