When we were growing up people would always ask us, “What is it like to be a twin?” (I start out with a “we” to show you that when I was little this was my default personal pronoun. But not in an Ayn Rand kind of way.) My response to that is, “I don’t know, what is it like to not be a twin?” Fortunately people don’t do this much anymore (probably because Mara and I aren’t attached at the hip anymore so people don’t know we’re twins). Now that I am grown up I have a different problem (well, it’s always been a problem but people have commented on it a lot more recently). Every time I go to a place to get my hair done, they say, “Wow, you have a lot of hair.” And then, when they start to blow it dry, they say, “Wow, you’re hair is very absorbent.” And then last time I got my hair dyed, the girl asked me, “Your hair must be really heavy. Do you get headaches when your hair is in a ponytail?” I just wanted to say, “I don’t know, you tell me! What is it like to light, fluffy hair? What is it like to not have to spend an hour blow drying your hair?” I’ve always had super thick hair, and I’ve always been a twin, nor do I plan on either of these things ever changing. So I can’t tell you what it’s like to be otherwise.
And yet as much as these questions annoy me, I’m often tempted to ask one of my own: “What is it like to NOT want to read a book?” I’ve met many people who see me reading and are like, “Whatcha readin’? Is it for school? What, it’s for fun? Why would you do that? I don’t like to read.” And I just want to say, “What’s wrong with you?!” Instead I just say to myself, “That person will never be your friend.”
I guess I should be more open-minded. There are some people in this world who just aren’t born to plug into that type of creative outlet, or maybe they had a terrible experience as a child (the alphabet attacked them? I don’t know) and now they have bad associations with reading. I guess I should still want to be friends with them. But deep down I know that even if I tried, it wouldn’t work out. Because I don’t know what it’s like to not want to read. I don’t know what it’s like to not talk about Harry Potter, or plot structure, or character development, or how the book is always better than the movie. I just don’t understand.
That’s one reason why my job is awesome. Everybody who works in the publishing community loves books. We do! Maybe we don’t all love the same authors or the same genre, or we might have differing opinions on what constitutes a “good book.” But at least it gives us a common ground to argue about.
I’m not really sure the point of this post since I’m pretty sure everybody reading this is in the same boat that I am. If you don’t love to read, I’m not really sure why you’re reading a blog about reading and writing. So I guess my question is: how do I relate to these other people? Do I even want to? Or how can I convince them that my way is the right way?