All of my favorite authors are men.
And in order for them to write, they had to read, yes?
And have a love for reading, yes?
Yet for some reason, throughout most of my life, I struggled to find proof that men actually read. For fun. Without anyone forcing it on them. Because they wanted to. Because they enjoyed getting lost in the story.
I grew up around male non-readers. My father didn't read anything that wasn't printed on a page of the newspaper. My brother, at a young age, liked to have stories read to him, but did not want to read on his own. None of my boyfriends were readers, either. What a shame, that. I find men who read terribly sexy!!
My husband, god love him, when we first started dating, used to read Dungeons and Dragons novels. You know, those serial novels that came out (and still come out) by the millions - featuring dark elves, and dwarves, and trolls, and clerics? While I scoff at the subject matter, at least he was reading! Somewhere between there and here, he lost his taste for books, and doesn't seem to want it back.
So, I was determined to make readers out of my sons.
My oldest went along with it for quite awhile. We would read together every night, discussing what we had read, and how we visualized the characters and the landscapes that were described within the books. When I took him to the bookstore, he would come home with an armful of books he chose for himself. I should have known it was too good to be true.
I think it was about two years ago, as he approached his 10th birthday, when I began to notice that, while he was still asking me to buy him books, he wasn't exactly reading them anymore. I would ask him to grab the story we were in the middle of, and he would sigh, and say how he didn't want to read it anymore, didn't find it interesting, wanted to give reading a rest. Quite a few books were left half-read, with the bookmarks still holding our page. Or, I ended up reading it on my own to see how it ended.
I even tried to bribe him with money! 5 bucks for a book read cover to cover if he gave me a verbal report on it when he was done. 5 bucks to describe what the book was about, what he liked about it, and what he didn't. But he wouldn't bite.
My youngest son.. he is my last hope. He took to books as a baby, sitting in my lap, asking to have them read to him. As he learned to read, we went out and bought books that he could handle on his own. He will sometimes sit on the couch next to me as I read my current novel, with a pile of books, and read silently to himself. At the age of 7, he still enjoys bedtime stories.
How I long to be married to a man who will sit in bed beside me, reading a book. How badly I wish my 12 year old would beg to borrow my books when I finished them.
Until that happens, I will just have to content myself by reading enough books for all of them!
Perhaps this blog post would help? It's from Art of Manliness.com and it lists the 100 Must Read Books for Men - I love it just for it's gorgeous retro photos. Not to mention they list some excellent novels in there! Sure, the post is 2 years old, but these are books that will never go out of style!