Friday, October 30, 2009

not a reader?! what?!

on fridays, i have a ritual.

i take the boys to school, walk around the river, go to weight watchers and then go to great harvest for my cinnamon-chip scone and tea. yes, i do see the irony.

but more importantly; as i was enjoying my scone, i was reading madhur jaffery’s climbing the mango trees. this is a beautiful memoir about this woman growing up in india, and the food memories she has. it’s a universal theme—this idea of food invoking memories. everyone has these memories from their childhood or travels…

{ring ring}

and i’m pulled out the of the heat and sepia images of picnics in india, to the wet, dreary morning in idaho falls by the guy next to me. he’s sitting alone, making calls and answering them in the effort (i surmise) to not be alone. and so i go back to india and the picnics.

"you in school?"

my eyes slide across the page to the guy, who then again asks me, “are you in school?”

“um… yeah… kinda…”

“is that why you’re reading that book?”

“um… no…”

“you’re reading for fun?”


“that’s crazy. i can’t imagine reading for fun…”

“hmmm…” and then i though that was the saddest thing. if you’re reading this silly little blog, you read for fun… and you can understand what i’m talking about. can you imagine your life devoid of the joy you have from reading? so as the librarian i am, i say, “you haven’t met the right book.”

“what?!” now he’s startled.

“people need to meet the right book to help them enjoy reading… and i don’t think you’ve read the right book.”

“i never liked reading…”

“maybe you didn’t have anyone to show you that reading can be fun"

“i’ve never been married, either… you think i haven’t met the right woman either?”

“that’s not my area of expertise, but maybe…” and in light of other weirdness in my life, i stuck my nose back into my book, deeply.

and i was again transported back to new dehli, to family-joint homes full of aunts and uncles and cousins, the smells of cardamom, cumin, and cinnamon, the lush gardens blowing cooling breezes thru the house… and then came thoughts of what if no one had ever given me the gift of reading.
where would i be today?

i’d be sitting alone in great harvest on a dreary, wet october morning. luckily for me, i was in india this morning...

happy reading


Meghan said...

i like your take on it. how sad that he never had anyone to teach him the joy of reading...maybe he'll get lucky and meet you again there. i, on the other hand, am a genuine, certified freak magnet. i think my conversation with him wouldn't have gone so well...

Sarah said...

I'm so glad you were in India!!! And taht that picture of Idaho Falls isn't an every day sight, yet.

Teacher/Learner said...

Wow, amazing post! As a new teacher, I'm trying to relate to students who are struggling with learning to read and parents who struggled as well, because I've always loved reading and didn't really struggle too much with it. I can relate to your encounter--many people see reading as a chore for school & not one of life's simple pleasures. Thanks for the story...I was really taken with it.