Book dating – is a shared taste in books important?

The BookDepository

A few weeks ago there was a discussion on twitter (#bookdating) about using books to judge whether a potential partner was a good match for you. I was shocked by the responses to this question:

Which books would be a dating deal breaker for you?

If a man turned up on a first date clutching a book, then there are very few which would make me walk straight out of the door. The only ones I can think of are those which indicate an undesirable side to his character. He would need to have a very good reason for bringing any thing which showed a fascination with violence to a first date with me:

My husband has a very different taste in books to me. He tends to read books which I tease him as being about “wizards in woods”. They are a light fantasy series in which every story seems to be very similar. I don’t enjoy reading them, but this doesn’t affect my love for him. I would love to be able to share  my favourite books with him, but we share so many other common interests that it doesn’t really matter that we both curl up on the sofa to read different books in the evening.

I was shocked that 90% of people said that some form of fiction would be a deal breaker. I find it hard to believe that people would rule out a potential partner just because they happened to be reading something written by Dan Brown.

Would you rule out a potential partner because they were reading a book you dislike?

Do you think reading taste is an important factor in finding a partner?


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94 Comments

  1. Rachel says:

    What an interesting question!!

    As I get older I have become a lot less fussy. If you’d have asked me five years ago I would have baulked at the idea of sharing a bed with someone who read Dan Brown…now, I’d get over it. The fear of ending up a spinster surrounded by cats has grown strong enough to make me compromise in this area…just this area, though, mind!

    1. Jackie says:

      Rachel, I think a good relationship is all about compromise. I hope you manage to find someone to share the cats with soon.

  2. Kirsty says:

    This is an interesting question. If you’d asked me when I was single, I would have said that a love of books was an essential quality… but then I met and fell in love with a man who doesn’t read very much. When he does read, he very, very rarely reads fiction because he finds it difficult to care about something that “isn’t real”. Instead, he reads popular science, books about music/musicians, and post-war history, plus all the ‘atheist books’: Dawkins, Hitchens, etc.

    He probably does read more than ‘average’, if that’s the figure I read recently of the average Brit reading 4-5 books a year – he probably reads 10 or 15 – but it’s certainly not a paticular ‘interest’ of his. He reads to learn things he wants to know about, rather than for pleasure.

    I don’t mind this at all. It’s him I fell in love with, rather than his taste in reading matter. And he always buys me books for Christmas/birthdays!

    1. Jackie says:

      Kirsty, My husband reads a similar number of books to yours, but he never buys books for me – he thinks I have enough already and wouldn’t have a clue what to get! I’m pleased that you have managed to find someone special and love him despite his taste in reading.

  3. mee says:

    It’s interesting that my husband sort of has similar taste with yours and Kirsty’s. He doesn’t really like fiction because it “isn’t real” (no matter how I try to explain that some if not most fiction is very very “real”) and he likes light fantasy. He said he likes book in which the character goes on (physical) journey to faraway land. *sigh* Anyway, I think it’s far too picky to completely rule out somebody because of their reading taste. Idealistic. Theoretical.

    1. Jackie says:

      mee,
      “He said he likes book in which the character goes on (physical) journey to faraway land. *sigh* ”

      LOL! That sounds exactly like the sort of thing mine reads!

      My husband doesn’t really read non-fiction – unless you count computer magazines!

  4. Verity says:

    Interesting! I’ve only had 2 serious relationships; the first with someone equally interested in books, the second with someone not at all interested in books. I see books more as something which I do on my own, there are far bigger deal breakers – it doesn’t really matter if we don’t like the same books or indeed books at all but if we don’t like the same thing on the t.v. then it is a lot more disruptive! Anyway, the fact that he isn’t into books means there is more space for mine.

    1. Jackie says:

      Verity, That is interesting, because my husband has a different taste in TV to me too. He watches a lot of science fiction and I just read my book. It doesn’t cause any problem at all! We have the same taste in non fiction TV though, so do get to watch some things together.

      1. Verity says:

        I get really fed up when he’s shouting at the cycling on the t.v. – it’s not very conducive to quiet reading in a small flat! But I put up with it :s Thank goodness it’s only the Tour de france, on once a year, as opposed to the football (on every week)

        1. Jackie says:

          Verity, I’m lucky that I can read in a different room, so am not disturbed by the TV. I think a passion for football would be a bigger deal breaker for me. I know so many football widows who never get to spend a Saturday afternoon with their husbands. I would hate to miss that family time every week.

        2. Verity, sounds like you should seriously consider getting some earplugs (or make him put earphones in :)

  5. Sandy says:

    Fascinating! I truly believe in the ying and the yang. My husband is a NON-READER (or almost) and while it would be great to share books and discuss them, this is not a deal breaker at all. Instead, we talk about business, golf, wine, the kids, whatever. It keeps me well-rounded! Even when you showed the book about the guns, I laughed because my dad has a book almost exactly like that. He collects guns, he hunts and target shoots. But he is the most gentle, loving, non-violent person on earth. This is the man that always wants to cuddle our guinea pig! So I guess, bottom line, I think it has nothing to do with nothing!

    1. Jackie says:

      Sandy, I agree – there are so many other things to talk about and now I have found the wonderful world of blogging my desire to talk about books is satisfied.

      The gun book is interesting. I guess that they are a lot less common in the UK – you don’t need them to protect yourself from the wildlife here, so owning a book on them is quite rare. Anyone who bought it on a first date would be a bit weird – they’d have to have a very good excuse for that!

  6. Zee says:

    Well of the two serious relationships I have been in one was a fellow reader and one was not. I did feel I had more in common with the reader than the non-reader, but as I get older it becomes less of a deal breaker. I have found that as long as I can discuss important ideas with someone it doesn’t really matter where they got their important ideas from but that they can articulate them.

    As for books that are deal breakers: I’m with you, any book that glorifies violence would send me running. Unless they explained that they were reading it for a research paper or something similar.

    Very interesting question!

    1. Jackie says:

      Zee, Thank you for commenting on my blog for the first time!

      I agree – I often talk about the themes raised in books. Intelligence is more important to me and the type of book you read is no reflection of that.

      1. Zee says:

        A good friend of mine does not read a lot (by his own admissions) but what he reads leaves him with lots to discuss. We have had some very rewarding discussions because he is intelligent and reflects over what he reads. I think it was becoming friends with him that made me realise that it isn’t necessarily quantity but quality and an ability to reflect that I value.

  7. Claire says:

    Great question!

    It would be a deal-breaker for me if my partner didn’t read at all. Books are such a huge part of my life that I simply don’t think it would work with someone who just wasn’t into books. As it is my boyfriend is a big reader (he reads about 4-6 books a month) but mainly does his reading on his daily commute and in bed at night (whereas I read at any given opportunity). For the most part our reading tastes are different but every so often they overlap, which is always fun. I love that we will both happily sit in the same room reading alone yet together. He also buys fabulous books as gifts (okay, a lot of them are from my wishlist) and has added to my collection exponentially.

    The first time I met him many years ago my attention was drawn to him because he was reading (in fact rereading) one of the books from David Eddings’ The Belgariad -it may not have been love at first sight but it definitely helped!

    1. Zee says:

      Reading Eddings would have gotten my attention too :D I’m currently re-reading that series.

      1. Kim says:

        Wow! David Eddings, there’s a blast from the past! I loved Sir Sparhawk and Garion. I used to make up stories about these guys based on the books and tell them to my boys as bedtime stories when they were small, they loved them. Such a nice memory, thanks for reminding me.

    2. Jackie says:

      Claire, The only way I can get our reading to overlap is if I read his books! My husband reads a lot of Eddings. I have never tried him – am I missing out?

      1. Claire says:

        Jackie, I’m not sure you would like them (wizards in the forest!) but I’m a huge fan of The Belgariad and The Mallorean (its follow-up) and like zee, must reread them as it’s been years. They have a wonderfully strong female character, Polgara, which isn’t something that is synonymous with *some* fantasy series.
        The books are quick reads, engaging with a great cast of characters and plot to propel it forward so perhaps you should read the first in the series to see how you get on. It was my first foray into fantasy many years ago and I’ve heard it been called a great starting point for the genre many times.

        1. Jackie says:

          Claire, Thanks for the explanation! I’ll see if he has a copy and might try the first chapter. I’ll report back!

  8. Jenny says:

    It’s not a deal-breaker, but it’s a bit of a red flag when a date says he reads lots of philosophy. Like Nietzsche. I have found there is an unpleasantly high likelihood of the philosophy-reading guy being pretentious and/or insecure. Or (this seems likely) it’s just the pretentious and insecure ones that feel like they have to bring up their philosophy-reading habits very early on. :P

    On the other hand, I went out with a guy I didn’t think I was going to like much several times because he had read The Mysteries of Udolpho. (I didn’t like him that much. Alas.)

    1. Jackie says:

      Jenny, I haven’t had any exposure to philosophy reading men, but I can see how what you say may be true. I haven’t read The Mysteries of Udolpho either – should I?

  9. Amanda says:

    Jason and I have very different taste in books, but it’s okay because we both read, and that’s nice.

    1. Jackie says:

      Amanda, I agree – it is nice to both read.

  10. Violet says:

    Nope, I don’t think I would really mind what a guy is reading unless as you said “it indicates an undesirable side to his character”. My fiance doesn’t read much, even if he does he reads only popular books. And it doesn’t bother me at all. What matters most is that he is very tolerant of my reading and understands that I love reading very much. And in fact I feel its better that way otherwise we both will be reading away all our free time.

    It kind of keeps everything balanced. Besides he can always watch Cricket while I’m reading :)

    I don’t need to discuss books with him although I do talk to him about what I’m reading once in a while but that’s why I have my blog :)

    1. Jackie says:

      Violet, I think a tolerance of books is needed for the partners of all bloggers. I agree – a realationship with someone that hated books just wouldn’t work.

  11. Lu says:

    Interesting post! My boyfriend and I fell in love over books and theater. He was the director of the play I was in, and while I maintain the fact that he didn’t just choose me for the role because he liked me, I don’t really know if that’s true! Then he gave me the Time Traveler’s Wife to read and I fell in love, with the book and with him. He’s also a speed reader, which means we can go to B&N and he’ll read three books in the time it takes me to read one really short one. In any case, he’s a reader but not as passionate about it as I am.

    1. Jackie says:

      Lu, What a lovely story! It is so romantic that you fell in love over The Time Traveller’s Wife. Did you go and see the film together and cry all the way through it? So nice.

  12. Steph says:

    I think I am with you Jackie – I would hardly discriminate against someone because of his taste in fiction, but if the person read a lot of non-fiction on a topic that I found disturbing, then that would probably be more problematic.

    Honestly, I think the biggest issue might be if the person were a complete non-reader! Since reading is so important to me and makes up such a huge part of my life, I could imagine running into problems if I were seeing someone who didn’t like to read AT ALL. Although Tony & I do not have completely overlapping taste in books, and I do tend to read more than he does, he understands how important reading is for me AND is willing to try books that I suggest (and will also recommend books to me). Of course, I’ll also play video games with him and things like that, so it all evens out!

    1. Jackie says:

      Steph, I don’t think it would matter if they were a non-reader – as long as they understood my passion for reading and tolerated the giant piles of books.

      It is nice to imagine you playing video games with him – I used to do that with my husband when I was younger, but now I leave that to him. He beats me every time and I prefer to read a book!

  13. Eva says:

    None of my boyfriends have been readers the way I am. But that didn’t bother me-as long as they had some kind of hobby they could do by themselves while I read! lol

    For me, the way a guy treats me, his goals in life, if he can calm me down and make me laugh-those are the important things. That being said, I have realised that I have to date guys that are around my intelligence level, otherwise I get antsy, and book taste *could* be an indiciation of that. Still, books aren’t a deal breaker to me! (With the huge exception of Ayn Rand. Because seriously, if Ayn Rand is your hero, we inhabit different universes and a relationship would never work.)

    1. Jackie says:

      Eva,

      “None of my boyfriends have been readers the way I am”

      LOL! I think book bloggers like us would struggle to find anyone that reads to the same degree as us!

      I think finding partners with a similar intelligence is very important. I don’t think I could manage if there was a big difference, but I suppose it depends what you are looking for in a relationship.

  14. Stephanie says:

    It doesn’t matter to me in the slightest whether my partner reads or not. I’ve actually never dated a serious reader. My boyfriend now reads a bit, but nowhere near as much as I do. And while occasionally he’ll read a book I’ve chosen for him (Confederacy of Dunces was a big hit!), we have dissimilar tastes. Currently he’s on a zombie kick. Anyway, as long as he doesn’t mind my reading habit–which he doesn’t–I don’t care either way.

    1. Jackie says:

      Stephanie, That is exactly how I feel. As long as they don’t mind my reading then I don’t mind if they read about zombies, fairies or nothing at all.

  15. For me, finding out that a date didn’t read at all would be a bigger deal breaker than finding out that he read something I wasn’t such a fan of. Hubby and I have very different taste in books, but we are equally passionate about them, and that allows us to connect and talk about what we’re reading. We have just enough overlap to have read some of the same books and to be able to discuss those together as well.

    I read “snobby” literary fiction, narrative nonfiction, and serious memoirs. He reads Vonnegut, historical fiction (a la the Master and Commander series), business profiles, and satire. But we both read, and that’s what matters.

    1. Jackie says:

      Rebecca, It would be nice if my husband shared my love for second hand bookshops, but he is very tolerant and lets me go into them – it helps if there is an electrical store nearby to occupy him though! I think that is the only problem I have with him not sharing my passion for books.

  16. Beth F says:

    Reader or not, same taste or not — the deal breaker for me is no respect for reading or books. In my twenties I broke up with a guy who equated my reading time with being lazy and unproductive. Why couldn’t I do such and such, I was *only* reading. It took only a very small handful of these comments to push me out the door to never look back.

    I’m fortunate because my husband is a reader and our tastes overlap at least a bit — it’s fun to share books and talk about them. But more important to me is that we both have respect for books and the act and art of reading.

    1. Jackie says:

      Beth, I think that anyone who thought reading was lazy would be out of my door straight away too!

  17. I don’t know if it’d be a deal breaker, necessarily, but I’m not sure if I could be with someone who looked down on reading or thought reading was a waste of time. I’d feel like my hobby, the thing I do most, made me look like a time waster or something in their eyes. That might be the deal breaker.

    But someone who just doesn’t enjoy reading as a hobby? That I’m ok with; there are lots of things I wouldn’t enjoy as a hobby either. I may gently try to persuade them to reconsider, and I’m sure they’d do the same to me in regards to their hobbies, but I think it would be fine :)

    1. Jackie says:

      Kim, I don’t think I could live with someone who thought that reading was a waste of time either. I agree with all your comments.

  18. Jeanne says:

    After reading all these comments, I’m trying to think if I even have any friends who aren’t readers. Can’t come up with any. I do have one friend who doesn’t like to go to movies, along the same lines as the guy who said “fiction is not real” (he does read all non-fiction), but he’s an in-law (that is, he married a friend of mine).

    Discriminating against someone who carries a Dan Brown book or a gun book might be different from judging someone who SAYS he reads a lot of philosophy–what if it’s assigned for a class or a gift for a friend? Amazon is always recommending wacky books to me because I buy gifts on there.

    1. Jackie says:

      Jeanne, Hardly any of my friends are readers and those that are read very few books – 1 or 2 a month. We find so many other things to talk about, but that is the main reason I started up my blog – I really wanted to talk about the ones I’d read with someone.

  19. Kim says:

    Of course there are certain books about repellant activities that would cause me to leave the room, I can’t think of any main stream books that would make me reject a date. However, that being said, it wouldn’t occur to me that I couldn’t “improve” a date’s reading tastes.

    1. Jackie says:

      Kim, I don’t think it is possible to improve a dates reading taste and anyone who sets out to try to change the behaviour of their partner will be in for a disappointment.

      My husband has tried a few of my science fiction recommendations, but is never that impressed and always goes back to his fantasy. I don’t really mind though – he is so wonderful in most other ways!

  20. Jeane says:

    It’s not a deal breaker for me. My husband and I have completely different reading tastes- he reads lots of news media and books about politics, I read fiction and nature books. But we find a lot to talk about in sharing with each other the most interesting points. I don’t think I could ever have married someone who didn’t read at all though.

    1. Jackie says:

      Jeane, It is interesting to see that most of the men in this post read more non-fiction/news. There does seem to be a big gender divide in the things people read.

  21. CarolineC says:

    Interesting post, Jackie. My OH and I love reading, sometimes the same books but often different ones. I am always interested to hear about the books my OH is reading even if I don’t fancy it myself. Books are just interesting to talk about aren’ they? I tend to buy most of his books too and often choose one off our shelves for his next read, as he often can’t make his mind up! So I don’t think it’s important really that we have to enjoy the same books and it wouldn’t put me off a new date( not that I want one!)
    We differ on browsing in bookshops, I can browse for hours but OH says there is a limit. Never!!!

    1. Jackie says:

      Caroline, I do try to talk to my husband about the books he reads, but he isn’t very keen. It works better when we talk about the themes of the ones I’ve read. I love talking about books, but I have to respect the fact that he doesn’t really enjoy talking about the ones he’s read.

  22. kimbofo says:

    In a word, “no” (to both questions)

    1. Jackie says:

      kimbofo, I agree!

  23. Dorte H says:

    Great question!

    I can´t imagine any one book that would ´put me off a man´ (after all, one never knows if he had to read it to teach it or write about it).

    On the other hand, I think I would feel rather lonely in our marriage if my husband didn´t read at all. It is not that we share many books, really. He only reads crime fiction when it is of very high quality (so I recommend my top-ten to him, and he usually enjoys those books). He reads lots of biographies, classical literature and philosophy, but to us happiness is sitting side by side enjoying each our book and sharing our best reading experiences (brilliant quotations etc) with each other.

    1. Jackie says:

      Dorte, I agree – I don’t think it is possible to judge a person by one book, or even by all the books they’ve read in a year. My friends all read a very different selection of books, but although we don’t share a taste/love of reading I still love spending time with them all.

  24. Amy says:

    I’m a big believer in not judging someone (your average person) without at least a connversation about their likes and dislikes and what their life has been like up until the time when you first meet. I think to judge someone based on a book they are carrying is ridiculous. They might be reading it for a report, an assignment, a dare etc. I won’t judge people on whether or not they read books either.
    My dad was an attorney, he worked 15 hour days 6 days a week, read 5 newspapers every day but that’s about all he had time for. When we went on vacation, he would bring fiction books with him, mostly mysteries, Dick Francis was a favorite author of his. But nine times out of ten he’d fall asleep on the beach reading or in his chair. My dad loved to read but had no time for it and when he wasn’t working he had other things to do and rarely had time to read.

    My husband likes to read and he reads some fiction, such as Dostoyevsky, Russo, Camus. but he reads more science books and books about the galaxies and philosophy books because he was a philosophy major. He loves Nietzsche and several other philosophers and believes they provide a a person with a good understanding of life and people. But he isn’t arrogant or pretentious in any way at all. He is one of the most intelligent & sweetest men I know. It’s his fault we have so many cats! lol (teasing!)

    So these are two men from my own life I use as examples. I don’t believe in judging people because they read or don’t read or because of what they read.

    1. Jackie says:

      Amy, I don’t like to judge a person without talking to them, but I think it is very hard not to do so. My opinion is sometimes changed after talking to them, but generally first impressions are correct. I am likely to have a greater ability to bond with somone whatever book they are carrying – a love for books is easy to share, no matter what their taste.

  25. Petunia says:

    My husband is a reader of a wide, wide range of books. If he had a book like you pictured in the post I wouldn’t be bothered by it because he has no tendency toward violence, just a thirst for knowledge. He owns books on the these diverse subjects: militia, weapons, theology, the holy books all different kinds of religions both Eastern and Western, books on communism, philosophy, art, biology, animal life, wine and other spirits, economics, electrical theory, computer programming, and a set of The Great Books. But his favorite books are his two sets of encyclopedias.

    Because of this, there are very few books that would be a deal breaker for me. I admire a drive to learn about anything of interest. Wanting to understand an idea is not the same as wanting to believe in that idea.

    As for Dan Brown, well, my husband doesn’t read fiction(with the exception of the Narnia series, a love from childhood that he has passed on to our children) but it wouldn’t turn me off either. I like to read literary fiction but occasionally I have a hankering for Nicholas Sparks. I can understand a desire for mindless escapism. Our choose in books says something about us but it doesn’t say EVERYTHING about us.

    Great post. Thanks for sharing. And for letting me ramble.

    1. Jackie says:

      Petunia, I think the difference is that you know your husband, know he is gentle and so could deal with him bringing a gun book home, but anyone who bought a book on guns with them to a first date has to be a bit strange. If I had to read it for a project I would hide it long before I got to the date!

  26. softdrink says:

    My boyfriend only reads motorcycle magazines. Seriously. In 17 years, I’ve only known him to read 1 book…and that’s because he was stuck in Costa Rica and there were no waves to surf.

    However, he doesn’t mind my books or my reading habits, and that’s all that matters to me.

    1. Jackie says:

      softdrink, LOL! I’m surprised he read one book in that case! I agree that tolerance and understanding are the most important things.

  27. claire says:

    I used to think it mattered. When I was younger, I fell in love with someone who had the *exact* taste in books as I, with the same temperaments as I, the same taste in music, the same passion for art, etc. In other words, we sounded perfect for each other. But when reality struck, those things hardly mattered.

    Now I’m married to the most wonderful man. He’s a non-reader (he ONLY reads cookbooks and books about food and cooking). But in all other respects he’s perfect. The perfect husband, the perfect father. What would I do with a reader who might be a terrible husband? I’ve learned my lesson.

    1. Jackie says:

      Claire, My husband is a great cook too! He doesn’t read cook books very often, but he does amazing dishes. Having a talented chef if a great assest to your family – I love cookbooks, so I would love someone else to bring them in to the house – they are so expensive that I always feel guilty about buying them.

      It is so nice to hear that you have a wonderful husband. I love these positive comments about our men!

  28. Simon S says:

    Being married to someone who really didnt like books I dont think book loving or not puts you off who you end up with… it did mean in my case there was much converting to do and though a work in progress we now read together on Sunday mornings!

    1. Jackie says:

      Simon, It is great that you can enjoy those Sunday mornings together. I used to love long lie-ins with a coffee and a book. No lie-in now my boys bounce in early though!

  29. Kim says:

    My husband has never been a big reader and these days he hardly reads at all but that has never stopped me from reading, I wouldn’t even dream of it.
    You pose a couple of great questions, Jackie and I am so interested to see how many bookish folk think that their partner has to also be a reader and how very important that shared interest is to them. I enjoyed reading this post and all the responses, thank you.

    1. Kim says:

      P.S. meant to say, enjoyed this post not least of all because Claire mentioned David Eddings and that brought back some great memories of when my boys were small…..

    2. Jackie says:

      Kim, It is interesting to read the comments. I think we can just establish that everyone loves the partners they have now and struggle to visulise anyone different!

  30. Jenners says:

    It didn’t prevent me from marrying my husband — a devout non-reader who has horrible taste in both books and music. Love can be blind!!! But I might judge a friend on the type of books they like — like kind of “mark them down” a little but I wouldn’t toss a relationship away based on something like that.

    1. Jackie says:

      Jenners, LOL! A horrible taste in music is worse as you have to listen to it, whereas you only have to look at the cover of a book!

  31. Aarti says:

    I’ve actually considered this before, and I am not sure what I’d do. I mean, it’s quite likely that someone would judge me for coming to a date with a Georgette Heyer novel (especially those that were published by Harlequin several years ago), as it looks like a pretty trashy romance novel. But really, she’s so witty and fun! Also, I don’t care for Dan Brown, but a lot of people do. I think I read for different reasons than other people do- I like to immerse myself in the world. Other people just like to do it for light reading. I would hope I don’t judge someone for that, but at the same time, I REALLY dislike Nicholas Sparks…

    1. Jackie says:

      Aarti, I haven’t read any Georgette Heyer, but it is interesting that you bring up covers. I think it applies to people too – don’t judge something by appearance.

  32. Maybe not reading a Dan Brown, but if a guy told me The Da Vinci Code was in his top five books of all times, I’d seriously consider breaking the deal….. Seriously!

    1. Jackie says:

      anothercookiecrumbles, perhaps you’ll change your mind when you fall in love with a Dan Brown fan ;-)

  33. Rebecca Reid says:

    Awesome question! And as there are already 72 responses to this question, obviously I’m not the first to say so.

    I am with you: my husband reads strikingly different things from me. And it doesn’t matter one bit. He can go on reading his business books.

    1. Jackie says:

      Rebecca, Another nonfiction reader! I wish more men read fiction – or perhaps those that do are all married to non readers?

      1. Rebecca Reid says:

        He does read some fiction — he likes fantasy like Dune and Space Odyssey and Silmarillion (all of which we read together). We’ve tried reading novels I suggest together (To Kill a Mockingbird) and he always falls asleep. I don’t think he can relate? Not sure why he doesn’t like them as much.

        He did get me to read East of Eden by John Steinbeck and I think he does read some fiction. I just don’t know about it because he’s never interested in talking about it.

  34. Kathleen says:

    What great questions to contemplate. In my case my sweetie only reads the newspaper. He always asks me what I am reading and is interested to hear more about it. When we travel he patiently waits while I spend hours in the latest bookstore I have found in whatever city we are in. So, he is a huge supporter of my reading ways. Sometimes I think it would be nice if he were a reader so we could read the same thing and discuss it or trade books with each other. But he has taught me how to snowboard, fish, appreciate nature, surf, etc etc. In my case I am happy to be with a non-reader!

    1. Jackie says:

      Kathleen, You are very lucky to get hours in a bookshop – I am lucky to get 20 minutes, but from a financial point of view that is probably a good idea!

  35. Belle says:

    A love of books is such a personal thing, and while I do enjoy the fact that I can share my love of reading on my blog, I find that with both friends and my husband, we have so many other common interests that a love of reading isn’t really a factor. I only have one close personal friend who reads a lot, but she likes romances while I rarely read romance, so we don’t often discuss books at all! As for my husband, he used to be a great nonfiction reader as a boy but stopped reading much as an adult. Nowadays, he only reads cookbooks and cooking magazines. Since I’m at the receiving end of his passion for cooking, I don’t mind at all that he’s not reading fiction :)

    1. Jackie says:

      Belle, My husband is a great cook too! It is so nice to be cooked for and I agree it makes up for not sharing my taste in reading.

  36. Karen says:

    It sounds like your husband reads the same types of books as my partner – not my cup of tea really but I do enjoy hearing him talk about them and what he is enjoying about it – and I in turn share my reading experiences with him. So, I guess for me it doesn’t really matter that we have different tastes – the important thing is that we both adore reading and appreciate books.

    1. Jackie says:

      Karen, It is great that you appreciate books together – you probably find it easier to sell the idea of a book sale as being a great weekend activity!

  37. heidenkind says:

    If a guy brought a book on our date, I’d be like, “Um, maybe we should just be friends.” But I have been on a few dates where I wished I was reading I was reading a book. =/

    Anywayyyy, I don’t think I’d judge a guy on his reading material unless it spoke to his character. Like if I found a book by Rush Limbaugh on his nightstand, I’d have serious doubts.

    1. Jackie says:

      heidenkind, LOL! Luckily I have never been on a date where I would rather have been reading, but I know several friends have!

      I know a few parties I’ve been to (mainly through my husband’s work) where I would much prefer to have been reading.

  38. Trish says:

    Wish I could read through the comments but I can’t, so there. :P

    My husband is dyslexic and so he doesn’t read very often. Actually never. It’s hard because he doesn’t understand why I like to read so much (and then blog about it), but he trys to be understanding and I try to be sensitive to him. He’s been listening to audiobooks recently, which helps, and we’ve had some good bookish discussions about them.

    Anyway, all that to say, no, I don’t think taste matters.

    1. Jackie says:

      Trish, It is great to hear that your husband has discovered audio books. I know someone that struggles to read, but have never thought of introducing audio books. That is such a great idea – thank you!

  39. My boyfriend has very different tastes to me too although I have managed to get him reading Sophie Hannah and Tom Rob Smith (and now he’s always trying to pinch my copies before I’ve even read them!). I am glad that he does read – an older boyfriend that I had didn’t really and it was a little frustrating but it certainly wouldn’t be a deal-breaker.

    I guess it comes down to the fact that with partners you have special things you share and there are things you don’t (like a love of Art in my case), but it’s just swings and roundabouts isn’t it?

    1. Jackie says:

      Novel Insights, Sophie Hannah and Tom Rob Smith are both amazing, so I can understand the desire to pinch your copies! It is great that you are able to share some reading together.

  40. Kim says:

    Wow! Didn’t this post stir some response. Great questions, Jackie.

  41. Tracie Yule says:

    Wow, this has spiked quite a conversation. It never even occurred to me that a book would be a deal breaker or if he didn’t read at all, then that would be a deal breaker.

    I guess I never thought that the person I’m with had to have the same interests as I do. The same morals…but never interests. Our morals and values are what keep our marriage strong, not the fact that I like to read and he watches football. I do need to know that we both value hard work and that we agree on how we are going to raise our children.

    By the way, I married a mystery novel reader and I’m not big on mysteries because I always peek at the end to see who the killer is.

  42. Meghan says:

    This is such a great discussion! It’s been so interesting reading all the comments and it really makes me wonder why so many men don’t read fiction at all, or if they do read fiction, it’s only fantasy or science fiction. A shame really! My husband is not a huge reader, but he’s supportive of my love of reading and that’s all that matters to me. When we were still an ocean apart he sent me a couple of books until he realized I had or had read practically everything he thought he could give me. Now I make TBR piles for him because I’ve figured out what he likes, which is mainly science fiction and more experimental fantasy. When we met for the first time, it didn’t occur to me to worry that he wasn’t a reader because we had other interests in common, and he’s such a wonderful person that I can easily forgive his relative indifference if he forgives my many book piles. =)

  43. ccr in MA says:

    I would be happy that he was a reader! Unless it was the Anarchist’s Cookbook or something. I think a non-reader would be much less likely to understand the massive amounts of reading I do.

  44. Michelle says:

    I always thought I’d end up with a reader like me, but it didn’t happen that way. N reads maybe 2-3 books a year, and we don’t seem to have compatible tastes either. But it’s worked out..

    I couldn’t think of a deal-breaker book. Reading is sexy.

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