Friday, November 13, 2015

Reading Relationships

I once worked with a girl that I affectionately named, The Hyena. The name was given because of her ear-bleeding laugh. She had a boyfriend that resembled a hostage situation more than a relationship. It bothered her immensely that he did not enjoy to read. So, she would buy him books that she thought he'd enjoy and then insist they read together in complete silence. To make matters worse, it would be on the weekend and during football games. This plan never worked and he finally escaped.

I got married eight years ago and did not mind that Nate was a sporadic reader. He mostly read Tom Clancy novels and liked to have a book when traveling. He read Medici Money prior to and during our trip to Italy and it was like having the inside scoop everywhere we went.  He asked for Freakonomics one Christmas and would read political books that put me to sleep just by reading the title.

Nate doesn't understand how I can finish one book and immediately pick up another or how I can stay up for hours because I MUST finish a book. You know what I'm not ok with in our reading relationship? He faces me while I read at night. His eyes are closed and it's like he's sleeping (he's not) and this drives me bonkers. No way would The Hyena tolerate this behavior.

Nate's reading picked up when his running buddies raved about Born To Run. I bought it for the next holiday. He would cringe, gasp, laugh and have dramatic sighs while reading this each night. I read it next with the same responses and then forced all my other running buddies to read it, too. This started a quest for crazy runner books. We read books by Scott Jurek and Dean Karzanes (ultramarathoners). A person that runs 50-100 mile (or more!) races has plenty of issues to fill up a book.

Two years ago, I had a great idea that we should read The Hunger Games series and watch the movies. He agreed and it was fun to discuss the books, watch the movies and look forward to the Mockingjay releases. Unfortunately, I let one nugget of info slip and was banned from reading the third book before him. He's a vault and I'm a spoiler.

A few other books that I have recommended and he gave high praise: A Spy Among Friends (very interesting and lots of facts), River of Doubt (about Theodore Roosevelt), American Sniper (total man book) and Empty Mansions (history and money).

Our next reading adventure begins this Christmas when we start the Harry Potter series. I assume it's never too late for Harry Potter. We watched the movie marathon last New Year's weekend and decided this would be good for us to do together and also a good Christmas present. Thanks to Costco for the discounted box set.

Hyenas do not make great co-workers but thanks to her, I am very content with reading while he watches MLB games from April to November and using my booklight when I know he needs to sleep. He never complains about how much I read or how much I spend on books. Most importantly, he doesn't appear to be in a hostage situation so I'll just carry on.


  1. You're right, it is NEVER too late for Harry Potter!!

    It cracks me up while he "watches" you read at night. How passive aggressive. haha

    I once read an essay on Book Riot that said if a man does not like to read, you should not be in a relationship with him. Which is nonsense (but The Hyena would've liked it). Ken likes to watch YouTube while I read, and it all works out just fine.

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  3. I don't know you, but I absolutely love this post (yay for Le Book Chat, aka "Melanie's friends meet in the virtual world"). As a fan of political books, I am curious about his favorites. This also reminds me that I have always wanted to read Freakanomics.

    Oh, poor hyena. I am guessing they didn't meet online because most platforms make you share what you often read. I bet the former boyfriend hostage would have something like "I read a lot of ESPN online."

    1. Thanks! He really enjoyed Freakonomis and shared some interesting facts. He listened to the second one and said it was good. Unfortunately, neither one of us can remember the names of the political books. One of them was about the political party we typically vote with and he was so outraged after reading it that he would go on a rant if we ever got something in the mail from the political party. I trash all political mail now! His father sent him a subscription to the Chronicles. It's a combo of politics and culture and doesn't hold back on either side.
      The hostage loved ESPN!

  4. Also, I tried to fix something in my comment the first time but could only delete it. Sorry about that everyone! It looks like it was something shady j decided to take down.