We were recently discussing some piece of fiction, and Chris mentioned he no longer reads fiction. At all. I immediately had a fit. I doubt that surprises you.
"Why is it important that I read fiction?" he asked.
"Because," I stammered. "Because ..."
Because it's a creative adventure. Because it's a doorway to other worlds, other lives. Because it takes us places non-fiction can never go.
All perfectly lovely reasons that I couldn't express at the time, I was so mind-boggled at learning Chris didn't read fiction. But I finally made one coherent point that hit home: I told Chris he should read fiction to set a good example for his sons.
Now, let me set out the facts in the case:
- Chris reads a lot. There are plenty of non-fiction books in the house, along with magazines, newspapers, etc.
- Chris and his wife Laurie read children's books to the boys. There's no shortage of reading in their young lives.
- Chris read a lot of fiction before he stopped. He groks the fullness of the classics.
Chris believes no fiction is as fascinating as real life. Possibly, but it can be a helluva lot more appealing. For example, Chris hasn't read one of my all-time favorite books, The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. It's fiction. But he might read Lucky, Sebold's memoir. Both books deal with rape. The reality of Lucky made me put the book down and walk away. I had the same reaction when I reached the rape scene in The Lovely Bones -- but I was able to come back to that book, knowing it was fiction. Incredible, astonishing, unforgettable fiction.
Here's where you come in.
Vote with a post.
Or send me an email.
If you say it's important for Chris to start reading fiction again, he will. If you say it doesn't matter, he'll continue down his merry non-fictional path.
He has agreed to abide by the CI team's decision. In other words, he's already paying more attention to you than he does to me. Clearly, he is one of my children ...