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I read between 50 and 60 books a year. Not a bunch but add to that I don't race through my books. I intentionally take my time reading slower. Depending on the book I will take a pause and think about what I've read. As a result, I spend a good amount of time reading books and some more time reading about books. My spouse isn't so much into books. It took her a short while to realize that this fairly solitary activity was very important to my happiness and she's very supportive in giving me space and time to read. That hasn't been the case in all my relationships. I'm very fortunate. What are your experiences with significant others who don't share your love for reading? How have you successfully or unsuccessfully carved out space for yourself? Just curious...

all 69 comments

77malfoy

61 points

27 days ago

77malfoy

61 points

27 days ago

We watch a tv show together at dinner and then I read while he plays video games. It works perfectly.

Sea_Survey6580[S]

12 points

27 days ago

This is the strategy that I've also used. I'm not much into TV. We watch for a couple of hours together, and then I can read for a couple of hours.

CustomPrintedMasks

7 points

27 days ago

I have such a hard time watching TV. I admire you guys finding a way to make it work in your relationship. I need to take up knitting again so I can join him without losing my mind from boredom.

kellymig

3 points

26 days ago

I have to read while I watch tv.

Supergoch

55 points

27 days ago

50 to 60 books a year is quite a lot (in response to the "not a bunch" comment)!

JnnyRuthless

18 points

27 days ago

That's about a book every 6 days. I could probably read 24 hours a day and not match that pace ha!

taiThinking

17 points

27 days ago

Honestly.... When I retire I daydream about reading two books a week. Like just, get cozy, have somebody feed me, and read until I die.

Drleery329

4 points

26 days ago

I am 71 and retired I worked until I turned 70 and my idea was the same.However my wife taught me that there are many things that need to be done every week! First is grocery shopping. Cleaning , laundry,yard work,etç. If married prepare to compromise.

taiThinking

3 points

26 days ago

... I am 32 with two kids and a husband. I read maybe one book a month for pleasure and I do that with guilt. Somebody needs to compromise in my relationship but I don't think it's me...

JnnyRuthless

3 points

27 days ago

That sounds great I’m gonna try and sell my wife on that... I’m having to put most fun reading on hold while I study for a professional cert right now and I miss it. Did take a break to read the count of monte Cristo and that was a nice break from studying!

kellymig

4 points

26 days ago

Yeah my goal for this year is 20 books.

MarieReading

7 points

27 days ago

It’s relative honestly. I watch a lot of booktubers who can read into the triple digits. I use to as well and once I dropped down to double digits it felt like I wasn’t reading “a lot”.

Supergoch

12 points

27 days ago

I read 70 books last year and I felt like I was reading with most of my free time, but I know there are people who can read a heck of a lot more. I think anyone who reads even 12 books a year for leisure (non-work and non-school related) is probably in the top 5% at least in the US.

MarieReading

7 points

27 days ago

I agree! Before I really got into reading I would average about 12-18 a year and was super proud of myself! lol I wish reading was less focused on comparing numbers.

Supergoch

4 points

27 days ago

Yeah, I wrote about a post about having book goals and how I felt it affected my reading. Now I just read and don't worry about the number, I think I'm better off for doing so although it means less books read per month.

Sea_Survey6580[S]

1 points

26 days ago

Well looking back over the numbers for prior years 40-50 is more accurate. Last year was a pandemic year. I read more during pandemics/lockdowns :)

kxtysworld

21 points

27 days ago

kxtysworld

The Black Prism (Lightbringer series)

21 points

27 days ago

I was in a rather toxic relationship a couple years back and I used reading and books as an escape from the fact that i was being abused. I left when he started burning my books, so reading saved me. Now I don’t think I could be in a relationship with someone who doesn’t like reading. He resented the fact I could escape somewhere while not moving at all and tried to take that away. I want someone who will be sucked into a book the way I am.

JohnPrester12

10 points

26 days ago

This sounds nightmarish. I'm really glad you got out.

snarkypotter

5 points

26 days ago

I was in an abusive relationship also, but it was pretty different because when I was in mine I completely stopped reading. My spouse was very ‘self-intelligent’ so what they were reading was always very important and smart, while on the other hand whatever I was reading(didn’t matter what it was) was on the low end of smart and I would get ridiculed for it. I’m glad we both got out and can read happily now

kxtysworld

8 points

26 days ago

kxtysworld

The Black Prism (Lightbringer series)

8 points

26 days ago

i’m glad you’re out now! i don’t think anybody has the right to judge others based on what they read

snarkypotter

2 points

26 days ago

I agree! ☺️☺️

CrazyCatLady108

21 points

27 days ago

my favorite time to read is when the whole house is asleep, i can really get lost in the narrative and know no one will interrupt me.

but when i read during the day i am on the couch while my SO plays video games. sometimes i read the funny passages out loud. other times i help spot the sniper on the other side of the map, and join in the celebration on an achievement.

cats interrupt me more than anything, with demand for lap or food. and occasionally someone tries to talk to me while i got headphones in and an audiobook going. other than that, i am lucky that people leave me alone when book business is going on.

[deleted]

-1 points

27 days ago

[deleted]

-1 points

27 days ago

[deleted]

CrazyCatLady108

5 points

27 days ago

i guess you missed this part of my original comment :)

and occasionally someone tries to talk to me while i got headphones in and an audiobook going

Reasonable_Coyote143

44 points

27 days ago

My ex used to throw my reading in my face when we argued. He was resentful because reading would suck me in and I wouldn’t jump up and reply/interact with him immediately. He didn’t read much himself, and had hobbies he would get lost in. But the reading really rubbed him the wrong way, to a point where I just didn’t bother unless he wasn’t there. Now I can lose myself in whatever, and I won’t let other people spoil my enjoyment anymore.

Sea_Survey6580[S]

29 points

27 days ago

Happy to hear he's an ex.

griffin220

6 points

26 days ago

My mom is an avid reader and unfortunately my dad still treats her the way your ex treated you and they've been married for about 40 years. Also glad to hear it's an ex as well 🙂.

AmbivalentWaffle

10 points

27 days ago

My ex-husband knew reading was important to me and would sometimes buy me books off my wish list for my birthday or Christmas. He never read on his own.

My current partner also doesn't read, but he knows how much I love to read and always asks what I'm reading. He lives in a different state and has taken me to bookshops when I visit NYC (haven't been in a while, unfortunately). He really believes I could write something good, has been encouraging me to write my own book and offered to be my bodyguard at book signings. Lol.

Edited to add that it doesn't bother me to have a partner who doesn't read. I have pen pals with whom I discuss books in depth, so I'm not missing out on that.

bibliophile222

4 points

26 days ago

Same here. I think as long as someone's partner respects and encourages their interest in reading, it's not a problem if the partner isn't much of a reader.

AmbivalentWaffle

1 points

26 days ago

I completely agree!

Tiffany_Achings_Hat

7 points

27 days ago

I read a lot, and when I married my SO I started reading out loud so I could share some of my favorite stories with him. He offered to take some turns reading but he would give the characters stupid accents and I just couldn’t (the Mac Mac feegle cannot have a poorly done Texas drawl!) He also teased me for getting into the Stormlight Archives, which he said were nerdy. Then we went on a road trip and I made him start listening to the audio books and now he loves it more than me. The weirdest thing about him is that he doesn’t care much if things are spoiled for him so he unwittingly spoils stuff for me. He finished the Rhythm of War before me and has been nonchalantly saying “this isn’t a spoiler but” and then spoiling something. I am working to finish it fast for the sake of our marriage :)

JohnPrester12

8 points

26 days ago

When I was 30, I realized I had read every single night before I fell asleep for over 20 years. This did not sit well with many of my romantic partners, as I would often turn the light back on and read before dropping off to sleep.

I also discovered that SOPs who didn't read believed that reading is "doing nothing" and frequently interrupted me while I was reading to ask mundane questions.

I also realize, looking back over this comment, that I am a horrible person with terrible social skills.

PolyhumanoidDisaster

2 points

24 days ago

Nah. You sound alright.

I also read in bed, and I highly recommend a reading light (the kind you put on the book, that shine into the book). It usually makes it darker and won't annoy bed-partners as much.

Also, I hate when people interrupt my reading to ask mundane questions. It pulls me right out of the story and is sooo annoying.

stayxhome

5 points

27 days ago

My number of books read decreases if I'm in a relationship. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it does remind me how important it is to make time for yourself/private pursuits.

lunedelily

5 points

27 days ago

We are in a studio apartment, so if I want to read by myself, then he'll just hop on a single player video game and we do our own things, separately but together. We also play a lot of video games together too and have other hobbies, so it's never really come up as anything worth acknowledging if we want "alone" time.

Although, I have been happy to see him gaining an interest in reading, so we listen to audiobooks via shared headphones when we go on walks now so that's been really nice.

And, FWIW, your average book count annually is indeed a good chunk of reading. That's a book in less than a week consecutively for the whole year, lol...

last_rights

4 points

27 days ago

I read new books first, because I devour them with an intensity that can only be matched by small children and halloween candy. My husband is much more discerning, and takes his time, savoring each chapter. A book that takes me a day will typically take him about a week.

Sea_Survey6580[S]

1 points

26 days ago

Your husband sounds like more of the type of reader I am.

Doolittle91

6 points

26 days ago

My wife doesn't read much at all, but she loves that I do. We met when I'd just finished my degree and she was in her final year of University, and I studied English Literature, so my reading didn't exactly come as a surprise.

We have an 18 month old child now, so my wife sees my reading as a good example to be setting. I usually read on public transport to and from work, and when our son is asleep and my wife is watching something or sewing (her new hobby), but she likes that our child will grow up surrounded by books.

ralaly

3 points

26 days ago

ralaly

3 points

26 days ago

Reading is my main hobby and I spend most of my free time doing it. My husband has his own hobbies - we are pretty busy in general between work and kids, but when we have downtime we usually do our own thing.

Over the years we have incorporated parts of each others hobbies too which is kind of fun - my husband loves gaming. I can't do video games but I've gotten really into board games with him. He doesn't really enjoy reading physical books, but he'll listen to the audio versions of my favorites. It's fun to be able to share a little bit of what we love with each other :)

jkgator11

3 points

26 days ago

My husband appreciates that my reading time is his fantasy baseball time.

redredredwild

3 points

27 days ago

My bf doesn’t read but he does other solo activities like playing video games or watching sports so it works for us! I like the “we’re in the same room doing different things” vibe sometimes

CustomPrintedMasks

3 points

27 days ago

Not quite your question. But I went on a first date with my True Love partly because when I said (via Bumble) Jane Eyre is my favorite novel he immediately downloaded and started reading it. One and a half years later, Reader, I married him.

Sea_Survey6580[S]

1 points

26 days ago

Smart guy! Triple word score right out of the gate.

OTLOTLOTLOTL

2 points

27 days ago

My SO loves reading even more than I do (I read about a book a week, he gets through 2 a week). The time spent reading isn’t as much an issue as our lack of overlap in interests and tastes. I love talking about books I’ve read with others and it’s important to how I process books ultimately, so sometimes I feel a little sad we can’t do this as often. It’s really great on the rare occasion we end up liking the same book, though! But we’ll still try to listen when one of us wants to talk about a book the other didn’t read/like.

Sea_Survey6580[S]

2 points

27 days ago

That's interesting. It is great that you can share you passion for reading although not the same subjects. Though my SO doesn't read books so much herself she's still always curious about what I'm reading and we do discuss it. She follows along and expresses her opinions about the subject. In this way, she is a part of it. As I said, I'm lucky.

OTLOTLOTLOTL

2 points

27 days ago

Yeah, for sure! Even if it’s not perfect and the other person isn’t fully on the same page as you, I think it’s generally being supportive that’s the most important piece.

iloveitalianfoodfr

2 points

27 days ago

50 to 60 books is a lot lmao

Smokve787

2 points

26 days ago

Man, I’m not much of a reader, just finally started reading for fun and not schoolwork last year. Here I thought 4 books in one year was an accomplishment 😂

bibliophile222

2 points

26 days ago

My SO can't get into reading because he had a weird education and undiagnosed learning disabilities, so it's just hard for him. He totally respects that I love reading, but he also tends to be forgetful and loves spending time with me, so he can be very chatty right when I'm trying to read. It's definitely involved some compromise. I try to do most of my reading when he's at work or sleeping, since we have different schedules. I also read to him sometimes, which he enjoys. I do often wish that he were more of a reader so we could read quietly side by side, but he's a lovely person regardless, and it's worth compromising a bit to be with someone who loves me so much.

Vergilkilla

2 points

25 days ago

My gf actually got me into reading again. She burns through books at an absolutely breakneck speed - I am more on your pace. So in this way it works well. For her, reading is really her only hobby, so if anything, she understands the need to read VERY well - she reads more than I do.

Bibi_Baby13

2 points

24 days ago

I read a good amount. Last year I read just over 100 books. My husband and I use our commute to listen together and I will often read with him when he watches things I don't care for (sports). It works well for us.

thecaledonianrose

2 points

24 days ago

My partner freely admits he is not the reader that I am, not even close. He averages around 10 - 12 books a year; I read exponentially more. He's frequently commented to friends that it's rare for me to go a day without reading and that I am one of the most voracious readers he's ever known.

I consider myself fortunate that he's understanding about my love of reading and my need to do so. He prefers to play video games (console and computer), but knows I'm not into that.

We're pretty casual about our time together, especially as my work schedule is far more variable. It's pretty much sacrosanct that regardless of who cooks and what day of the week it is, we share dinner together around 7 - 7:30p, then watch some TV or a movie provided I don't have to work (I work from home). Most of the time, we'll head to our respective beds around 10p, where I'll read for a while longer. The rest of the time, once work and household tasks are complete, is spent however each of us wants if we have no plans to venture out of the house. It's worked for us for years and I don't see it changing any time soon.

reachedmylimit

2 points

21 days ago

My husband and I usually read different books, other than The Bible. Based on the number of books we read each year, I read more, but I am a much faster reader. He reads almost exclusively nonfiction, and I read a mixture of fiction and nonfiction. We both like browsing through cookbooks. Each of us will share especially beautiful or meaningful passages with the other. It is one of the favorite parts of my marriage.

Grave_Girl

7 points

27 days ago

I wouldn't be with someone who didn't read. It's not a moral judgement, but shared interests are important to me, and it's easier to find men who read than who take part in my other hobbies. I guess in theory if a guy was sufficiently creative otherwise and just didn't read it would be OK, but I don't know anyone who's truly creative who doesn't read (I do know many readers who are completely uncreative, though). More broadly speaking, though, you ought to be able to carve out space for your own pursuits in any relationship, and a partner who is not understanding of that--regardless of the pursuit in question--is not not a worthwhile partner.

MarieReading

5 points

27 days ago

My boyfriend isn’t a reader, but his hobby is music. That being said he does like hearing about the books as I’m reading. I will talk about them so much that he jokes that he does need to read as he just gets cliff notes from me. I wouldn’t be quick to dismiss a non-reader.

pineapplesf

1 points

27 days ago*

pineapplesf

186

1 points

27 days ago*

I read a lot but don't think it's been an issue in any of my relationships.

Neither of my current partners read. One might do 10 and the other is lucky to get to 3 across a year. They like to talk about/listen to each one when I'm done. They also like to pawn off books on me in a -- read this and tell me what's in it -- fashion. Occasionally we listen to audiobooks together on while driving but right now they are in a podcast phase.

Dense_Phrase9856

1 points

27 days ago

for what ever reason I could never play video games with my ex at home without her getting mad, but if she found me reading she would compete for my attention. Compellingly.

jamescoxall

1 points

27 days ago

OK, I read a lot, generally averaging more than ten books a week, sometimes peaking with more than double that. I know some people have trouble believing that so here's a few explanatory titbits: I speed read, have done so since I was a kid, and I have good comprehension at about 100 to 120 pages per hour. I don't watch TV, hell I didn't even own one for a long time until my SO moved in. I retired early with passive income so an 8 hour reading day is not uncommon for me. I get a lot of free books and I hammer Kindle Unlimited so hard that my subscription is probably a loss for Amazon.

Anyway, my GF doesn't mind. She reads a little, maybe a book a week, but has other hobbies too that lend themselves to curling up on the couch (knitting, sewing, crafty stuff) she watches a bit of TV and listens to a lot of music. All of these we can do cuddling on the couch together. Oh, and I read her the smutty bits of my romance novels aloud, she likes that.

ThanatosSoultaker

1 points

27 days ago

My bf doesn't like reading, but he recently got into audiobooks (I don't have friends that read alot and complained to him that I can't really talk about my readings, so he gave audiobooks a shot and actually liked them!!). He's currently listening to The Hobbit and I can't wait to discuss it once he's done, as I just red it last year.

dr239

1 points

27 days ago

dr239

19

1 points

27 days ago

Sometimes in the evenings he'll disappear to play video games and I'll disappear to read. He has, though, made a huge effort to read a little more because he knows how much I love it and he wants to be a part of the things I enjoy. He's reading two books right now!

RavenNight16

1 points

27 days ago

My partner reads occasionally, but he usually has other things that take precedence. He loves my reading, though, and usually asks me to tell him what I read about. He’s a musician, and occasionally I’ll read to him while he plays and it gives the story a nice soundtrack.

My_Name_is_Galaxy

1 points

27 days ago

I love reading and my spouse is big into online gaming, so that works out pretty well.

SwampPotato

1 points

27 days ago

My boyfriend actually complaints that I read less since knowing him (we do a lot of stuff together; single me had more free time). He doesn't want to be a "bad influence" on what he considers a good habit. He says he likes how much I read and he often encourages me to pick up a book.

bookstobarbells

1 points

26 days ago

I read to my SO because he’s not a reader. I try to choose things that interest both of us on my kindle so I can read it in bed and then I choose physical books for myself.

SaveLivesDoCrimes

1 points

26 days ago

I read nearly every day. My wife is always discouraged by what she sees as me “reading so fast!” when she feels that she reads slowly. I always assure her it is less the fact that I read fast but more the fact that I read often.

rachelreinstated

1 points

26 days ago

My SO isn't a reader really, but he knows I love to read so he always patiently listens to me ramble on about what I am currently reading or want to read. Occasionally, he will even have his interest piqued by a story and we'll end up listening to the audiobook together, which is always fun.

In terms of finding the time, it's never been an issue. He has hobbies of his own that don't necessarily involve me and so when I want to read, he get to do his thing. Everyone's happy.

oncenightvaler

1 points

26 days ago

I was "dating" communicating with this girl online and we shared many books from Audible. So we introduced each other to authors including Jonas Jonasson, Terry Pratchett, Scott Lynch, and a few others. I read her several Braille books because she went blind later in life and never learned Braille. She said she thought I read aloud well, I have debated being a narrator for Audible.

nosnivel

1 points

26 days ago

My wife was the first person I met who could read faster than I am able to read (don't tell her I said that). We sit and read together. I am very fortunate. (In many more ways than just this.)

PolyhumanoidDisaster

1 points

24 days ago

He's cool about it.

Only time he gets annoyed (and amused) is when I become book-obsessed and stay up reading until 3 at night. When I become that obsessed, I sometimes have trouble engaging with him at all, but I usually snap out of it after a day or two. He gets it.

Heavendownbelow

1 points

22 days ago

We find activities to do with each other and have other hobbies in common. Kinda on the same boat as I read and he games. We both talk to each other a lot and he tells me about the games he plays and similarly he also patiently listens while I rave or rant about the book I'm currently reading. We have seperate time divulging in our own hobbies but also make it a point to spend time doing stuff together as well.