Literate Girls

Recently my sweet and lovely niece Eva sent me a blog post from Thought Catalogue by Charles Warnke with the (hopefully) ironic title, "You Should Date an Illiterate Girl." It reads like a prose poem and it's been making the internet rounds among the young. Here is one of my favorite passages:

Date a girl who doesn’t read because the girl who reads knows the importance of plot. She can trace out the demarcations of a prologue and the sharp ridges of a climax. She feels them in her skin. The girl who reads will be patient with an intermission and expedite a denouement. But of all things, the girl who reads knows most the ineluctable significance of an end. She is comfortable with them. She has bid farewell to a thousand heroes with only a twinge of sadness.

As a girl who reads, I recognize the woman Warnke describes. The year I turned 19, my then-and-now boyfriend (reader, I married him) bought me a box of poetry books for my birthday. It was a giant gift box filled with Nikki Giovanni, Alan Ginsburg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, e.e. cummings, Anne Sexton--a 70s hipster girl's dream roster--with some good old-fashioned Yeats for good measure. That gift made me the envy of every literate girl in my dorm. In the years since, I have gotten some other boxes of books, usually when I least expect them. One year, in my pre-Kindle days,  it was 38 Penguin pocket books, scaled down to fit in a purse or a back pocket. "So you'll always have something to read," was the inscription on the card. The last such gift was two shopping bags that I could barely lift, as they were filled with a hardcover set of Barnes and Noble classics, from Alcott and Austen right through Wharton and Wilde. It occurs to me that it is a brave man who's willing to date--or marry--a literate girl. Near the end of Warnke's post is this warning:

Don’t date a girl who reads because girls who read are the storytellers. . . .The girl who reads has spun out the account of her life and it is bursting with meaning. She insists that her narratives are rich, her supporting cast colorful, and her typeface bold.

So here's to all the literate girls, the storytellers, the crafters of narratives. The girls who read.  (And the men who love them.)

♥ ♥ ♥