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.