Last week marked Ravi’s and my eighth wedding anniversary (and our 5th we’ve celebrated in Singapore). Ours is a love story of Star Trek and Babylon 5, of travel, and of Boston. But it is also a love story of two bookworms.
Ravi and I with books as kids. I’m getting some for my birthday, Ravi is ignoring Europe because there’s reading to be done.
When you have two people who grow up with such a deep love of books as we did, you don’t end up with someone who doesn’t read. From our first exchanges, books were a big part of how Ravi and I got to know one another. We actually spent some chunk of our first date discussing an author we both enjoyed—Mercedes Lackey–and just where she’d gone off the rails in her Valdemar series. This took up easily an hour of our first date.
When we moved in together, and then as we have shifted apartments throughout our marriage, managing books and trying to keep them from overtaking all our other possessions was always a struggle. Something like half the container that GNB paid to ship to Singapore was books, and that was just a small fraction of our library. My in-law’s basement is filled with boxes of books, and the spare bedroom that the girls have used has two bookcases overflowing with Ravi’s books as well.
We have never been on vacation without stopping by bookstores and bringing home books. When we visited London in 2006 for our Honeymoon and again in 2009 I collected all seven volumes of the Harry Potter series so that I could have both the US and the UK editions, among other things. As a couple we’ve been to bookstores on four continents, and have never come home without at least one addition to our library–if not more.
How much do we love reading? Ask our children….
Elanor—is from The Lord of the Rings. Elanor is a type of flower found in Lothlorien. Her name is also for Eleanor of Aquitaine, Eleanor Roosevelt and my great aunt Eleanor. But the spelling is pure Tolkien.
Athena–Elanor’s middle name is Athena. Ravi and I are such nerds that right up until the delivery we were arguing over Athena versus Minerva–the Greek or Roman version of the same mythological character. Why Athena–because she’s the goddess of knowledge.
Rhiannon–Rhiannon is not only a Celtic moon goddess, she’s a character in the Mabinogion–a collection of Welsh stories. The character of Rhiannon is thought to be the inspiration for the Lady of the Lake in Arthurian legends.
Arcadia–is from Second Foundation by Isaac Asimov. She is a super smart teenage girl in a time when women were fairly absent from science fiction (the 50’s).
You could also ask our cats Gandalf (Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit by Tolkien) and Kerowyn (By the Sword by Mercedes Lackey).
We have read to our kids since they were in utero. We read to them in the hospital. We read to them almost every night. While our physical collection of books here in SG has shrunk and moved into our storage room as we have gone digital (our Kindle collection is within striking distance of 1200 books), the girl’s collection has exploded. Their books have taken over the living room as well as in their bedrooms.
While our reading tastes are actually pretty dissimilar—I read a lot of mass market fiction and random non-fiction, and he stays fairly firmly in Sci-fi/fantasy–we still pepper our discussions with tons of literary references. Our children see us reading on a daily basis–sometimes on our phones and sometimes with physical books.
If Ravi and I have done one thing right as a couple and as parents it’s sharing our love of reading with each other and with our girls. After 8 years of marriage we still haven’t run out of books to discuss, and I hope that remains true for the rest of our lives.
Happy (belated) Anniversary, Ravi.