So Did He Read The Book? written by Allison Baggio
Posted By Rebecca Eckler on October 7, 2011
I got some mixed responses to my last post about my husband not reading my novel. Some people said they were in a similar situation with their husbands, some couldn’t believe that it would actually be a possibility that he wouldn’t have read it by now. Luckily, my husband didn’t read the blog post either, so he wasn’t affected either way.
I know how it must look, but really I have not been upset about him not reading my work for the last seven years. Seriously, it has not bothered me in the least because as a couple we have such different interests and I’ve just come to expect that I will work away on my projects and he will work away on his projects and we won’t really interfere with each other. In fact, this is one thing I like about our relationship—we are together, but still unique in many ways.
For example, he likes to do stuff like make cigars from scratch (yes, starting from a tobacco seed!), and I think its pretty cool and when he’s done. I hold the cigar in my hands, look it over and say, wow, you’re awesome! But I don’t smoke it. He also spends a lot of time trying to come up with the perfect pinto bean recipe. In fact, he has been boiling up pots of beans for probably three years now… it has become a familiar smell in the house. He’s tenacious when it comes to his beans, but I don’t really like them and I have never, not once, tasted any of the finished products. Was he insulted? Nahhhh… that’s just us, absolutely no pretense.
So yes, a novel is a bit different I hear you saying because wow, it’s a big accomplishment to finish a full length novel and get it published by an actual publisher. Well, yes, I suppose, but it’s hard to put one of our pursuits into a more elevated category. Who am I to say that cigars and beans aren’t just as important? We all express our creativity in different ways.
I think though, that I’ve figured out some other issues in this equation: his grueling work schedule and his tendency towards procrastination. After we received the finished book, there were many times when he told me adamantly that he was going to read it: when he was on the night shift at work; when he had the week off work; when the kids were with a babysitter; when we were out shopping for the day. I really think he meant it, but for some reason though, the times kept falling through. It was kind of like when he waits weeks before hanging a new picture, or takes four months to unpack his suitcase after a trip.
But this, I hear you saying again, this should be different! Well yes, as it grew closer to the time when I was going to write this follow-up post, I started to feel something strange. And maybe it was just the stress of having my first novel released into the world, but for the first time I started to feel well, sad, that he hadn’t read it. I decided to confront him about it.
“Honey,” I said one night in the kitchen. “I just want to be honest but it’s starting to make me feel a little bit badly that you haven’t read the book.”
“Well then, I’ll just have to read it,” was his immediate response.
Quirks and all, there is one thing I know about my husband, and it’s a big part of why we have been together for so long: when I really need him, he will always be there for me. So the next day, I am proud to report, he cracked open my book and started to read.
He was at work as he read and began sending me e-mail messages every couple chapters. The praise was ridiculous. He pointed out different scenes and incidences he liked the most, he told me how well the story flowed and how excited he was to see that he was getting so drawn in (see that wasn’t too hard was it?). He told me he was practically in tears to think that I was the one who had written this. And you know what? I knew he was telling the truth because I know that whether he reads Girl in Shades or not, he believes in me and has shown me that in so many other ways.
(I have to admit though, that when it all comes down to it: I’m so glad he’s finally read my book.)
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Allison Baggio’s first novel, Girl in Shades was released by ECW Press on October 1st and is available to order on Amazon and Chapters Indigo. She will be launching Girl in Shades on October 13th at Ben McNally Books in Toronto. Learn more about her at www.allisonbaggio.com and follow her on Twitter, @allibaggio.