Question: Does Your ‘Mate’ Have to Be a Reader?

Posted October 2, 2014 by Carmel in Question / 110 Comments


I don’t think that I have EVER dated a man who’s loved novels as much as I do, and although my husband does pick up the occasional book (namely, whenever a new installment in THE IRON DRUID CHRONICLES comes out—my doing!) I wouldn’t go so far as to call him a reader. Diving between the pages once every three+ months does NOT make you a bookworm. Now, perhaps my habits are slightly above average given that I blog, but I think that you have to go through a minimum of x-number of titles a year in order to fall in the aforementioned category. The only thing that really matters when all is said and done is that #1 understands my addiction, is willing to make certain allowances for it, and has an equally time sucking type of hobby (i.e. he’s a Final Fantasy XIV junkie).

Before my guy was introduced to A REALM REBORN our relationship was a bit more challenging because he wanted to spend ‘quality time’ together way more often, and don’t get me wrong I ❤ the man, but balancing the two was difficult. I’m not a football fan, however whenever a new season begins I get this giddy feeling because it means that Sundays are now ‘me’ days. He also loves basketball and hockey, so I started scheduling my reading around games. I am a diehard HABS girl mind you, so the latter didn’t help me out overly much, but otherwise it was a decent system. Now though, we get home from work, look at each other, and silently agree to lose ourselves in our respective obsessions until dinner. It’s great! We’re thinking about possibly trying for a baby soon though, so that might go out the window in the near future. *sigh*

I think that there are SO many other super important qualities to look for in a mate that reader ranks pretty low on most peeps’ priorities list. Guys that love novels are undoubtedly sexy; however fidelity, respect, and honesty take precedence, as does cooking in my particular instance because I can’t boil water. I kid you not! The other day I attempted to make soup for lunch, you know the canned kind where you just have to add water, heat, and serve. Well, I forgot step #2. LOL I asked DH to give it a quick stir while he was in the kitchen, and he was like “sure, do you want me to turn the element on for you too?” And, this folks is why my book title would be I Should Have Been Born Blonde.

Does Your ‘Mate’ Have to Be a Reader?

Carmel Signature

Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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110 responses to “Question: Does Your ‘Mate’ Have to Be a Reader?

  1. I don’t think it is bad for partners to have different hobbies, as long as the other is understanding of the time to do it.

    #1 is not much of a reader. When we first met, I would read a book here or there, nothing like I do now. He read even less than I did. I am rubbing off on him. He as read more books in the past five years than in the first 14 we were together.
    Melanie Simmons recently posted…The Beautiful Ashes Audiobook by Jeaniene Frost (Review)

    • I agree, it’s good to have a few common interests, but you wouldn’t want to date a male version of yourself, that’d just be creepy! You know what they say: opposites attract!

  2. My boyfriend would much rather prefer a good show or a game on his computer rather than reading. Like your partner, he’s an occasional reader as well, and probably picks up a book even less than every 3 months. I do think it’s important to have different hobbies too, it is sort of nice if you can relate in hobbies but isn’t a must, as you said.
    Jeann recently posted…Giveaway & Review: Brew by David Estes – Post-apocalyptic Witches

  3. Hmmm, I’m not sure. Books are a huge part of my life (English/History major, library employee, future librarian, literacy tutor, book blogger) and I think it would be pretty weird if I was with someone who didn’t get that. That said, I think you can ‘get’ someone else’s passion without sharing it yourself, like you and your husband. My guy likes reading and sometimes reads a book when I suggest it, but he isn’t what I’d call a bookworm. He listens to me ramble about books and literacy with no complaints, so I’m cool with it! 🙂
    Danya recently posted…Tough Traveling: Curses

    • Given your hobbies, education, and job, your any guy would HAVE to get your book addiction or it would never work! Most of my reading convos with #1 are rather one-sided, but he doesn’t seem to mind.

  4. Well according to my parents I’m too young to have a boyfriend (and all the guys at my age are total idiots anyways) but my dream boyfriend would be one that is not allowed to love books more than me or just as much as me but still has to like reading. I mainly say that because MY BOOKS ARE MY BABIES NO ONE TOUCHES THEM BUT ME.

    Awesome post, Carmel! <33
    Melanie (YA Midnight Reads) recently posted…Review: Love and Other Unknown Variables by Shannon Lee Alexander

  5. Nope. My boyfriend is a huge gamer, so we usually spend our weekends doing our separate hobbies… together. But we’re lucky, in that we both prefer that kind of “time together” and enjoy having different hobbies. In many ways, video games served/still serve the same purpose in his life that books do in mine, so we understand the importance. And, well, we do make a point to get out of the house together too. 😉
    Amanda recently posted…Evernight by Kristen Callihan {Kelly’s Review}

    • Gamers + bookworms are a match made in heaven! We make a point of asking each other if there’s anything we’d like to do before diving into our respective hobbies. And, yeah, the occasional date night doesn’t hurt either.

  6. Great point about balancing. I can tell when my hubby doesn’t have a book of his own or a video game to play because I can’t read or he’ll keep interupting, and I want to spend time with him, but I also wanna read

    • I always know when #1 is bored because I can’t finish reading a page without him trying to talk to me at least once. That’s usually when my death stare kicks in. LOL

  7. Nicole from Feed Your Fiction  

    I SO wish that my husband liked to read! He is one of those people who NEVER reads books at all, so he really doesn’t get my obsession with it. Luckily, he has lots of other awesome qualities that make up for it! 🙂
    Nicole recently posted…YA Fandom Frenzy

  8. Chanzie from Mean Who You  

    I don’t we could afford both having a book addiction!! My #1 doesn’t read at all, if an email is too long he will lose interest. He plays PlayStation and I read. We are in our own space together and it works out perfectly!! I agree with you, it doesn’t rank very high on my list of must attributes 🙂

    Yikes.. the heat eh?? I can cook as long as there is a recipe I can follow. I do get paranoid that it isn’t cooked and sometimes it ends up butchered from me checking but hey I try otherwise we braai 🙂 SA’s #1 meal time!!

    PS exciting about the baby news!!!
    Chanzie recently posted…IWSG #4 ~ October ’14

    • Video games and consoles are expensive too, but granted their shelf life is usually way longer.

      I need to have step-by-step instructions when I cook; no eyeing it for me! And, even then, I still screw it up as the soup incident clearly demonstrates. LOL

  9. I think in a way it does tie in to respect/etc for me. They don’t have to be big readers themselves but okay with me being a reader. I worked at a bookstore for a while and we had couples come in and the guy would just go on and on about their wife reading and what a waste of time and how much they hated it and whine and moan and just were in general unpleasant and hostile over it. Was crazy to see.
    anna (herding cats & burning soup) recently posted…A little Holiday Heat w/ Olivia Miles, Debbie Mason & Katie Lane!

    • Wow, that’s NOT cool! Why would you even bother tagging along to the bookstore if you’re gonna complain the whole time?? Stay at home or shut it. Relationships are supposed to be about give & take.

  10. “The only thing that really matters when all is said and done is that #1 understands my addiction, is willing to make certain allowances for it, and has an equally time sucking type of hobby (i.e. he’s a Final Fantasy XIV junkie).”

    THIS CARMEL!!! Yes. My husband is the same way (just sub Call of Duty for Final Fantasy), and I couldn’t love him more. I don’t need him to share in every single one of my passions, just understand that I have them and they’re important to me, and he does. I don’t get the draw of Call of Duty, but I support his habit 😉

    And I can’t boil water either, so bless my husband, he does the cooking:)

    • Sounds like we both found men who are perfect for us, Jenny! I’m glad to hear that I’m not the only female incapable of boiling water; I was beginning to think that I was a huge disappointment to my entire gender. LOL!

  11. I don’t think they do at all but like you said, a hobby or other like on their part is a must. My husband isn’t a huge reader by any means but he does tons of other things (baseball, golf, hunting, shooting, flying) so I do have time to read while he is doing other things. Plus, I mostly read during the day when no one else is around so that really helps as well.

    If he didn’t have b=hobbies or sports then I could see it being more of an issue.
    kindlemom1 recently posted…Giveaway: Silverblind by Tina Connolly!

    • Your hubby sounds very athletic! I think it’s as important for couples to share hobbies as it is to have separate ones. You don’t want to do EVERYTHING together.

  12. My husband has probably read 2 books in his adult life, one from John Sanders while sitting in his hunting blind and the other was based on a hideous local backwoods crime (He finished this in one day).

    It used to bother me that he didn’t read because I can’t understand how anyone can get through life without a good book but over time I’ve come to realize that he has his things and I have mine and it works 🙂

    Like Jenny said, I’m a firm believer in spouses/significant others having separate identities and varying passions. I think it’s healthy, we share a love of so many things together but we also have separate lives outside of those things. I think this makes for a happy couple.

  13. Nereyda from Mostly YA Book  

    Ha, my boyfriend is definitely NOT a reader but I don’t care at all. We’ve been together 14 years and he’s known about my book obsession since the beginning (we used to hang out at Bookman’s a lot when we were still in high school). The important thing is he understands my book obsession. He’s never told me anything when I was addicted to buying 3 books a week (long time ago) or when I’ve read during dinner and he’s taken me to ALA a few times.
    It helps that he has his own obsession (video games) to keep him occupied while I read and do blog stuff 🙂
    Nereyda recently posted…Book Mood Board (11): The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski!

    • I read during our long commutes to work, and although #1 doesn’t like it, he lets me get away with it, but during dinner? That’s hardcore! 14 years is awesome! We just hit the 3 month mark (marriage), but we’ve been together for 6.

  14. Thank goodness my hubby is the cook in the house too. I get a little extra me time. He is not much of a reader. I do most of my blogging when he is not around and reading I fit in anywhere and everywhere I can. He realizes my passion and doesn’t complain much as long as I don’t ignore him. I am also the avid football fan in the house, except for Alabama. He is an alumni and we watch a lot of football together. Great question and post!
    sherry fundin recently posted…Who Is The Bad Guy – A Death In Vegas by Christopher Meeks Review

    • Gotta love a man who can cook! I blog / read whenever I have a few spare minutes, however it adds up over the course of a week; some are just better than others, but that’s life.

  15. LOL That last bit was funny, Carmel!! So, I’m glad I’m not the only bookworm who didn’t marry a bookworm. And I’m also not the only one who plans reading around football. 😉 My hubs will read – usually when we’re on vacation. But he’s not a big reader…unless you count the newspaper or Backpacker magazine. 🙂 But we’ve been married for 19.5 years, so I suppose it’s worked for us. BTW, baby will totally change your reading habits. 😉
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…**That’s What HE Said ~ #14**

    • Sometimes I struggle to come up with long answers to these posts, so this week I beefed it up a bit by telling a funny side story. Plus, I don’t mind if other people get a smile outta my ditzyness. Hehe Oh, gosh, I know! I want to take that next step, but don’t at the same time. The first few years are gonna be brutal!

  16. Aly P

    To me it doesn’t really matter as long as he understands that I love to read and doesn’t mind when I prefer it to spending time with him 😀

  17. I wish I could say my husband read as much as I did or at least read 1 book a year but I am not that lucky. He much rather play video games or watch sports when he isn’t at work. He has tried reading while we are on vacation but he ends up falling sleep. He isn’t a reader at all, but he is so awesome I forgive that little thing 🙂
    Maggie recently posted…Giveaway: 1 Day Pass (Friday Oct 10) New York Comic Con 2014 hosted by @ReadingDiva3

  18. ROFL, you & the hubs should do cooking classes together, I think that would be fun and sexy 😉

    I’ve never dated a reader either and that doesn’t bother me as long as they do NOT interfere with my hobby and always remember that I prefer Amazon GC for gifts over other stuff like clothes, shoes, etc. that I can get myself. An Amazon GC just feels personal and means they know me well enough that books are my heaven.

    And babies! Should be fun! You can always do audio books 😉
    Braine Talk Supe recently posted…Grace Loved It: Unmasking Juliet by Teri Wilson

    • Nah euh! Truth is, I don’t WANT to learn how to cook cuz it’ll just end up another thing on my to-do list. This way I’m off the hook. Permanently.

      I dislike it when peeps try to give me thoughtful gifts. Do you not know me? An Amazon GC is personal!

  19. My husband has never been a reader. He doesn’t read fiction but he can spend hours reading instruction manuals and all that, yuck! I do love sports so we spend a lot of time watching football and basketball together. However, we have come to an agreement. I can read all I want and he can drink his beer. Enjoy this time together, once you have kids…. well things change 🙂
    Heidi recently posted…Something Wicked Strikes Day #2: Guest Post, Review and Giveaway: The Bodies We Wear by Jeyn Roberts

    • I think it’s important to have balance, if you spend x $ on books a week, well then he should get to do the same on something he enjoys, like beer. Geez! I’m started to reconsider the kid thing after reading everyone’s comments.

  20. Mel from thedailyprophecy

    No, I think having different hobbies makes a relationship interesting too 🙂 It would be great to talk about books with the same passion, but I don’t mind that we don’t. He always shows interest and listens to me ranting/raving and that’s what matters to me. I do the same with him and his love for gaming.
    Mel recently posted…Monthly recap. September.

  21. Mogsy from BiblioSanctum  

    My significant other being a reader/not a reader isn’t a big deal. Actually, my husband goes through phases where for months he’ll read a lot, and then for months he wouldn’t pick up a single book! But when he gets in reading mode, he reads even faster than I do!
    Mogsy recently posted…Tough Traveling: Curses!

  22. Amber Elise  

    The only time I get ‘me’ time is when the hubs is playing a game. He doesn’t understand sports, such a nerd.

    I bought him a book in 2011, Horns by Joe Hill because he was all excited about it. I think he’s still on chapter 5. That was the last time I bought him a book.

    He bought this book series called WOOL about a month ago because he read the graphic novels and wanted to know more. Pretty sure he’s still on page 100.

    So yeah, he’s not a reader. Comic books and graphic novels are his thing. I blame his ADHD.

    I’ll do enough reading for the both of us!

    Amber Elise @Du Livre

  23. Karen Blue  

    My Miguel is not too much of a reader. He has embraced my love of reading and my full immersion in all things books since I decided it was all I wanted to blog about. He has probably read 5 or 6 books in as many years. He has different interests. I like sitting next to him reading while he is doing whatever he enjoys (tv, facebook, research for work, whatever). We parallel play like that.

  24. For me it’s not mandatory on my “best soul mate to be with list”^^;; however he need to respect my love for books ( or he is out ( between a man and books, books win!))
    my mother is a avid reader but my father didn’t like to read at all… he never refused her a book or made fun or her or critize her … it’s that i want someoen who love me for who i am and doesn’t try to change me ( oki i can’t promise i won’t try to make him read a little^^;; passion can be shared^^)
    miki recently posted…He Ain’t Lion ( Ridgeville1 ) by Celia Kyle

  25. Roro  

    Do you remember “MUST LOVE DOGS”. It would be must read/love books. I demand the future bf/husband to be part of the book lover world. Lovely discussion post

  26. Mary from BookSwarm  

    Love this question! And I think it really depends. I’ve dated all kinds though, I have to admit, the ones who “didn’t read” lost some smarts points from me. It’s awesome if he’s a reader but as long as he appreciates my need for reading time and has his own thing, it works out. (Together time is all well and good but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing!)
    Mary recently posted…Speed Date with Cole: Riding Dirty by Jill Sorenson

  27. Joy from Thoughts By J  

    Omgosh Carmel, you crack me up hahaha! I love your little quirk of not remembering to put water in the soup hehe. And no, your partner definitely does not need to be reader, and I think that is much better. My boyfriend rarely reads because he just doesn’t have the time. We’re both still at uni so we’re either studying, socialising or working. And that saps a lot of time. I make time to read when I can, and he would rather play Minecraft, which is fine by me. I like the fact that we have different hobbies, and sometimes I play Minecraft with him. 😛
    Joy recently posted…Movie Review: Exclusive Premiere of Gone Girl

    • I’m a bit of a goofball. LOL I’ll play the occasional video game with #1, and he’ll read the odd book that I recommend. It’s been working well for us so far!

  28. Your first paragraph is just dead on us. Down to the ID series and FF… errr well… my hubs was an XI guy and later WoW but yeah. Same thing.

    It wasn’t until around the time I started blogging that the man read a book in the 16 years we’ve been together. No… wait. I take that back. He read a Star Wars book once. lol But I’ll be honest… I hated it. HATED IT SO MUCH.

    Being with a non-reader was just miserable. He didn’t get how words on paper could entertain me for hours and hours and hours. Didn’t understand how a character death could make me cry. Gave me side eye when I’d talk about characters like they were people I knew. Didn’t get why I would get giddy on release days or when an author replied to an email or tweet. But once he started reading my books here and there and even taking an interest in books from movies/shows we’d seen it really improved our relationship. Except that he’s a spoiler-whore and reads five times faster than I do. He ruins everything. lol When I got a Kim Harrison ARC for him for Christmas one year it was sooo great. Everyone was so jealous. 😀

    So yeah… for me… if my man kicked the bucket and I went out into the dating pool I would definitely make it a thing on my list of qualities I was seeking. Granted I wouldn’t want another blogger-level reader but someone who picks up a book… make that a fiction book… every couple of months would definitely be a must. If the person didn’t read I just couldn’t see myself enjoying a long-term thing.
    Rhianna recently posted…RhiReading Un-6th-Blogiversary GIVEAWAY!

    • Nice! So, you totally get where I’m coming from. Hehe

      OMG! Living with a spoiler-whore would be the worst! I scored an ARC of Shattered (Kevin Hearne) for #1, and he was so happy. I agree, dating another blogger wouldn’t work for me either.

  29. Yeah, my man isn’t really much of a reader either. He does pick up the occasional book, though, but mostly non-fiction about some guy who has done sports in some way or another… He has so many other good qualities, though, so I can’t say I’m that sad he doesn’t read a lot. Also, he loves to ski, skate, run, cycle etc, so he will be out on his own every now and then, and the kids are pretty busy, too, so that becomes my ‘me’-time (also know as ‘YAY now I can read till I drop-time)…
    Lexxie recently posted…Review: Crushed – Eliza Crewe

    • If my guy put half as much effort into reading books as he does sports highlights and financial stuff, he’d probably cream my GoodReads challenge every year. Non-fiction… eeww! 😉

  30. Mary

    My husband is a serious reader. When we were dating, we went to a bookstore and I got a new book in a series I was reading. We went back to his parents house and sat side by side on the couch reading our separate books. Now we have 3 kids and sometimes the whole family is reading.

  31. My hubby is not a big reader (although he’s read a few of my YA books) BUT he is a good listener! You can quiz him on almost any series I’ve read and he’ll know plot/characters and authors. He corrected me once about BDB. lol

  32. I’m single BUT if I did have a mate, I don’t think it’s necessary for him to be a reader too but it certainly would be a plus in my book. A guy I once dated was a big sports nut and it worked out perfect because he would watch games with his friends and I would either spend time at the library or reading at home. But I think there’s nothing better than having a mate that shares the same love of reading that I do. 🙂
    Cristina recently posted…A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Outlander #6) by Diana Gabaldon

    • It’s important to have multiple interests I think, you don’t want to date a couch potato, but you can still like books and be active. Still, there’s something to be said about those athletic types… six pack abs anyone?? Hehe

  33. Leila from LeilaReads  

    Oh, goodness. The answer is absolutely no. My college boyfriend was as much of a bookworm as I am, but my husband says he’s never read an entire book in his life (including college). And that’s OK with me. That’s what friends and book blogging are for. And book clubs. Good question!
    Leila recently posted…Hot Scot Saturday #6: On Perspectives

    • How did he go his entire life without EVER reading a book? Isn’t it practically a requirement in school?? Or, did he cheat and use Coles Notes for reports? 😉

  34. Like you I celebrate his TV watching with curling up in a corner with whatever the book of the moment is. I do think it is important that your mate understands how much reading means to you. Before we were married, I made him repeat that he understood that I read every night before going to sleep. When we built our house
    he built a reading light on and off switch into the head of our bed so I didn’t have to get up to turn off the light so I think he really understands the need to read even if he is not a reader.
    Lisa Richards recently posted…Cover Reveal for Rebellion by JA Souders

  35. Mine is definitely not a reader although he has a couple of favorite books. He watches movies and TV series, games and I read – we spend hours in glorious silence every evening. It’s been working really well for us both for 9 years, and I’m quite happy with that.
    kara-karina recently posted…The Postman Knock #98

    • I have a difficult time surviving a weekend without reading, nevermind 17 years! That’s the stuff nightmares are made of. LOL But, at least it works for you, that’s what counts.

  36. Well my husband reads a lot of stuff about video games and lots of manga – he used to read novels in high school but just doesn’t anymore. Now he’ll snatch a book for me when he travels but other then that won’t read. Its ok that he doesn’t read. It would be cool if he did but at least we have anime in common and video games back when we both used to play…before our kid came along.
    Tabitha (Not Yet Read) recently posted…Review: Black Arts by Faith Hunter

    • Darned kids! How ever are you going to survive a second one? j/k I’m both excited for, and dreading how parenthood is going to impact my reading. Hmm… maybe it’ll make #1 read more though because of bedtime story time.

  37. It doesn’t matter to me as long as he respects & doesn’t mind my love of reading. My husband is an occasional reader, but it wasn’t his reading that I fell in love with 15yrs ago, LOL!! He prefers reading non-fiction though. He’s not into much football, he’s more into baseball & NASCAR, so I know those are good chances for me to read!! 🙂
    Tricia recently posted…Bookish Pumpkins

  38. She dos not necessary have to be a reader. She should however preferably be interested in some of the same genres as I am, be it in movies, TV shows or books. Those things are a big part of my life and I would love to have a girl that I could share some of it with while we snuggled together in the sofa. But it would be nice if she liked some genres I have little experience with, maybe I would discover something new.
    Kim recently posted…Review: Log Horizon

    • Ooh, good point! Dating a reader with different genre preferences would definitely help broaden your horizons, and any hobby that’s conducive to cuddling is great for a couple.

  39. I have a difficult time finding men who like to read. I’m not really sure why. Maybe I’m not roaming the right circles. But if I gave this such importance, I probably wouldn’t have dated much. But how I do love guys who read. I think that is just so attractive. But it’s not a requirement. I think what’s important to me is that the guy understands that I love reading, that I won’t reply to messages because I’m so hooked on a book, that I would gush about things that happened in the book even if he hasn’t read it, that I would occasionally recommend a book to read, and all that jazz. So basically a good man that understands. 😛
    Francine Soleil recently posted…Chat It Up: What Sells on You? Mine are Nerds

    • I think men who read are sexy, but I know so few of them in RL that I can’t help but think that they are super rare. Plus, I need the occasional kick in the butt to help get me off the couch, and I somehow doubt that if I dated a fellow bookworm that I would ever leave the house. LOL