Just Read a Book

by SimplySharpe on April 26, 2010


The Girl Behind the Book


Bookstores have always been a weakness of mine. I have always dreamed of wall to wall bookshelves and one day having a library in my house. This weekend, I realized where that dream originated.

The DJ was playing a gig in South Florida and we literally flew down for 24 hours. I was hesitant to spread the word that we were coming down due to our limited time and the distance between where my family has spread out all over the tri-county area. My father remained determined to see us and rewarded me with two of my favorite ways to pass time… lunch and visit to a bookstore.

We were walking around the bookstore and he was attempting to catch up with me while I stopped every few minutes to pick up a book and declare I had to have it. When we passed a section with classics like 1984 and Animal Farm I was reminded of my childhood. My father bought me these books before I even knew how to read. By the time I was in middle school and they were assigned reading, I refused because I had already read them. I asked for more challenging assignments. It was not that my Dad ever asked me to dissect the characters in the story or who the Pig or Snowball possibly represented. They just felt like books I read as a child and therefore did not agree with them being considered “homework“.

I started to tell my father about this and since he had never seen a report card or feedback from a teacher, he found the story amusing. He said (in his adorable South African accent), “Your mother must have had a fit when you did that!

She did.

In fact, every time my Mother had a “fit” I just called my Dad to tell him how intolerable she was. I started to remember how often I called my Father with this information and instead of responding, “Why do you think we are not married anymore?” the only thing I remember him saying is, “Why don’t you just read a book?“.

Then I would hang up and do just that. I read everything. Mostly young adult novels like pictured above, but I often borrowed books from my Mom’s overflowing collection of self help and psychology. She was studying for her Master’s in Social Work so there was an abundance of these types of books collecting dust next to her battered copy of Men Who Hate Women and the Women Who Love them. I read that too.

I then lamented on the fact that there were all these books that I feel like I could have written years ago. My Dad stared at me with genuine sincerity and said he always wondered why I had not written a book yet. I gently reminded him how he and my Mother told me that being an author was a poor career choice and I would never make any money. He paused, took a serious look at me and asked with no trace of irony, “When did you start listening to what we told you to do?

No pause from me, “Um, every time you told me to read a book, I did!“.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Robyn April 30, 2010 at 4:31 pm

Bookstores are a weakness of mine as well. I love reading and there’s just something about old bookstores that I find simply intriguing. I guess we both are part of the community that finds reading fun and fundamental!

SimplySharpe May 7, 2010 at 12:01 am

We share a wonderful weakness.

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