A Girl Who Reads by Mark Grist

So, what do you go for in a girl?” he crows, lifting the lager to his lips.
He gestures where his mate sits, then downs his glass.
“He prefers tits.
I prefer arse.
What do you go for in a girl?”
Well, um, I feel quite uncomfortable, the air left the room a long time ago,
all eyes are on me.
“If you must know, I like a girl who…reads.
Yeah, reads.
I’m not trying to call you a chauvinist,
Because I know that you’re not alone in this,
But I’d like a girl who reads.
Who needs the written words
and who uses the added vocabulary
she gleans from novels and poetry
to hold lively conversation
in a range of social situations.
I like a girl who reads,
whose heart bleeds at the words of Graham Greene…or even Heat magazine.
Who ties back her hair when she’s reading Jane Eyre
and who goes cover-to-cover with each Waterstones 3-for-2 offer.
But I want a girl who won’t stop there,
I want a girl who reads,
who feeds her addiction for fiction
with unusual poems and plays that she hunts out in crooked bookshops
for days and days and days.
She’ll sit addicted at breakfast,
soaking up the back of the cornflakes box
and the info she gets from what she reads makes her a total fox.
Because she’s interesting and she’s unique
and her theories make me go weak at the knees.
I want a girl who reads.
A girl whose eyes will analyze the menu over dinner,
who’ll use what she learns to kick my arse in arguments so she always ends the winner.
But she’d still be sweet and she’d still be flirty,
’cause she loves the classics
and they’re pretty dirty.
And that means late at night she’ll always have me in a stupor,
as we re‐enact the raunchy bits from the works of Jilly Cooper.
See, some guys prefer arses,
some prefer tits,
and I am not saying that I don’t like those bits.
But what’s more important, what supersedes
is a girl with passion, wit and dreams.
So I like a girl who reads.”

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