Catch a Man Who Reads
by Carlo Hernandez Andrion
The Philippines is not a “reading” nation. Books in this country are considered a luxury. Underpaid and poor, most people here would rather save money for other home essentials than spend on books.
But I want to tell you some things about people who read. It’s really about finding your Mr. Darcy—to date, marry, and grow old with.
Date a man who reads. Date a man who invests on books rather than on clothes, food and electronic gadgets. His may be a messy room—with tools, magazines and electronic gadgets scattered all over. But in the litter, you’ll find a “spice.” Books. Which would make you smile.
Guys who read books do not necessarily wear eyeglasses. They are neither nerds nor emos, nor are they introvert and antisocial creatures. They would hate you for sticking that stigma on them.
Date a man who reads. Social networking sites do not spoil his life. He can survive without Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or e-mails, but not without a good read.
Date a man who reads. For he does know the value of poetry. Yes, science, engineering, math, law and medicine, they are great pursuits. But the man who reads values love, life, true happiness—with passion.
Date a man who reads. A great place for him is a coffee shop, or anywhere cheap that he finds conducive to reading. He knows when you are upset, or happy, or guilty. He knows it because he is familiar with human emotions. You don’t need to give him a clue.
Date a man who reads because he will not take you to jampacked movie houses on premiere nights. He understands that a good movie is adapted from a great book. He knows that any movie adaptation is always inferior to its book original.
Date a man who reads. He knows that you’re going to give him a book for his birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries, but still he will be so eager to see what’s inside the gift. For he is so in love with literature—and with those who love the things he loves. Reminisce your childhood with the lessons from Dr. Seuss, “The Little Prince,” and the mysterious “Charlotte’s Web.” He’ll admire you for being familiar with those great stories.
Date a man who reads. He knows what is true, and what is fiction. If it’s possible in novels, why not in real life? Talk to him about Sherlock Holmes, of the magic kingdom of Narnia, and the best series so far, Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings.”
Date a man who reads. You’ll find him in a park, beneath a tree, with a newly acquired book whose pages could be white or yellow; or sitting by the bus window, relishing the yellow light, his perfect aphrodisiac for reading. He always welcomes a conversation with a stranger who likes to read Austen, Bronte, Woolf, Dickinson, and Niffenegger.
No, you will not find in his wallet a condom or a thick wad of money, or credit cards. Instead, you’ll find a list of books he wants to buy, and love letters and poems and quotes that he had earlier come across and that caught his interest. He does not put money in his wallet, unless he’s going to buy another book.
He knows when to make it with a girl. He doesn’t need to flirt. He has had enough flirtation in the books he had read. When he’s in love, he’s in love. He understands the concept of serendipity—and waiting. It takes time and patience to finish a Tolstoy novel.
He can spend the night with you, without sleep, and without sex, just talking endlessly about novels, and stories and poets and their lives. That Sylvia Plath committed suicide, Robert Frost took the road less traveled, Margaret Atwood knows the variation of sleep and love, and that John Keats’ last request was to place a “Here lies one whose name was writ in water” in his tombstone.
Date a man who reads. He does not judge a book by its cover. Or will he judge you by your appearance. He knows you have interesting stories “within” you, and he will listen to them, and fall in love with them. He knows how to make you smile. He’ll just read a good line, and you’ll know you’re inspired. He shares everything: the stories that break, and the ones that stink. Aside from reading, he gives you ample time—to eat, to pray, and to love. He accepts the fact that you need to find and discern yourself, sometimes.
Marry a man who reads. Make love to him as the two of you make new stories together. You’re guaranteed that your children will not have a boring childhood, that he’ll be there to tell bedtime stories because he believes (still) in fantasy even though he’s not a child anymore and he’ll play out the characters in children’s books.
He appreciates comedy and satire. His most precious belongings are his books and your family, which are to him a big story and a big event in his life. Although it is not quantifiable, he trusts the word “forever.”
Grow old with a man who reads. He knows that the worlds he has read in books will sometimes be more colorful and livelier than the world you two will actually live in. But he will not leave you. People die. Children come and go. But the memories and stories will be with you. Forever.
By the way, he believes in women’s lib, because he accepts that women are good readers, and writers too.
Carlo Hernandez Andrion, 21, is married to engineering but regards literature dearly as his mistress.
I read this when it first came out and promptly found my soulmate, much like a thousand other girls did all over the country, I imagine. I forgot to post it here, so, here.