Bibliophile, my Valentine!
“The object of our desire and affection” often an expression used by love-birds when they think of one another, but this could apply differently when you ask a bibliophile. If you are in love with a bookaholic, then most likely you can attest to being put on the back burner all too often, replaced by the next book on the tbr, a needed trip to the library / bookstore, the reorganization of bookshelves and or simply the desired reading time required; a one-some act of the intimate engaging pleasure of the mind partaking without you!
Not only are lovers or soon to be lovers affected by the (to non-readers) baffling behaviors exhibited by the bibliophile, but family and friends often receive a rain-check (even if it’s not raining…which, of course, is the perfect excuse to read) by their beloved, without ever knowing the truth!
“I rather be reading”
Although Feb 14th is just another day in my book, this Valentine’s Day has me thinking of all the injustice that is happening to those loved ones pining for the time and affection of the bibliophile. Since I am a reader in every free minute of my time, I am no stranger to the fallacies or my own shortcomings in the love department. Guilty as charged!
I can’t speak for all bibliophiles, but perhaps some of you recognize yourself in the following scenarios, whichever side you are on.
Going out or staying in!
This is hands down one of the biggest problems for me. Although I like to get out to run and listen to my audiobooks, or spend time behind my camera lens outside and travel, most of the time I only like to venture out begrudgingly on a date or a formal/informal function. This could be an age thing too, I am not sure, but I have become so comfortable in my skin and love my alone time, that I don’t have the need to be ‘out there’. Does that make me a hermit? Is this a common trait of a bibliophile? My suspicion tells me yes. As others have developed a love for movies or sports and follow that passion, I have been most susceptible to books and reading. Since this activity is coziest inside or in another perhaps secluded reading spot, I most often find myself staying in….and in my mind, I make cozy look sexy.
TV lover vs. Booklover!
I do not care for tv much and it distracts me to read when it is on. I am not immune to watching or discovering tv shows or even binge-watching on occasion, but mostly I like it quiet. One may argue that a true bibliophile can read no matter the noise around, but reading words when hearing other words does not work for me. So, how does this play out in a relationship with someone who loves to watch tv as much as I like to read? Well, a lot of compromising and separate space is required in the long run. As much as the tv infringes on me, my reading may infringe on a partner so this can be a challenge. Especially if it messes with my inner feng shui.
Are we on the same page?
I have learned to reign in my book talk with others that don’t care to hear it. A time of trial and error! Currently, my book talk is set to a minimal since I am not surrounded by booklovers in real life, except online (partial bummer). If you are dating or know a bibliophile then you also know, once you open Pandora’s Box and start talking the “b” word…it can go on and on and on. I have learned the hard way that this means a buzzkill to some, whereas a bibliophile may truly like a little sweet talk about books…if you know what I mean. ;)
Oh, not tonight honey!
I have a headache…excuses, excuses! Well….truly, I do get migraines, but I am so guilty about rather reading at times then getting frisky. So, if this is you too, stop it right there. This should not be happening I am told. Even as a bibliophile, the time has to be made for intimacy in relationships. I totally agree…but it’s a working process!
What are you browsing?
Books. Lots and lots of books. New ones, old ones, soft cover, hard cover, big books, small books….if it’s books, I like to look them up, research them, buy them, read them, sniff them (…ok that’s too far, NOT), talk about them, pass them on and blog about them. Can books build a wall in a relationship? Hmm…I’m not sure, I can’t see the other side anymore. I wonder what it would be like to date another bibliophile?
Nothing in common.
Let’s check the dividends here.
This is a problem, but not one that can’t be overcome. I am a selfish “me time monster” and I have a passion to read. A lot. That does not mean I don’t want to spend time doing other things occasionally. I am not an expert here, but I do realize that reading does take a lot of pastime and I think every now and then a simple gesture of gratitude for given space should be shown. Perhaps one should actually close the book sometimes, and spend quality time together and find that common ground. If people or a person is important to me, then I will try and make the time to reciprocate what I receive. It’s a balancing act and it needs work.
Some read for escapism, some read for knowledge, some need a thrill…whatever it is, if you read a lot, you think and visualize imagined worlds, plots, dramas or see life unfold in words a lot. There is a thirst of knowledge or the stimuli sought in reading that gratifies the senses or an itch that only more books can scratch.
IT’S CRACK. I said it!
Likewise, I have always been drawn or attracted to thinkers or conversationalists that possess depths that bend or challenge my own boundaries of thinking. Over the years, this has become the most singular attractive feature I look for in a person that I meet beyond outer appearances (Those can fool ya’). The right measure of yin and yang in a relationship, balancing the needs of the mind with a partner can be intellectually very rewarding…like a great book, or perhaps even better. Admittedly, not all bibliophiles are necessarily thinkers, but if you happen to be attracted to one, then it probably plays some role in your own need for the stimuli of the mind. Perhaps one could entice you to the magic of books?
If not, laughter almost always works. Fake it till you make it ;) (Just kidding).
Turn them into readers!
Crash and burn….I have failed so far. Nothing more I can say about that. Perhaps it’s best to hit folks up at the library or the bookstore. At least this will give you a higher probability to meet another reader (…now I am thinking of creepy stalkers….well anyway). Good luck with turning a non-reader into a reader.
Comfort, solitude, love, and gratefulness.
As a bibliophile, is one truly ever alone? Are the fictitious worlds and characters we spend time with all we ever need? For some this may be so. True happiness comes from within and reading is a very gratifying and personal experience. But there is something very comforting in the idea or knowledge that you may have found and built a nest of mutual space and togetherness with someone and it is working out so far or you have friends and family that care about you (please let them be readers, please let them be readers, please let them be readers!). Finding and timing a good balance in the give and take as you grow in your passion for separate hobbies and as persons, yet stay unitedly connected is the quintessential challenge to achieving lasting love (I think). So, whether you are a bibliophile or not, escaping into the world of books every now and then (or not), counting your blessings will always keep you humble and not take loved ones for granted. Although I seldom feel alone with my books, this bibliophile reminds herself of this often on the other 364 days of the year.
Are you are valentining it on this day?
If you are in a place with yourself where you can let your hair down and be you happily and without guilt, then that is gravy. Today is only Thursday, really, but Valentine’s Day adds a little sweet reminder to care…and if you wait till tomorrow, you can share all those sweet goodies for half the fuss and price!
So, how do you balance the needs of a non-reader with say your own bibliophile needs for space and books, if your reading time is limited? Any healthy ideas?
If you have found the answer and it works for you, then you are one lucky bibliophile :)