Date A Man Who Reads

A couple weeks ago I blogged a great piece called “Date A Girl Who Reads.” I had read it on tumblr and had to share. The response has been huge. So here’s a response: Date A Man Who Reads.

Date a man who reads. Date a man who spends more on books than on video games, electronics, or car “accessories.” Date a man with a library card, a man who’d rather carry a book than a gym bag. Date a man who keeps a running list of books, poems, essays, and reviews in a Moleskin in his back pocket. Date a man who’ll be so excited over an essay in The New Yorker or Hitchen’s latest piece in Vanity Fair that he can hardly contain himself waiting for you to finish reading. He’ll fight you for the NYT Book Review every Sunday but it will be worth it, if for nothing else then the smell of newsprint on his skin. You’ll be stashing books on every stationary surface in your apartment but the joy of swapping books, of sharing spine-broken, dog-eared paperbacks will be euphoric.

Find a man who reads. He’ll be the one who drifts quietly through a bookstore looking for a book he read about on an obscure French literary website, or  yet another copy of The Divine Comedy, Beowulf, or On Love. Date a man who smiles broadly and gleefully when he finds exactly what he was looking for. You’ll see him sitting quietly in the corner of a coffee shop drinking from a ceramic mug because he can’t bring himself to waste a paper cup on a latte he’s going to wallow in while wading into Steinbeck, yet again. Crack a joke about the yellowed scotch tape holding his copy of East of Eden together and his heart will probably stop beating. Share your scone with him and spark up a debate about Michiko Kakutani’s latest review and you can probably bend his ear for hours.

Date a man who reads. He’s the kind of man who’s calendar is full of lectures at local museums and universities. His “bookmarks” and browser history are full of indie bookstores, book dealers, literary blogs, free-trade coffee roasters, and library catalogs. He can’t pass a bookstore without popping in “just to see.” He’s got a stack of library books on his nightstand and knows all the librarians at his local branch by name. He shops at co-ops and farmer’s markets because he wants to stay connected to his community.

Date a man who reads. He’s flawed, like every man, but he tries his damnedest not to be. Rest assured though, when he screws up he knows the power of a well-worded apology because he knows that the greatest heroes often trip on their capes. He knows he’s no different than a good novel; he unfolds a chapter at a time. Date a man who reads because he’ll cling to your every word likes he clings to plot developments. He’ll lean across the dinner table with a glimmer in his eye as you challenge him on…well, anything.

Date a man who reads. He’ll understand your need to keep the bedside lamp on till 2 in the morning because you couldn’t possibly go to sleep before reading the last chapter. And when you’re done with that last chapter, he’ll consume your thoughts as voraciously as he does your body. Date a man who will lie languidly in bed with you on a rainy or snowy weekend day with you and an anthology of Neruda or Cummings.

Date a man who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a man who will be your Mr. Darcy, who will square his shoulders against the world for you, who’ll sweep you off your feet. You deserve a man who smells of books. You deserve a man who’ll whisper in your year on the sofa or as you walk hand in hand through the years. Date a man who reads because a man who reads is the perfect hybrid of the blissful fantasy of literature and the comforting strength of reality.

Or better yet, date a man who writes.



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14 responses to “Date A Man Who Reads

  1. CIV

    The paragraph that begins “Date a man who reads. He’s flawed…” is no good. It merely reinforces the idea that men are flawed, instead of taking a balanced view of men. It should be about how men who read *understand* that people are flawed, that people make mistakes, which is the idea of the original piece, but instead it’s about how men who read make mistakes but will apologize.

    • Menzies

      I agree with this.

      The Girl Who Reads post never discussed the woman’s flaws. It was directed as a series of suggestions or imperatives at a person looking for a worthy partner, and the fact that it candidly told its object “Fail her” and went on to say why was refreshing.

      Here, though, the equivalent paragraph just paints men as imperfect in comparison to the subject of the original post. Basically the narrative thread between the two becomes: “The man-who-reads makes mistakes because that’s how he is, but the girl-who-reads will understand because she knows that’s how people are.” It reinforces the idea that even if the man fits all of the other criteria in this post, he’s still only a flawed person, whereas the girl who reads is made flawless merely by that quality.

      It’s nitpicking in the extreme, I know. I just felt it needed to be said.

  2. Pingback: Date A Girl Who Reads | mashrabiyya

  3. I thought about it, and I came to the conclusion that you’re right. More to the point, I think every man should be a Man Who Reads.

  4. “Date a man who reads because a man who reads is the perfect hybrid of the blissful fantasy of literature and the comforting strength of reality.” You know it!

    btw, Mr. Wonderful owned Beowulf when I met him…of course, now we both do. 🙂

  5. Bookmarks and browser history are also full of porn, probably. Just be ready for it if you go lookin’.

  6. Pingback: Date A Woman Who Bakes | mashrabiyya

  7. Kim

    I found this post to be quite pleasing. As the case is one who reads has words and can better communicate and have more thoughtful understanding of any situation. I love to communicate with men, I find they really do love to talk and express their opinions. If you are always learning then you will also be interesting, as they will be.

  8. Last line here?

    Genius. Fvcking genius.

    Well done.

  9. Pingback: Almost over | The Life Of A (soon to be) College Graduate

  10. Pingback: Date A Man Who Reads | ColorMeStunned

  11. Pingback: Date A Girl Who Reads! |

  12. Pingback: Grow old with the man who reads | Dusks and Summers

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