Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Does your significant other have to love books as much as you do?




While trolling through the Internet, I came across nerimon's video entitled Nerdy Personal Ads. The video is composed of personal ads contributed by nerds from all over the world, and one of them, in particular, caught my attention. Must value book space over living space.

This led me to wonder: Do bookworms search for fellow bookworms as life partners?

Personally, I don't think I could ever date someone whose reading diet is composed solely of Maxim magazine, someone who thinks the Harry Potter series is composed of eight books just because there were eight movies. I shudder at the thought of ending up with someone who does not understand why my bookshelf is bursting with unread books, and why I keep lugging two books around in my purse, even if I barely have time to read them.

I do, however, see myself with someone who has a soft spot for Rudyard Kipling or maybe even Neil Gaiman, and someone who understands why the name F. Scott Fitzgerald itself is simply epic. Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere? J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit? Arthur Conan Doyle's A Study in Scarlet? My ideal life partner has probably read them all (I know I sound completely idealistic).

In a nutshell (before I start rambling again), it would be great if the person I end up with in the future loves books as much as I do, but it's not a necessity. I'm only 21, and I have all the time in the world to figure out what I want. My priorities may change, and, someday, I might rank 'not bald' higher than 'reads books' in the list of qualities I want in a life partner. Nothing is set in stone for me yet.

But what about my fellow bookworms? If you're single, do you think finding someone who loves books as much as you do is very important? If you're married, does your husband/wife like to read, too?

15 comments:

Emma said...

Well I'm not married...yet, but my boyfriend of three and a half years 'hates books', and I, like you, love them so much there is always at least one in my presence at all times.

(he has read books, and he loves to learn about things, usually by reading about them on the internet, let's just call him a non-fiction exclusive reader ;-) )

This works for us because we connect in other ways. Our 'hobbies' (because he is just as interested in how mechanical things work and pursuing those as I am in literature and my other hobbies strewn about the house) are a big part of both of our lives, so it is not a problem that I spend so much time reading and crafting, and it is not a problem that he likes to spend an entire evening working on a car, or building a model rocket, or putting together a small exact replica of Titanic as it is sitting on the ocean floor. In fact, this makes it possible for us to teach each other things, and it keeps our conversations interesting.

Instead of looking for someone who is as devoted to you literature as you are (though that may be a divine experience as well, I wouldn't know!), I would (also) look for a connection on a deeper level that will keep you together through thick and thin, and perhaps someone who can at least understand your sentiment about books, and can understand why and how much you love them.

Now IF you find someone who does read as much as you, your third paragraph is something you'll be glad you considered :-)

I always love your posts - and now that you've got your youtube channel, I can just hear you saying all of this in quite a hilarious tone!

Christa @ Hooked on Books said...

My boyfriend likes to read but we often have remarkably different taste in reading. For instance he reads a lot of non fiction whereas I am pretty comitted to fiction. And when we both read something we often have different opinions. Which is kind of nice because then we get some lively debates. And while I would like him to read more of the books I recommend I find what really matters is that he understands why I have piles of books everywhere and he understands that when I'm reading I'm not "doing nothing" (sorry for the double negative).

Ben said...

Well, peep this. About six years ago, I was a real fucking insomniac. I had been for many years. I walked into a Second Cup (out local Starbucks) around midnight with a book under my arm, knowing I wouldn't sleep that night.

Then I saw her. Long, beautiful legs with a panthers tattooed on the calf. Long, curly hair and her face hidden by...a Haruki Murakami book! He wasn't very well known back then so I was like..."I gotta talk to her".

We talked for two hours, she gave me her phone number, I went home and slept like a baby. Today, we're still together.

True story.

Amanda said...

My husband is a huge reader, mostly of sci-fi and westerns. While those aren't my genre of choice, our reading selections provoke some great discussions in my house. I would never have married a non-reader. I wouldn't have had anything to talk abut.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

My husband isn't a big reader. He likes political books and historical nonfiction (think Band of Brothers). It works for us though because he completely gets my love for reading and even suggested we turn a big living room in our house into my own library! We talk about what I'm reading, he's just not really into fiction.

Audra said...

My wife is a voracious reader like me, and for us, it's important -- esp since I tend to stay up all night reading. She gets it, why I do it, and it doesn't cause fights or drama. We have long convos about the books we're reading, browse bookstore happily, and follow up on authors like others do gossip columnists. Before I met my wife, I was with a woman who didn't like reading, and it was fine -- but being with a passionate reader is something I treasure. It's not -- or wasn't -- a deal breaker, but I'm so grateful to be with a book fan.

Zibilee said...

My husband and kids are voracious readers. So much so that we don't really have a television anymore because we are all either on the computer, or reading. I have to say, having been in many a relationship with men that don't read, this reading man that I have snagged is more sensitive, emotional and kind than any of the others. Coincidence? I don't really think so!

Sam (Tiny Library) said...

I am married and have been with my husband for 9 years (although only married for one). He did not read when we met, mainly because he has dyslexia and had never got any pleasure from reading, so he just never made the extra effort to read.

He reads now (he's currently obsessed with Game of Thrones) but will never be a big reader. I'm cool with it, he still listens to me ramble on about books :)

Bex said...

I'm similar to Sam. My husband read a lot as a child but hardly read at all when we first met, again mostly due to being dyslexic. Now he reads quite a bit but nowhere near as much as I do! Not only does he listen to me ramble on and on about books though he is also fully supportive of my book acquiring habit. I don't think I could live with a person who wasn't, mostly because I have over 800 books which take up a LOT of space!

Andi said...

None of my serious relationships have ever been with readers. They might've appreciated my love of books (tolerated, at worst), but they gave me time and shelf space to read. I think that might be the most important thing.

Lorren Lemmons said...

My husband does not read nearly as much as I do, but he does enjoy a good book. He probably read maybe 5 or 6 books a year before we were married, but he reads a little more now (maybe 1 book a month or so). Just like I watch baseball (and am learning to like it) so he can talk to me about it, he reads books so he can talk to me about them. In fact, some of the best books I've read lately have been on his recommendation. And I definitely love being able to talk about books with him. While reading isn't the priority for him that it is for me, I appreciate that it is still something we can share and talk about together.

Oddly enough, it always warms my heart when he wants me to leave him alone so he can read!

Nancy said...

I got a lucky case. When my boyfriend of seven years and I started dating, he respected my love for books but never as much ventured into reading a full novel. I never pushed him to read. But we did a little compromise--he reads The Little Prince and, if he doesn't like it, I would never let him borrow any book ever. It so happened he liked the book, and that got the ball rolling. Now he reads more books (crime, suspense, and thrillers) than I do. Oh, I'm not jealous. Books are never mistresses of our time together. In fact, they added more things for us to talk about. Great post!

P.S. I'm from the Philippines, too. :)

christinarosendahl said...

I don't think it's necessary - as long as your partner has another hobby that allows you to read without feeling guilty about the time you spend. That said, my boyfriend read too and we talk a lot about books. He didn't read as much before we met, but he read. Even though we read very different books, it's a thing we have together. I think it is important that both people in a relationship have some hobby and that they at least respect each other's hobbies.

Kerry M said...

I'm way late to this conversation, but I'm married to another avid reader. We have incredibly different tastes in books - I read a bit of everything, he reads pretty intense fantasy novels and/or things like Milton and James Joyce (on the beach), but we share a book collection, a love of books, and definitely swap recommendations from time to time. One of our first dates was at the Strand in NYC - had to test to make sure we were book-store shopping compatible early on in the relationship, after all!

Paula said...

I don't think liking books is something very important but it is definitely a bonus. I'm very shy, so if the person likes reading there's something to talk about. Plus the video is really funny/cute, thanks for sharing. (Just discovered your blog and loved it!) xx

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