Anyone who knows me, knows that I love to read. There is nothing I love more than a good book and a room filled with silence. I get my reading gene from my mother, who feels the same way. There were times we would bond just by sitting across from each other and reading our own books without a care in the world.
However, there is a huge difference in the way I read and the way my Mom reads. I'm always open to suggestions when she approaches me with a new book or a new author. But whenever I suggest the same to her, she brushes me off. When I was in college and had to read 'Things Fall Apart' for a class, I raved about it to her. She found out what the book was about and figured it would be 'too deep' for her, so she decided not to read it. Fast forward a few years and she was in the A section of a book store and another customer started raving to her about the works of Chinua Achebe, particularly 'Things Fall Apart.' So at this stranger's suggestion, she bought the book and offered it as a selection for her book club. They loved it, and I was annoyed. That wasn't the first time she has turned down one of my suggestions only to go with a stranger's.
When I finally decided to delve into some Toni Morrison books, I asked Mom to do the same, but she had no interest in doing so. Even though practically all of Toni's books are in her library, she hasn't read a single one. She just has them there for show. Once I got through 'Song of Solomon', then 'Tar Baby' and finally 'Sula', I encouraged Mom to do the same. She had no interest, because Toni was 'too deep' for her. Again, I was frustrated.
Recently, I told Mom how much I thought she would like 'Tar Baby' if she'd just give it a try. I also told her about those countless times where she'd reject one of my book suggestions only to jump on it when a stranger offered. And most of the times she loved these books anyway, so I argued it would be easier for her to jump on my suggestions first. She saw my point and agreed to spend the month of December reading 'Tar Baby.' I agreed to read along and offer help where ever I could.
On December 1, I called her:
Me: How are Son and Jadine?
Me: I guess that means you haven't started Tar Baby yet.
Her: Well ... errr ..... uhh ...
I called again the next day:
Me: What's up with Valerian?
Me: Another Tar Baby reference.
Her: Oh. Well ....
I called another day and she didn't answer the phone. She thinks she's slick. I'm not above stalking.