Like a Brick Wall.

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I went on a field trip a couple days ago, and since then I’ve been pondering exactly how to approach this topic. I have wanted to bring it up but at the same time I’ve had no real reason to.

In any case, we went to the Planetarium. That’s not important. It was only a 45 minute bus ride. That’s not important either. What insignificant incident that occured on the ride back is the important part. Like any good book worm, I had two books in my tote. This is common – although carry-on book count for any day has been known to reach upwards of six. As the bus began rolling, I popped in my headphones (set to my “READING” playlist) and pulled out a new book I came across not too long ago by accident, but that’s not important. I was surrounded on all sides by guys. This happens. I pal around with them and they find me surprisingly fearless (although I don’t know why I should be fearful of them) and we share bits of bad jokes and Family Guy episodes. But that’s not important. Half a page after opening the book, I hear increased volume of voices. I pop out the headphones.
“What are you doing?” One of the boys in front of me is turned around, peeking over the seat at my lap, watching me replace my bookmark. I have never been confronted by such a simple statement.
“I’m reading. I always read.” Two more turn around, and the one next to me sits up a bit straighter, aware of the group’s focus of attention. Right then the elephant in the room appeared, and we had a lovely conversation over tea. But that’s not important.

I have never been more aware of my own little “Berlin Wall” than I was right then. That’s the important part.

So, naturally, after the long and awkward pause, I felt it necessary to ask “What is it? Is a book a foreign concept to you people?”
One of the boys a seat in front of me proceeded to announce “I don’t think I’ve read a book in ten years.”

I still don’t know what to think of this episode. I’m going to put myself out there and quote a dear friend who once said “I don’t know what’s gone now, but I miss it.”

Published in: on November 29, 2007 at 9:59 pm  Comments (5)  

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I don’t think I would have been able to handle it. Not read a book in ten years!? I couldn’t handle not reading a book for three months (let alone a week sometimes). They must live sad little lives.

  2. It is always a surprise to come upon those who do not have the love of reading. Unfortunately I believe we are among the few, the mighty, the ever reading booklovers of the world. I do know how someone can go without reading a book for years. As sad as this seems, they often fill this abyss with newspapers and magazines. Yes, I know it is not the same, but we seem as foreign to them as they are to us. I keep trying to persuade the reluctant ones to at least try a book, sometimes successfully, sometimes not, but I persevere in this challenge. I am hopeful that you too will encourage the non-reader to give a book a try.

  3. Novel Dame,
    I think you said it best in one of your earlier posts – most people just haven’t found that ONE book that speaks to their very soul. Perhaps it should be the mission of every reader to help a non-reader find that one thing, that one author, or that one book that will awaken the reader inside of them…to help them experience the magic of reading. All it takes is that one book…

  4. I agree with you and Bookmage (above). It just takes one book to turn someone from a non-reader to a reader. I remember a few years ago in a class, a young lady was talking about a book she was excited to be reading. Someone else said, “Man, I don’t like to read.” The young lady said immediately, “You just haven’t found the right book yet.”

    Thanks, Novel Dame, for loving books and for encouraging others to read, whether by personal example or through this blog. Sometimes we just need to be ourselves and show others the way through our actions.

  5. NovelDame,
    I’m glad you decided to address this issue that we all see daily. I think that those that are well-read do hold a great amount of knowledge and therefore influence one day… Your blog has made me want to start reading more than my required materials for college. I can tell that because you are so well-read, you have become a great writer and it sounds like you are off to a great start!

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