I think I’ve created a book-reading demon …

It’s funny how things happen sometimes.

Take the whole cooking thing around here, for example. Cooking always felt like a chore to me, but hey, if I didn’t do it, who would, right? And then, about eight or nine years ago, out of the blue, my husband Ward said he’d like to try cooking Saturday night’s dinner. I, of course (but of course!) immediately said yes. And somehow that first Saturday became every Saturday and then suddenly he was cooking most of the meals.

I am not one to look a gift horse in the mouth. I oh so quietly yielded the keys to the kitchen to him and slipped away to the nearest sofa with a good book.

It was a big change, and I took it in stride. And now another big change has happened.

Back in February, I posted about how Ward and I were starting a book club of two. I’d read an article about how relationships are greatly improved when couples make an effort to experience each other’s hobbies. Ward and I discussed it, and we decided I’d start going to more of the music-type things he likes doing, and he would start reading some of the books I was reading.

At first, we were fairly evenly matched. We both read Haruki Murakami’s The Strange Library (I enjoyed it, he didn’t),  and then we read S.J. Bolton’s debut novel, Sacrifice, which we both enjoyed. From there, he read Bolton’s Awakening and I, well, I started feeling a little behind. I read Awakening while he polished off Five Children on the Western Front.

Feeling the pressure now, I decided to borrow Bolton’s Blood Harvest from the library again; I’d read it the previous month, so having him read it gave me a bit of a reprieve while I finished Neil Gaiman’s Trigger Warning, which he’d started but wasn’t that interested in. I finally managed to finish Five Children on the Western Front and he blazed through Blood Harvest. It turned out, it wasn’t much of a reprieve.

After Dark

While I found myself busy with Pet Sematary for the readalong, he decided to try Murakami’s After Dark, which Ti had recommended to me as a good book for getting into Murakami. And despite not having liked The Strange Library, Ward absolutely loved After Dark.

Since he finished it, he’s been asking me if I’ve started it yet. Which I haven’t. But I did put two more Murakami books on hold for him.

He was twiddling his thumbs, eyeing all the books we had around, so I suggested he read Norwegian by Night.

He finished it yesterday.

And now I’m two books behind, in our little book club of two.

What kind of book-reading demon have I created?!

Obviously the only way out of this dilemma is to hand him books I’ve already read. Never fear, I’ve already thought of that. I have American Gods and The Martian all ready for him. My only problem? He’s probably going to want to read more Murakami first.

9 thoughts on “I think I’ve created a book-reading demon …

  1. j

    Haha! Well, of all the kinds of demon you could create, that’s the best kind, right? I just got a copy of After Dark. I’ve never read Murakami, but my son said he thought I’d like that one. So, now I’ve got his recommendation and your husband’s. (And I just got Trigger Warning in the mail, so I’m super excited!)

  2. Sarah's Book Shelves

    Ha – I love this post and, yes, you have created a demon! It would drive me crazy to be “behind” my husband in reading!! So, I would totally fall prey to this just like you have. But, I’m definitely in no danger of this now, as my husband reads about 2 books a year.

    On Murakami – I loved 1Q84 (but did not love Colorless Tsukuru), but it is a chunkster.

  3. Kay

    Hmmm…guess you got more than you asked for. It’s nice that you guys can read the same books and talk about them. Love your thought about handing him books you’ve already read. Or maybe give him long books you’ve already read. LOL

  4. Ti

    This is just great. It’s as if he is just eating them up. Was he a reader before? My husband won’t read anything but news.

    1. Belle Wong Post author

      When he was a kid he read a lot, but from the sounds of it, only nonfiction. And then he didn’t read anything much after that except for martial arts stuff (and in the past six or seven years, cookbooks). It’s like he’s discovered a whole new world! In addition to Scribd, he’s got Overdrive on his phone now, and since he wanted to track the books he’s reading, I showed him Goodreads :)

  5. Bernadette

    He really does like to dive right in to things – which is wonderful – but stressful if you need to keep up – perhaps he’ll find some good reads friends who can keep up with him :)

    1. Belle Wong Post author

      I asked him. And he said, uh, maybe. Let me think about it. Which is probably a no. But I think it would be a great idea!


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