I said I wouldn't consider dating someone who didn't like to read...

United States
September 23, 2011 11:55pm CST
... and wow. I really made a guy hissy at me. To give you some background, it was an ordinary day in class and we girls were talking about "the perfect man". One girl turns to me and says, "Your perfect man probably loves to read as much as you do!" And I agreed. I went even further to say that I probably wouldn't even consider dating a guy who didn't like to read. And one guy whirled around and said, "You COULD TOO date a guy who didn't like to read!" and "Why would that even matter?" and "Why's such a stupid thing like that so important to you?" and "You don't need something like that to make a relationship work..." and on and on... Really all I could say in response was "Well, gee... it's just an important part of my life. He'd have to at least be open to taking reading suggestions, because that's how I am with my closest friends and family members. I love exchanging books and talking books." Which, saying I love exchanging books and talking books is a gross understatement. I don't really have another way to put it, but Books. Are. Very. Important. To. Me. Something I didn't say then, but I can't even really be super-close friends with someone who doesn't like to read. It's not that I shun them or think they're bad people... it's just that there's this huge portion of my life that I can't share with them and that they don't want me to share with them, and it really puts a barrier up. So "loves to read" is on my list of desired qualities in a man. It's right up there with honesty, integrity, and shares my faith, as in REALLY IMPORTANT to me. Is that so unreasonable? Any of you out there feel the same way?
1 person likes this
14 responses
@ElicBxn (60016)
• United States
24 Sep 11
I like this guy, a lot, but he doesn't read... however, its not that he doesn't like books, I really think he might have a minor reading problem. I am trying to get him into audio books, I think that will expand his abilities... I mean, I love history, but I'm honestly not too often going to sit down and read a history book (yes, I have done it for fun) but I'd much rather read a science fiction or fantasy novel...
2 people like this
• United States
24 Sep 11
I'm not often going to sit down and read a history book myself. lol Like I said, someone open to the idea of trying out reading even if they don't do it much might be attractive to me if they had other really attractive qualities to me too... but someone who flat out hated to read I don't think I could honestly have a close relationship with. One of my close avid-reading friends was in a serious relationship with a guy who didn't read, and his excuse was that he was dyslexic. Which, I'm not knocking on that, can be a barrier... but it's not impossible to become someone who loves books when you're dyslexic. Anyway, that relationship didn't last long and had a pretty bad end for other reasons.
2 people like this
@ElicBxn (60016)
• United States
24 Sep 11
My roommate is blind! her other friend is totally blind! they listen to "talking" books... at least in Texas dyslexics can get on the talking book program!
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Sep 11
Blind would be a good excuse to not be reading, actually. I feel a little sheepish now. But audio books are a great compromise, and I'm glad your friends do listen to them. It's sad how many great stories people miss out on because they don't or can't read them.
1 person likes this
@allknowing (54693)
• India
24 Sep 11
There's more to a successful partnership than having common interests. Love has nothing to do with common interests. Love develops where there is trust and understanding, love develops where one does not demand.
2 people like this
@bagarad (7732)
• Paso Robles, California
24 Sep 11
That's true. One does not love everyone who shares her interests, but someone whom you love should share the interests that are a very important part of you and your values. For me, a love of reading and learning is right up there with a common faith when it comes to a partner. I would not feel the same way about stamp or coin collecting or a fascination with classic cars or other interests that don't involve one's whole being. If such an interest did involve the whole being of someone I was dating, I would either see if I could get interested in it or I would realize I did not enjoy car shows and find someone else rather than becoming a car show widow.
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Sep 11
I don't really think that love, trust, and understanding are enough to hold a successful relationship or a marriage together. Let's say two people were of different faiths and faith was a huge important aspect of their lives. They can't just shrug off a difference like that, though I know many couples do try to. Eventually it has to come up, it may eat away at whatever connection is there. There's also the question of kids and how to raise them. If faith wasn't a big deal to either of them, then it would likely never be an issue... but when such a monumental pillar of your life cannot be shared by your spouse, how long can you really hold together? I mean, let's say there's a man, probably a marine biologist, who completely and utterly adores everything having to do with the sea. He spends everyday out on the water, he goes swimming every day after work, and he eats seafood for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If he met a woman who HATED water, who could never stand to hear him talk about it, who refuses to even dip a toe in the tide when he went on his daily swims... is he even gonna feel an attraction towards her, much less any amount of trust and love? That's how I feel about reading. It's one of the pillars of my life, and I have a hard time developing a strong emotional connection to someone who doesn't at least get that.
• United States
24 Sep 11
Good answer Bagarad, I probably should have put it that way too. For something that important to oneself, then a potential mate would need to at least be willing to explore and develop an interest for any relationship between them to be successful.
@buddha3 (1029)
• India
24 Sep 11
Well, it's not wrong when it comes to your point of view. Of course we naturally tend to see the same qualities in our partners as ours. But just remember it makes it more interesting when there are few little difference in the hobbies of the partners. I don't think it's such an important criterion for you to fall in love with a guy:) You never know, you might end up choosing someone who hates reading..LOL
• United States
24 Sep 11
No, I'm not Loling, sorry. I don't think that's funny. You see... hating reading is a drastically unattractive quality to me. Therefore, I can't see myself falling an inch for a guy who hates to read. Like smoking, swearing like a sailor, or treating me like a piece of meat... if a guy does those things then I typically instantly dislike him and no matter what he does after that, I don't change my mind. Usually they only give me more cause to not change my mind anyway. Reading and books aren't just one of my hobbies to me... they're a huge chunk of my life. I can see myself falling for a guy who isn't nearly as fond of reading as I am, but not someone who was totally opposed to the idea.
1 person likes this
@buddha3 (1029)
• India
25 Sep 11
Well I didn't mean what you are thinking I meant. And I don't know what made you to react so rudely. Anyway, I am sorry for hurting your emotions and also I AM AN ARDENT LOVER OF BOOKS AND I HAD NO INTENTION OF DISRESPECTING THE HABIT OF READING OF ANYONE. Sorry again. Cheers!
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Sep 11
Oh, I'm sorry! I didn't mean to come across as rude. I was a little put-off by the lol, but if my post had a tone of voice, I promise that it would be calm and soft-spoken... not snippy! Your comment "you might end up choosing someone who hates reading...LOL" really just made me think of my not-so good friends who think it's funny to say things like, "She'll fall for a bad-boy who'll totally corrupt her!". Which is why I felt the need to say I didn't think it was funny. I didn't really mean anything rude by it, and I'm really sorry that you took it that way!
@carmelanirel (21108)
• United States
24 Sep 11
One benefit to dating a guy who doesn't read is; you won't fight over who gets the book first... But I hear you..Though my husband is an excellent reader, he doesn't read for fun or even learning, which is why we are on a different page, (pun intended.) where our beliefs are concerned. He learns about his faith by listening to man, and not looking deeper into the meaning of the scriptures. So in a way, it can be a plus or minus having a partner who also loves to read..
• United States
24 Sep 11
LOL, but that sounds to me like one of the better things you could fight about. Great pun, that made me laugh. Like I said to allknowing, dating someone who is outside of your REALLY BIG DEAL interests can be something akin to dating someone of a different faith. Maybe you can "see past it" initially, but if it's important (as I believe that faith should be) then eventually it's going to start eating away at the trust and the love in the relationship.
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Sep 11
You know, now that I think about it, you are right. I love music, reading and dancing, and my husband doesn't, so when I want to do one or the other, he doesn't, dividing us up.. He prefers to lie down and do nothing, he has always done this..
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Sep 11
It breaks my heart that you've had to deal with this schism between yourself and your husband for so long. I think you're a really great woman, and any man should feel lucky to have you in his life. I mean, I know I've only talked to you online, but you've been fun to talk to online.
1 person likes this
@ShepherdSpy (8563)
• Omagh, Northern Ireland
24 Sep 11
Just wanted to stop you there and ask You something..That conversation sure seemed to push "Mr Hissy's" Buttons while he listened in..Would he have shown any interest in You or someone else involved in that conversation? He sounded a little Defensive..
• Philippines
24 Sep 11
I was about to say that too. Saying something like "reading is stupid" sounds like an argument thrown out of defense rather than thought of. However, I do believe that liking books is one thing and liking a person is another. I won't be as bold as saying I wouldn't date a person who dislike books. I don't confine myself in a world of readers. Sometimes I need to step out of that world to miss it and truly appreciate it.
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Sep 11
Shepherdspy, He did sound really defensive, it kinda shocked me. I don't think he was interested in me or anyone else there... at least I would hope not seeing as how he has a girlfriend. ModeofEvasion, as I said previously in the discussion with AllKnowing, when something is an important pillar of your life you want to find a mate who's at least willing to take a look at it. Maybe reading isn't that important to you and you're not really looking for that in a person, and that's fine, but it's a pretty big deal to me.
• Omagh, Northern Ireland
26 Sep 11
That reminds Me of one of Bill Hicks' routines..sitting eating in a Diner,reading a book,and says he was approached by the waitress who asked "What are You reading for?" His Lurid response to Her (and Her Job status) was ..interesting...
1 person likes this
@bagarad (7732)
• Paso Robles, California
24 Sep 11
I can't imagine being married to someone who doesn't read. My hsuband likes to read as much as I do, though we don't prefer the same sorts of books. We do share parts of books we are reading occasionally if it's humorous or is something we think is important. I think you said a mouthful when you said that all your closest friends are readers. A mate should be a close friend above all, and that means that anything that 's a big part of your life should be shared. If you love to read, I'm guessing all your books aren't on a Kindle. I'll bet there might even be a few bookshelves around that are full. Some men might consider that unnecessary if they don't value reading as you do, and they might not want to allow the space in the house you need for your books. You can walk into some homes and there just aren't any books. One thing I don't like about ebooks is that they aren't visible when you walk into someone's home. A reader tends to notice what's on the bookshelves almost as soon as he walks into a room because they reveal so much about who a person is and what you might have in common. I would really miss that if we move completely to ebooks.
• United States
24 Sep 11
I would say that my closest friends are all readers in the sense that reading has really drawn us together... even if we don't have the same taste in books there's usually middle ground where we can linger on. And we can all sit in the same room together reading, sharing what we're reading on occasion, and really feel like we're still bonding! I just can't imagine not having that connection with a man who's supposed to be one of the most important people in my life. I hate the kindle! With unmatched and what many consider quite unreasonable passion. I just can't stand e-books. Yes, I love reading... but I love books too. I love libraries, and I also love walking into someone's home and looking at the books they've got on the shelves! To me, books are supposed to take up space the way any collection of things that you love should take up space. They're not really real and tangible if they're digital files.
1 person likes this
@bagarad (7732)
• Paso Robles, California
24 Sep 11
Now I am sure you are a kindred spirit. Of course, as a seller of new and used paper books, I'm no friend of the kindle, and don't really want one. The only use I'd have for it is to read in bed with the light off. But I have enough books in this house to keep me supplied with reading material for longer than the rest of my life, so there would be no reason I can see to buy a kindle. I only get an ebook if I need it for tech support and it only comes in an ebook and I can read it on my computer.
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Sep 11
It's always good to meet another book-kindred spirit. I have gotten e-books before, and usually only if they're something computer or school textbook-ish do I even manage to read them. It's just... the experience is so far removed from what reading is to me.
@Porcospino (16435)
• Denmark
27 Sep 11
I am obsessed with books, my husband usually says that there are two libraries in our town: The public library and our house I always have a huge pile of library books in the living room and a book shelf with my own books. Reading is a big part of my life, but I have had boyfriends who didn't like reading. I was sad that I wasn't able to share that part of my life with them. One of my ex-boyfriends and I had an argument about reading, because he thought that reading was a waste of time. Fortunately my husband is different. He doesn't read as much as I do (not even close) and he likes a different kind of books, but he enjoys reading and we even visit the library or bookshops together.
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Sep 11
lol, that is funny! I want to have a library big as the city's one day. I think I'm going to have to save up first. Thanks for your comment. I think that's one of the main things I was trying to say, that being in a relationship where reading wasn't shared at all or even scoffed at would be incomplete cause you wouldn't be able to share that huge part of your life. I think I may be able to get along quite well with someone who reads less than me or different kinds of books, as long he still liked reading and of course had other qualities about him that I wanted in a husband. But someone opposed to the very idea, I think I would be pretty miserable with.
• Romania
26 Sep 11
I think that a relationship in which partners have many things in common has greater chances to last and be fulfilling than a relationship in which partners are rather different. The level of education is very important in a relationship. I know about a lot of people who are involved romantically with someone from the same professional field. Reading is something that defines you and I can see why is so important for you that your partner shares the same passion.
• United States
26 Sep 11
That's very much how I felt as well. Thanks for backing me up and posting this comment!
• India
26 Sep 11
I fully agree with you on this point, ally. In fact, I would even go one step further and say that the girl who would be my life partner needs to love fantasy at least as much as I do. If all I get is smirks and taunts for believing in unreality all day, then neither will I be able to discuss my views on the books I read nor the movies I watch. She will want to watch some romantic crass whereas I would like courageous wars like Lord of the Rings or sci- fi action like The Matrix or Terminator. In short, we won't be compatible. Also, I hate romantic novels as I said in some discussion not very long ago. But if the girl likes nothing else, then, well, it's a no- go for me.
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Sep 11
Thanks for backing me up Abhi. I don't think the genre of reading is nearly as important to me, but I think it would work out best if two people were willing to read what the other person likes, even if it wasn't their favorite. But if someone does nothing but scoff at your favorite books, then it's probably just as bad as if someone wasn't willing to open any type of book. The barrier would still be there.
• Philippines
24 Sep 11
We have the same feeling. I was married to a man who doesn't have any interest on reading, a thing I love most. I feel so bad that I cannot discuss a book that interests me, s sotry that appeals. He's never interested. I thought before that maybe I could influence him when we'll get married but I WAS WRONg!
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Sep 11
Thanks for your comment lingay! I'm so sorry that you had to go through that rough time. And thanks for backing me up with real experience... I think if reading is an important thing to you than being with someone who doesn't even want to share that joy can really put a bad gap in your relationship.
@prokat (229)
24 Sep 11
options n criteria for each person is diffrent and i think it's perfecly natural for each person will also feel the same what if they will make their coice. this involves the liver and not a single human baing who would it be banned
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Sep 11
.... it involves the liver? As in the one who's living their life or the organ? Cause I don't see how the organ fits into this. lol
@onikap (14)
24 Sep 11
i agree date someone who is on the same level with you.
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Sep 11
Thanks for backing me up then, and thanks for your comment!
@yoyo1198 (3644)
• United States
24 Sep 11
I understand where you're coming from 100%. I've got to say that I agree with you. People who do not read just don't understand how we feel about reading and our books. I spend more time with books than I do online or watching TV or anything else really. You certainly learned the mindset of the 'hissy' guy. Reading is definitely is not 'stupid'.
1 person likes this
@eurekafemme (5881)
• Philippines
24 Sep 11
I understand your predicament. At least you are being honest with what you think is good for you. If a man still want to date or have a relationship with you, then, he knows what he is getting. Besides, 'loves to read' as a qualification means that you are looking for a person who is sensible aand at least has a little knowledge if not full knowledgeable about stuff. How can you interact with someone who doesn't want to read at all? What are you going to talk about when topics about you two runs dry? It is difficult to be dealing with someone who would often talk about himself/herself, somehow, you two must meet half way in order to not bore each other.
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Sep 11
Thanks for understanding! I felt almost like I'd said I'd only date a man who killed babies when he blew up like that! lol And yes, I would also consider "loves to read" an indicator of a love for knowledge. Bookish smarts are really attractive to me, I can't imagine being in a relationship where at least some level of that wasn't present. I haven't met any people who abhor reading and still have that quality on them.