Apologies to Sir Paul for tweaking a chorus from his song "Ballroom Dancing"
Actually, it helped make a reader out of my wife.
They say what makes a truly successful relationship, or in this case a marriage, is the ability to not to nitpick about certain things that the other doesn't do. Take reading for example. I'm a voracious reader. Always have been and always will be. My wife, on the other hand, is a voracious non-reader. Seriously. The only items I've ever seen her read in the past 24 years of togetherness has been the cook book, the occasional crocheting magazine, the teen & tween magazines and very recently, the newspaper.
Books on the other hand, are like the equivalent of a Democrat advocating small government and less taxes. In other words, a pipe dream fantasy of mine that will not come true with any degree of consistency.
But there is hope (hence the title of the post) and actual glimpses of that hope do pop up from time to time. When they do, I do my damnedest to help in any way that I humanly can. But the glimpses that do pop, are always without exception, facilitated by something my lovely wife has seen on television. So this post is going to be about the half dozen or so books that my wife has read in the past 20 years that have originated from something that she watched on television.
1} All Creatures Great And Small, All Things Bright And Beautiful, All Things Wise And Wonderful, The Lord God Made Them All by James Herriot. I was the original culprit for this four pack of books, as I had gotten hooked on the BBC series back in the late 80's when it was being shown on PBS (which I had first learned about via an audio book of selected shorts). I introduced my wife to the series and she enjoyed it immensely. When the opportunity arose to buy a special paperback collection of his books, my wife bought them and has over the past two decades read them from cover to cover.
2} The Complete Directory To Prime Time Network And Cable TV Shows, 1946 to the present (1994). This bad boy was the only normal book that she bought in the 90's. This particular book covers every t.v. show that was created for the major networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox), the cable networks and even the Dumont network. She still reads it from time to time when she needs an answer to a particular t.v. question.
3} The Sports Encyclopedia of Baseball, various editions. This is actually my book, which is one of about six editions that I possess. If you want a book that has a summary of every season, plus stats from 1901 to the present (the present being whenever the book is updated, which is about every two or three years), this book is for you. This book is not for timid. My wife started goofing with this book because about five years ago, she started following the Boston Red Sox. She's not what you call a diehard, but she's currently about three levels up from where I'm currently at (casual observer), so she used this book to create little stats things (plus scrapbooks) for herself as it pertains to the Red Sox. As an offshoot, she now reads the paper (usually the sports section) with a greater degree of frequency.
4} Give Up The Ghost by Megan Crewe. This one was a source of endless amusement for me and was actually the genesis of not only this post but a status update as well. My wife is a fan of the television series "Ghost Whisperers" (I am not a fan of network t.v. of any kind) so she set off last week to the public library in search of a book based on this show. She didn't have any luck, but she was directed to the Young Adult section of the library where she found this particular book. And from the periodic updates she gives me, she is really enjoying the book and has said that she will finish it this week.
I have made it crystal clear on this blog what my opinion of YA is. However, I have not stated this opinion to my wife, as the fact that she is actually reading a book of fiction far outweighs my feelings about YA, so you know damn well I'm gonna be supportive in whatever genre she chooses to partake in.
One interesting thing has sprouted from this current emphasis on reading. As a rule, I do not share any of my writing with any of my family, simply because they wouldn't get what I write and I sure as hell don't want to explain to them why I write what I write. But after seeing my wife really enjoy this book, it gave me enough of a confidence boost to where I asked her if she would be interested in reading my published short stories.
She said she would be interested in reading them. I am, as a matter of record, happy as a pig in a festering pit of garbage. I am, also as a matter of record, scared shitless that she would be interested in reading them.
So my friends, t.v. doesn't necessarily rot your brain from the inside out all the time. Sometimes, it actually makes you use just enough of those brain cells to make you trip down to the library to find a book to read on a topic you enjoy watching.