Monday, July 23, 2012

Wanted: A Boy Who Doesn't Read

Confession. I have a reader pet-peeve. Here it is:

The male love interest who reads.

Before anyone goes all nerd-tastic on me, let me explain.

I've read a lot of YA books where the guy the female MC is crushing on is a reader. He doesn't watch TV, he doesn't play video games, he's not even out playing basketball or skateboarding or something. No, he can be found lounging on his bed, reading.

And we're not talking comic books or even the latest John Grisham. Usually, these brainy yet brawny, sensitive yet cocky boys are reading classics or poetry or some obscure author I've never heard of.

Here's my theory: Us female authors think a boy like that is S-E-X-Y. I'm not gonna lie, it's a huge turn-on when a guy reads (teenage boys, take note).

Here's why it's a pet peeve: It's not realistic. I can't think of one guy I knew in high school who read for pleasure. Even now, thinking of my adult friends and family, I don't come up with many. My husband only started reading because I put Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone on the back of the toilet. (No joke.)

Of course, there are guys in real life who read. And maybe someone out there will say, "hey, all my guy friends read for fun." Okay then, I believe you.

But I can also argue back with the very vague, yet very true, "we all know girls read way more than boys do."

Really, this isn't a big deal. I don't stop reading a book when the male hottie is caught reading Camus. At most, I roll my eyes while thinking, not again. It's a pet peeve because it doesn't seem all that realistic to me and I've seen it in A LOT of books.

Then again, did you know there's a tumblr just for pics of hot guys reading books? Oh yes, there really is.


  1. I guess I hung out with too many geeks in high school--all my guy friends read. Of course, they did other things too: ran track, went to the arcade, played D&D, etc. A lot of them were artists too. So maybe that's done the opposite, and made me biased to think all guys are like that?

    P.S. And it was like the biggest aphrodisiac ever to these guys that I could recite Monty Python episodes and movies

  2. Loved the use of the word "nerd-tastic" and the toilet-book anecdote :-)

    I hadn't thought of this, but it's so true. Of course there is, occasionally, a high school guy who reads for pleasure, but it's not as common as fiction portrays it. (BTW, I once read about a study that found that men mostly read non-fiction or genre. I've found that to be true with many men I've met.)

    I think your theory is right on. The kind of fiction with the reading hunk is mostly targeted to women. So the fantasy factor comes in to play here.

  3. haha, my male MC in Fire and Ice reads. But you know that already. Yeah, I get where you're coming from. I knew a few guys back in HS that enjoyed reading, but for the most part guys were too busy being dirty and gross to care about that stuff.

    1. Haha, I totally forgot about that. *blushes* Sorry!

    2. And I totally fell in love with Kale btw. I mean, how could you not???

  4. When I met my husband, he had a thing for buying hardback books, which I thought was silly and expensive. I know, stone me now. But he mostly read James Patterson. And we were both adults when I met him. I don't remember any guy in high school who read novels for pleasure. But as a disclaimer, I didn't hang out with stand up guys.

  5. I went to an all-girls high school so I can't speak to this like most people would be able to. I did, however, date a fairly nerdy dude (who got 100% in Senior Algebra & Geometry and went on to be a bio-chemist O_O) who was a fairly avid reader. I do have to roll my eyeballs a little bit when I read about guys who are majorly into Edith Wharton and Salinger. Really? That must be some special breed of high school boy that I've never encountered. This is the main reason I never ended up finishing Dash & Lily's Book of Dares. Too unbelievable for me.

  6. Totally agree! Although, I do have a hot friend who will talk to you all day long about Revolutionary Road or Tennessee Williams...but he is a bit of a literature nerd (and hot, did I mention hot? Haha!) Now off to stare at tumblr all night...

  7. You make a good point. In high school, I was friends with a few guys who read, but it was almost always comics. There was one big reader who was one of those nose-in-the-book guys, but he was a rarity.

  8. I agree - I don't have a lot of guy friends that read. I do have one that actually wanted to borrow "Divergent" from me and I was shocked. He says he never reads, but it's nice that he wanted to try. :) Though my best friend Adam reads, but he only reads non-fiction. It's a start. :)

  9. So, I'm looking for pictures of guys reading books for my own blog post about the topic, and I find yours. (I hope you don't mind me borrowing Mr. Bloom there. I couldn't resist. But I can take it down if you do.) And Hot Guys Reading Books is now one of my favorite tumblrs. Thank you. :)

    ~Sabrina, whose guy friend read "Moby Dick" in high school (I still haven't)