Thursday, November 13, 2008

Book Bondage

The Partner is reading a book! The Partner is reading a book! I feel like a line of little people, circa 1939, should be wielding large lollipops and chanting it: The Partner is reading a book!

This is noteworthy because the main man in my life has not seen fit to peruse the printed page for the past ten years. The impetus for the change is simple: he has a 5-hour round-trip commute each day, half of which is spent on the train. He now has time to feed his brain the old-fashioned way, with words black as licorice on pages that send up the subtle tang of fine, fine wood pulp. It is delicious.

I sent him out the door with Nelson Demille's Plum Island in hardcover. It's about a wounded New York City homicide detective looking into murders at the biological testing facility on the tip of Long Island. If you told me I should've eased him into the pleasures of the page with something a bit shorter, or with larger print, or featuring comic book characters, I will admit that you may be right. But I am much more eager than that. I may be jumping the gun, but I want to be able to discuss with him plot, characterization, style, truth-vs-fiction, and all the elements that swirl around my head when my favorite writers weave their tales.

It was a ballsy move for another reason. Our last Demille discussion went horribly awry when he threw the audio copy of Night Fall the length of his truck as we barrelled down I-95 en route Virginia to visit a friend. The book discussed TWA Flight 800, a doomed airliner that fell out of the sky over Long Island on July 17, 1996, killing all 230 on board. It brought out the conspiracy theorist in me and, as I began to wax iconoclastic on him, he lost no time, but a lot of patience, in lambasting my ideas about government cover-ups. We weren't more than fifteen minutes into the audio (peppered with my militia-mentality observations) when he sent the tape flying.

Now that I think about it, I'm not sure why I want him to read books. Or why I want to talk about them with him. Very few of our discussions about other matters end up well, why should this be any different? I guess I'm just a glutton for punishment. A great big bibliophilic masochist.

The Partner is reading a book!

4 comments:

toyfoto said...

wow. I can't believe you actually discuss plots on the rare occasion The Partner reads a book. If you were a fly on the wall during the discussion I had with Jed over the one book we read in common, the silence would have been awkward. ... even for an insect.

mominsanity said...

Plum Island is a good one! Glad you told him to read it.

Chris said...

Well, if that doesn't put a ominious gloom over my foray into reading. Woe to whoever looks over my shoulder and attempts to strike up a conversation on the train. Unless she's cute.
I may just take the book and set it on fire. Just to be difficult.

Anonymous said...

Check out this VIDEO about PLUM ISLAND

PLUM ISLAND BIO THREAT
http://www.wired.com/video/science/wired-science/1741215546/plum-island/1900390310

Available on YouTube without ads http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LR_IMb9V5Bg