Have you ever heard the expression “reading someone like a book”? Traditionally it means to know someone extremely well—in my experience, almost to a fault. Once you know another human being (or dog) that well, surprise birthday parties are pretty much out the window.
At that specific level of intimacy, even the tiniest of actions clues you in to the fact that your loved one has crammed some of your closest friends together in a dark apartment to celebrate your 25th year (or pooped on the carpet—see above). “Reading someone like a book” means there cannot possibly be a trick up their sleeve that you could not foresee.
The title track off my recent EP “Cover to Cover” was inspired by the concept of what it might actually be like to “read someone like a book”—cover to cover (I’m not sorry). It’s the core of the sensation you get when love is fresh and every bit of you needs to know every bit about someone else.
You have to know why they are who they are, what keeps them that way, and whether or not their vegetarianism really means they are vegetarian (or if they are the kind of vegetarian that eats chicken and fish).
This is going to be cheesy, but close your eyes for a minute (actually wait, not yet. keep reading). Think hard. Picture the first book that really captured your imagination. Don’t just recall the title! I’m asking you to remember some concrete things. Like the cover art. How it felt flipping through the pages. How it smelled. Recall that undoubtedly goofy picture of the author in the back (not everyone needs perfect teeth).
Think about how its contents were able to tug at your heart even when you were away, how it begged to be read and reread. Begged to be understood. If you haven’t closed your eyes by now, don’t feel guilty. Lack of vision has never truly equated to emotional depth.
I’ve had multiple books like this in my life. My childhood is filled with memories of “just one more chapter”, and I gather exciting and new ideas even as I reread some of my favorite texts.
It’s this excitement and fascination that I wanted to express in my three minute and thirty second composition, and I eagerly drew on its applicability to relationships. The wordplay in the tune was fun to write but second to the song’s message.
The human spirit is far more complex than the beloved works of JK. Rowling (please don’t fight me on that).
Know that even after you have spent days, weeks, or years with someone, there is still something to be discovered.
Believe that there are mysteries to be unraveled and adventures to be had. Look forward to spending late nights reading “one more chapter”. Love to recognize and comprehend the nuances (asymmetrical dimples). Learn to recognize and comprehend their love of your own nuances (freckles in the shape of the little dipper.) Learn to read them like a book.