An image of the book Sapiens

She Wouldn’t Read the Book

My wife reads a lot for work. As a college professor with a Ph.D., if she’s not reading research papers, she’s grading large stacks of homework. In her downtime, the last thing she has energy for is more reading. But last night, things got interesting.

She was unwinding on Instagram while I read Hiking with Nietzsche (which I can’t wait to review). She said, “I should do something more valuable with my time. I should read a book, but I don’t have the motivation.” She’s had a copy of The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle on her nightstand for almost 6 months, and even though she likes the idea of it, she can’t get herself to pick it up.

“That’s because you’re reading the wrong book,” I said. “You need something irresistible.”

She shook her head. “No, I like this book. I just can’t get myself to read it.”

That’s when I pulled a different book off the shelf. It was Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. “No,” I said. “Remember this book?” She smiled and sat upright. A few years ago, she’d picked up Sapiens at an airport, and for several days couldn’t put it down. She read the whole thing during her final semester as a Ph.D. student, writing her dissertation, being a mother of four, holding down a job, and being the best wife ever.

“You had time to read this one,” I said.

“Well, that was different. Once I started, I couldn’t stop.”

“Exactly.” I’m pretty sure I winked at her.

She took the book from my hands, playfully smacked my shoulder with it, and returned to page 1.

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