We traded our respective tastes in music, TV shows and food. The only area where we have never found common ground is books.
I like non-fiction, mostly history and autobiographies. My latest obsession is spiritual memoirs.
Zac, on the other hand, will read anything with a dragon on the cover.
His favorite series is called “The Wheel of Time” by Robert Jordan.
Each book is between 700 and 1,000 pages long, and there are currently 14 volumes in the series.
How anyone can come up with that much to say about dragons, I’ll never know.
Given our different literary preferences, I don’t know what made me so excited when I read about a husband and wife who are embarking on a “You need to read this!” challenge in 2014.
Each spouse is selecting one book a month for the other to read.
Like us, this couple also can’t agree on reading material, but that doesn’t stop either of them from saying, “You should read this!” as they are finishing a book they love.
Of course, they know the likelihood of their spouse taking them up on their offer is slim.
Now they are going to be forced to step outdside their comfort zones and embrace each other’s favorite authors for a whole year.
I asked Zac if he would be willing to accept a similar challenge, and he quickly got on board.
I didn’t want to commit us to one book a month because I know how crazy our schedules can be at times and I assumed that we would each be reading other books throughout the year.
Also, I have always wanted us to find a book to read together so that we could get each other’s thoughts on it as we went along.
We frequently have discussions (usually arguments) in which I say one thing and Zac hears another and vice versa. I can only imagine what totally different lessons we might glean from reading between the lines of the same book.
Since Zac was a good sport about accepting this hairbrained challenge, I responded in kind by letting him make the first selection.
I had a suspicion that he would choose “The Hobbit,” and he did.
I didn’t have high hopes for enjoying the book considering that it took me about seven times to make it through the first “Lord of the Rings” movie with him without falling asleep.
As it turns out, the first chapter of “The Hobbit” put me to sleep as well.
Then life got a little more crazy than usual, and our nightly ritual of reading “The Hobbit” has turned into the only time that we are getting to spend together right now.
Since I’m usually tightly wound from the events of my workday, Zac has become our designated reader.
I close my eyes, lean against Zac’s shoulder and imagine that I am in the Shire, a magical land inhabited by fat, friendly hobbits.
Actually, the chapter we are on currently has the hobbit named Bilbo and his little friends running from evil goblins through a deep, dark wood, and a dangerous dragon is waiting for them on the other side.
I think Bilbo is beginning to regret tagging along on this adventure and wants nothing more right now than to be back in his hobbit hole eating cake and basking in the sunshine.
I know the feeling.
I seem to be on a journey of my own this year.
There are no dragons here, but there is darkness and some uncertainty about what fate awaits me at the end of my travels.
Thankfully, like Bilbo, I do not walk alone.
I am learning not to underestimate the importance of friends, home, cake or a good book.