My sister Jessica has come to town and has helped shape my reading list for the next year or so. She is unequivocally my best resource when it comes to books and always gives me the straight goods. Over the years she has pointed me in the right direction time and again and I really value her input. Like most people, I don't have much patience for crap, especially when there are so many quality books out there just begging for my attention. Jessica is the literary equivalent of that crusty guy at the record store who is just that much cooler than you and knows all.
I am not sure that my sister will enjoy that comparison, but it fits nonetheless. Today we had one of our long book chats as we went on a caffeinated book bender and bantered back and forth about the books we'd been reading. When I was in university I always swore in a shortsighted way that I would never date another English major because I wanted to avoid the inevitable literary debates that would ensue. One of many regrettable statements of my early twenties. What I have come to realize is the value of the company of readers. I am not being snobby and insinuating that I exclusively enjoy the being around people who read the literary classics, that's not the case. I think that I like people who are curious about the world around them and like to read newspaper articles, blogs, magazines, books, or poetry. It's so much easier to make conversation and build a rapport with people who have developed opinions about issues and reading allows a person to take in the information that is required for critical thinking.
Reading also helps to reinforce bonds that already exist. Whenever I've read a good book or article, I like to share it with someone I love so that it's a collective experience. That and I can't keep my mouth shut. My recommendations have had mixed results, but luckily my sister and my boyfriend both tell me gently when my picks don't pan out. Which is fortunately a rare occasion. When my sister comes over to my apartment, the first thing she usually does is go through my collection and pick out any books she would like to borrow and I am happy to lend them to her. For whatever reason, I always get a kick out of seeing my boyfriend's books on the shelf mixed with mine. It's the perfect metaphor for our relationship, a fusion of our diverse tastes and interests, like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
For the heck of it I've added a link to a YouTube video by Henry Rollins. It perfectly sums up why readers make the best dates.