Tuesday, May 15, 2012

meeting in the middle

SB has not read a book in ten years with the exception of the business school readers.  He has perused some of the economics books that I have gifted him over the past several years but there has been a dearth of fiction.  I have been determined to rectify this serious deficiency of character whether he likes it or not.

Now you may imagine that is would be easy for a strong personality like myself to drag such a troglodyte into the light, kicking and screaming as may be, but this was not the case.  Upon being presented with the fiction section of the neighborhood book store he only displayed fleeting interest in gory or rather energetic looking titles.  My attempt to point him toward the classics was met with a five minute rant about how he was forced to read Jane Austen in school and how he was sure that there have to be better books out there (not that he ever found out).  My attempts to defend Ms. Austen  went nowhere.

Then there was the problem of when he would read any of the literature that we picked out.  I am starting to regret that sports package subscription; he watches it until his eyes glaze over and then he switches over to the Discovery Channel package to watch bunches of idiots attempting all sorts of unnatural feats on land, sea and air.  We finally came to the conclusion that the only way to get him reading again would be for me to read out loud.

Of course this decision had its own problems.  When considering some of my favorite classroom book assignments I realized that I do not have the vocal power to do justice to Shakespeare, nor do I have the staying power to read Faulkner out loud cover to cover.  Then there was the problem that my preferred content would put SB right to sleep while his preferred content would give me nightmares.

Finally I settled on a book that seems to be both classic and gory as well as acceptably frivolous for a first attempt at reading out loud.  May I present...

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith.  I will let you know how it turns out.  I have high hopes.


Gweipo said...

Have you tried audio books with him. My son loves them and listens to the stories either in the car or in the evening before going to sleep ...
makes the classics MUCH more accessible.

architart said...

I enjoy audio books on car trips but I think that SB might be bored if I'm not the one reading to him. He's very strange; he spends hours studying mechanical components but can't seem to get into fiction.