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Would you/ have you paired up with someone who doesn't read books.


Pod's mum
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Following in the strong tradition on this board of asking total strangers for guidance on personal matters, rather than real people who know me.... ;)

 

Would you/ have you paired up with someone who doesn't read books. At all. Ever.

If so, can it work?

 

I'll add that all flat surfaces of our house have books. Yes that includes the 'big shelf', aka floor. We read. A lot.

I only saw my kids' father (who I was married to) read a book once.

The eldest child's Harry Potter, because I wouldn't let him turn on the TV while I was in active labour with the 2nd child.

 

However the non-reading wasn't the issue with that relationship, and this question is for now, not then.

See I would have said, no way, can't work. But now I'd kinda like it to.

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When you said "paired up" do you mean have an intimate relationship or do you mean make friends?

 

And if you mean an intimate relationship, for me I can say not a lasting one. I am sure I dated people who were not readers..... not that I can remember but maybe there was a guy in high school. For the most part everyone I have ever dated as an adult was an academic and they all read a lot. Case in point, DH is an academic librarian.

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My dh is not a big reader. He never reads novels, but will read tech stuff online and some non-fiction. Neither of us were huge readers when we got married. He's a handy carpenter though, I really don't know how we'd live if he weren't able to fix, build, or remodel anything. Quite literally anything from a leaky showerhead to a room addition, he can do it. I agree with RC, that skill is pretty handy and probably worth the trade for a reader. Plus that leaves more in the budget for my books.

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I am that person. :) My comprehension is awful, so I simply do not read much. Why bother, i won't remember it anyway. Dh is the opposite, and he would rather read than do anything else. We have been married 14 years, but it is annoying when I want to go see the world and he just wants to read about it. We just have to compromise.

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Yup the education level here matches the lack of reading.

However he's no fool.

 

Is there a pool of well educated, intellectual, AVAILABLE, good, nice men around that I'm missing?

 

I'm over being alone or being suckered in by clever lyers.

 

So yes I'm talking about the potential for 'more than friends'.

 

I'm wondering whether the ying/yang thing might work here?

One very tidy, ordered, steady and the other...um..that would be me...less so.

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Before we dated DH had never read an entire chapter book. Not for fun, not out of curiosity, not even for school. It was one of the things that almost kept me from becoming more serious in our relationship. I told him it distressed me and he told me he was open to trying books.

(It should be noted that he was FAR from unintelligent or illiterate. He is just a kenistetic learner who had managed to go through 14 years of schooling- including honors classes- without completing anything more than a picture book.)

 

We went on a hunt for authors/genres he liked and hit pay dirt.

 

While he does not love to read in the same way I do, he reads constantly. He reads technical manuals and journals related to his field for fun, he reads books about things relating to his spiritual journey, he reads a few novels a year in the cracks, and almost always has a self-improvement or self-education type book in the works.

 

 

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Basic educational level is more important to me. Dh doesn't read other than theology (he's a pastor) but I can talk to him about what I'm reading because he can follow my explanations. I don't talk fiction so much with him though. I have others that I talk with about that.

 

 

I probably should have added that before dh was married and we had children he was very well read. He can definitely follow my thoughts and adds much to our discussions (usually because he's already read what I was discussing). He just doesn't like to read much now. I assume that when we have more down time he will go back to reading, but I don't care if he doesn't.

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I hit post before I was ready!

 

What matters most to me about DH reading is his example to our kids, especially our child who seems wired just like DH.

 

What matters most in our relationship is his overall level of intelligence and our ability to have a conversation deeper than what is for supper or what movie to watch. I like to be able to branch out from sarcasm and light hearted quips into the stuff that makes me tick from time to time; if he wouldn't or couldn't have those conversations occasionally I wouldn't care how well read he was.

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I just realized I probably should have not responded at all here because dh does read alouds with the girls often. In my mind I wasn't equating that with him reading for some reason. :blushing: Sorry! He doesn't read for himself much at all but he does read a lot for the girls.

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That's a hard question. When I met DH I knew he must have been a reader because I saw bookshelves at his house with books but I never saw him reading and he didn't talk about books. Of course, we were dating so it was unlikely he was going to invite me over to read. That's a tough way to woo a girl, even a book loving girl like me. Now that we've been married he reads as much if not more than I do. We have different tastes in books but we still love to talk about them and share book we think the other would enjoy. We're in a book club together and we are each in a book club without the other one. It's great fun for me that he enjoys my dearest hobby as much as I do. I can picture us old and in rocking chairs sitting by the fire reading. :)

 

My grandmother once told me that she had serious doubts about my aunt's engagement the first time she went over to her future son-in-law's apartment. My aunt loved to read and the only thing the future SIL had to read in the apartment was a copy of Playboy. They were only married for a year.

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That's a hard question. When I met DH I knew he must have been a reader because I saw bookshelves at his house with books but I never saw him reading and he didn't talk about books. Of course, we were dating so it was unlikely he was going to invite me over to read. That's a tough way to woo a girl, even a book loving girl like me. Now that we've been married he reads as much if not more than I do. We have different tastes in books but we still love to talk about them and share book we think the other would enjoy. We're in a book club together and we are each in a book club without the other one. It's great fun for me that he enjoys my dearest hobby as much as I do. I can picture us old and in rocking chairs sitting by the fire reading. :)

 

My grandmother once told me that she had serious doubts about my aunt's engagement the first time she went over to her future son-in-law's apartment. My aunt loved to read and the only thing the future SIL had to read in the apartment was a copy of Playboy. They were only married for a year.

 

One of the things that dh and I did on our honeymoon was to go on a used book store tour! We browsed totally different sections but we both were in heaven.

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My DH is not a reader in the sense that he doesn't read at all for entertainment. However, he is academic and very cerebral. It's just not in his personality to invest hours into books as a leisure activity. I, on the other hand, have always been an avid reader. So it obviously works for us. What I could not imagine is being with someone who was not intelligent or a deep thinker.

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My Dh is not a reader. There was not a single book in his parents' home and my parents' have floor to ceiling bookcases. He never read an entire book and managed to graduate from college with a degree in mechanical engineering. He can fix or build anything. He has built the floor to ceiling bookshelves in my home :) All of that being said, we have four voracious readers. If I want to discuss something I read it to him. If I read something I think he will like I buy it on audio book so he has something to listen to on his commute during the Winter months. He has a genius level IQ and is the smartest man I know. I can go to book club if I want to discuss a book.

 

Amber in SJ

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The only book my dh has read while we have been married is one that I bet him he couldn't finish. However, he has a master's degree and is perfectly capable of reading whatever he needs to. I can honestly say that when I fell in love with him, if he liked to read was not on my radar. (He does read to the kids.)

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My DH reads, but not necessarily books. There was a long period of time where he read nothing but the news, work-related publications, and magazines (and it used to drive me nuts when he would say "hand me that book, please" - referring to a magazine!! :001_rolleyes: ).

 

He's a highly intelligent guy who graduated with honors from West Point and has two master's degrees. Just in the last year or two, he has started reading more books - actual bona fide books. He also stopped calling magazines "books" (thank goodness!!). We've been married almost 13 years.

 

It's honestly a non-issue. I'm a voracious reader (I'm usually reading at least two books at a time), but there's nothing I can't discuss with DH. He's not a book club kind of guy, but I have other options for that. For me, it's not a deal-breaker - there are other qualities that are way more important in an S.O.

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Dh is mildly dyslexic and had very bad experiences with reading while growing up. Although I have encouraged him, bought many books on his interest level, it has been a no go. He and the boys share the love of computer and video games.

 

To answer your question, can it work? Yes...but don't have expectations that won't be realized.

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My dh loves books. I think he would live in a library. We rarely read the same thing or discuss what we are reading (I am still green from the green beret training stories he needed to read to me lol). My grandmother is ALWAYS reading. She always has a book in her lap or purse. My grandfather reads catalogs or technical manuals on an as needed basis only. Oh and he loves deals on wheels, heheheh. They have been happily married for almost 60 years. Being treated with respect and being able to communicate and have a few things in common is enough.

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This reminds me of a part in the book The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society... The main character calls off her wedding to a man because she comes home and he has packed all her books away and put up his sports trophies in their place.

 

I would have called it off too.

 

Dh and I read different things but we both read. Before dh I dated a guy fairly seriously until I went to his apartment and noticed there wasn't a book anywhere in the whole place. Instant turn off.

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Well, we used the traditional wedding vows with one small change. "to love, honor, cherish and to read to..." I am not joking.

 

We are readers but much different ones. We never leave for a trip without a stroll through a bookstore to buy us each 2-3 things to read while on vacation. I am more well read in history/politics/business/econ/classic and new quality fiction. He is more into reading plays/librettos/humor/fantasy/scifi/computer stuff. We each go outside of our usual reads at times though. Our only overlap is that we both like to read about science stuff and certain poets. He also listens to many, many podcasts. Still, we have both had sustained non-reading periods (besides the vacations), unless school and work stuff counted, because that's what you get when raising a family, both working and usually 1 going to school. One of the things that draws us together is the ability to talk about lots of different things. For us that comes from books. I suppose a non-reader could be interesting but for us, books are a BIG part of why we consider the other interesting.

 

My only other (sorta) serious relationship was with a person who read only scifi and comics. Yeah, he was dull. That's part of why I married his college dorm-mate.

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James Bond is dyslexic, so he doesn't read a lot. He does read, he's just painfully slow. We also like very, very different types of books, so we generally don't sit around discussing them. There have been a few books though, like the HP series, that we both read and talked about, but not a lot. It doesn't bother me. There are some books that I love so much and I recommend to him if I think he'll like them too, but if he doesn't read them, that's okay.

 

He's smart, he's just not a reader and being smart is more important to me. My affection doesn't hinge on his reading abilities.

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I think it depends what kind of conversation you need from your SO. I have the soul of an intellectual (without having the IQ to back it up :p) so when conversation was limited to work and web comics, I got desperate. We got around the issue by him reading the news and wiki articles online, and listening to podcasts. That way he was always able to come home with something he was willing to talk about and I was willing to listen to. Sometimes they were topics to discuss because we each knew different parts of the issue, sometimes it was a topic I hadn't much interest in but it wasn't web comics so I could listen, kwim?

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Thank you for all your insights, I could easily have 'liked' them all.

I'm trying to be a bit rational while I still can, you know that signature about the brain working every minute between birth and falling in love?

I'm still able to use mine.

 

I am handy around the house/yard and I would like someone who would be able to work with me on projects.

I have truck, motorbike, semi (and car) licences and prefer to NOT be in a big town/city. So I don't neatly fit in with many intellectuals either.

(The 'subject in question' fits in well on these other points. My dd LOVES his neatly ordered junk pile and already has designs for some of it.)

 

Even with my intellectual friends of either sex, I often have to slow down and ratchet back when I see that look of incomprehension. That's what I have my dd(s), public lectures and on-line study/forums for. My friends are very good at helping to keep me on-track though.

But here I guess have have to either ratchet much sooner, or just not start those conversations. And I don't know how that would go every day. Previous main relationship was devoid of any conversation. That's not the case with this...friendship.

I guess the coversations I most love are those with someone I've know for years so they are peppered with half-quotes or references to shared knowledge. They do contain a lot of book (and Monty Python) etc.

 

Of course I'd love the whole package, but I am interested in those relationships where it might work, with the intellectual + book bits missing.

 

 

I'm wondering whether those to whom it does matter, obviously haven't.

Please continue, and I'll continue to muse. :)

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Have I? - No. Not in DH anyway. I honestly can't really recall for sure about the previous guys I dated whether they were readers, or not. DH actually doesn't read for pleasure much anymore (aside from bedtime read alouds), but he used to read a LOT, just like me. It drove my sister nuts that we would "spend time together" sitting beside each other on the couch, reading separate books. :laugh: (She's not a big reader, obviously. LOL)

 

Would I? - If I hadn't married my DH. Sure, it could work.

 

My Mom is a voracious reader. My Dad is a highly intelligent man, who attended school in a time when "learning disabilities" didn't "exist". I know that's not the correct wording, but it's after midnight and I'm fried. Anyway, I would bet big money that if my Dad were to attend school nowadays, he'd be diagnosed with ... something (possibly dyslexia). Needless to say, he's not much of a reader and is very slow at it when he does. We just celebrated their 40th anniversary with them in Las Vegas last week. Many times when I call home to visit on the phone with my parents, I quite often interrupt their reading time - Mom reads aloud to Dad most evenings.

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This reminds me of a part in the book The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society... The main character calls off her wedding to a man because she comes home and he has packed all her books away and put up his sports trophies in their place.

 

Well that was mean, teasing a self-confessed bibliphile with a good book.

"Hello, my name is Pod's mum, and I like books."

Now I've another on my bookdepository wishlist. (Looks good, ta.)

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When I was younger I was engaged to a guy who didn't read at all. I think he probably had an undiagnosed reading disorder. It really bothered me because I am a voracious reader. One of the reasons I broke it off with him was the reading issue (it lead to bigger issues like his disapproval of me getting higher degrees, etc). DH and I were best friends and roommates before we started dating and his love of reading and books is one if the things that bonded us. We both discovered in grad school that we needed to read non-academic things just to give our brains a break.

 

I can think if nothing I woukd like to do better in my extreme old age than sit next to DH while we read our books.

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Well how's this to an alternative to reading together...

I've spent a few nights this last fortnight, sitting in fold out chairs, on a hill, sharing a couple of ciders/beers watching sunsets and the sky fill with a zillion stars, just talking in the dark til late.

 

I guess that sort of answers my question eh?

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My dh is not a big reader but he dose read a little. He probably reads a couple of books a year plus some graphic novels and magazines. He used to read less. His comprehension is quite poor so I think he just finds it hard work.

 

I read a lot but it does't really bother me that he doesn't.

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My DH is not and has never been a reader. We've been married for 20 years. It can be annoying when I'm engrossed in a book & stay up until midnight to read and he gives me attitude about it. But he also gets that way if I'm watching something on TV, playing a video game, or on the computer. I just ignore him. :laugh: His parents aren't big readers either. In my household my mom was a big reader and my step-father read some. I think some of it is modeled behavior and some of it is finiding a genre that you enjoy.

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Yep. And it's lasted almost 11 years so far (10 year anniversary this year!). For my DH, reading is not something he does well or enjoy.

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Well, I would prefer dh read more and different kinds of books, but it wasn't a deal-breaker. He only reads books on his fishing trips, and then, it's only paperback fantasy fiction of what I consider to be of the junk variety. I like fantasy fiction, just not the kind that are the equivalent of Harlequin Romances, if you know what I mean. He did read all the Harry Potter books at my prodding, and did enjoy them very much. We had lots of fun making date nights revolve around the openings of Harry Potter movies. Anyway . . . the only things dh reads on a regular basis are the newspaper and the state bar reports. He will ask me about books I'm reading and comment on them, though. If a person didn't read AT ALL, I don't know if I could be in an intimate relationship with them long term. Maybe, just don't know. Dh is the least well read person I've ever been with for more than a couple dates.

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DH reads mostly books and magazines related to his career. He rarely reads other types of books. That does not bother me in the least.

 

Same here. Well, not too many books related to his career, because there aren't that many books one would read about the subject. But the few books he reads are nonfiction about various practical matters.

 

It's probably just as well he doesn't read that many books, as the house is overrun with books as it is. I keep trying to toss the few that he has in order to make room for mine.

 

Dh likes that I read. He particularly likes when I get into a reading jag about a subject that interests him, since I'll then start babbling incessantly about the subject. He says I distill the books for him so he doesn't have to read them himself.

 

He also likes to read aloud to our kids. When they were very little he would just make up stories to tell them (extremely long serialized stories about various sets of characters), but as they got older he read series of children's books to them.

 

We've been married 30 years.

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Dh doesn't read a lot now but read a lot before we were together. He also read similar things to what I like (science fiction/fantasy) so we can discuss Lord of the Rings, or similar literature. Now he mainly reads non-fiction or work-related publications. He has degrees and is extremely intelligent. He's also handy around the house. :laugh: He actually appreciates that I read a lot, especially this time of year when there's pro-football, college basketball, college football....He likes that I can keep myself entertained and leave the television to him.

 

My ex used to complain about my reading. He wanted me to stop the minute a commercial came on and he wanted to talk. :glare: He had a degree at that time and I didn't but he also had a lot of problems when I was going to school for my degree. He was intimidated at the idea that I might end up smarter than he was.

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I have/did. It seems to be working just fine. 4 kids and almost 25 years later we are still going strong. Reading isn't usually a group activity for me, so I could care less if dh reads or not. It isn't like it is something we would be doing together. I can't stand to listen to someone else read aloud.

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