1/21/12

For all the girls who read...


As a girl who reads, writes, and has indulged in a love affair with the written word since I was first able to put letters together... I fell in love with this passage by Rosemarie Urquico.  And since I know so many of you lovely readers are bookworms and writers yourselves, I'm sure you'll appreciate the following, too:

A Girl You Should Date
by Rosemarie Urquico 

Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.
 
She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes.


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13 comments:

  1. Jessica! I LOVE THIS! The part about being up at 2AM weeping because of a book brought tears to my eyes because I've SO been there!! I'm definitely reposting this- I've never heard of Rosemarie Urquico before, but this is just excellent!

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    1. I've been there, too! The best books are the ones you need tissues close at hand for! ;)

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  2. love this, I have it saved away on my computer already but it's worth seeing posted again!

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    1. Definitely something I'll keep saved on my computer, too! :)

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  3. My boyfriend sent this to,me a few weeks ago when I broght fifteen books home from the library and was freaking out over my creative writing manuscript. I <3 it.

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    1. Now that's a sweet boyfriend! Sounds like a keeper! ;)

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  4. I've always loved this! I'm a crazy reader so this always makes me smile.

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  5. I've read parts of this before, but never found the whole thing at once...it actually brought tears to my eyes. So beautiful. <3

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  6. This is a poorly written ripoff of "You Should Date An Illiterate Girl." It misses the irony of the original and instead is filled with trite little images painting a twee picture of what many vapid girls fancy themselves to be. Sigh.

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    1. Thank you for your opinion, Erin. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy this spin-off.

      I've read "You Should Date an Illiterate Girl" and while I do appreciate the irony within it... the hopeless romantic in me (and in many other young women) finds the value in the loveliness in this spin-off.

      Vapid girls? I think not. Better to be a hopelessly romantic bookworm who fancies herself to be something than the alternative. (At least in my book.)

      xoxo

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  7. the part where you said "You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots"
    HOLY crap. Made my heart stop. Dear god, where are these men and their boots and why can't I recite Keats? Better yet, where are these men that can recite Keats?

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