Books, Things I Love

A Reading Dilemma

Reading has always been a favorite pastime of mine, since I was a little girl. My whole family likes to read, so I’ve always assumed it was a learned behavior. I grew up reading, so I never really knew any other way. However, now as an adult, I know a lot of people who love to read, but then others who just don’t. Like…. my husband!

I always loved the bookstore scene from “Beauty and the Beast”!
“I’ll borrow…..this one!” “That one? But you’ve read it twice!” “But it’s my favorite!!” 
This has been something that I have always found to be sort of a minor irritation in our marriage. Ivan doesn’t read and sometimes it annoys me. Like, how can you not like to read???!! (Not that I think everyonehas to enjoy reading- it just perplexes me, since I find it so enjoyable and I can’t figure out what there is to not like about it).

Also, the fact that he doesn’t like to read can cause little hiccups from time to time. For example, to me, a beach trip is mostly about lying on a lounge chair and not moving for long stretches of time, hopefully with sunglasses on and a book in my hand. To him, a beach trip is about throwing a ball around in the pool (he is definitely the “fun parent” on vacation), or going on walks, or actively swimming, or maybe, eventually, taking a nap on the lounge chair. We can sometimes end up at odds about who wants to do what. Obviously, if we both liked to read, this wouldn’t be an issue- we would both be sitting there happily with our books. 

He is always supportive of me taking time alone to read- on vacation or at home- but nevertheless, I do sometimes fantasize about us both sitting around on a Sunday morning, a mug of steaming coffee/ tea in hand, both quietly reading our books, maybe with a fire roaring in the fireplace and snowflakes falling outside the window. Ahh. 😊 (Apparently in this fantasy we are either retired or never had children, also.)

This past week, however, I had a little epiphany! I mentioned in a previous post that I started reading the book Cazando a El Chapo (“Hunting El Chapo”) about Mexican drug lord El Chapo, written by the DEA agent that led his capture. The book is also in Spanish. As I was reading it, I kept thinking, “This is so interesting! I know Ivan would enjoy this book. Too bad he never wants to read…” I shared little bits and facts with him from time to time and he seemed interested.

So I suggested to him that perhaps I could read it to him. Now, Ivan may not enjoy reading, but he is perfectly capable of reading a book to himself, especially a book in Spanish! But the thing is- he just won’tread it. He’ll say he will or that he wants to, but then he will never actually pick up the book.

However, there have been times on road trips that I have read books aloud to him while he has been driving, and he has really liked it! He says it isn’t that he doesn’t like books/ the stories/ the information, he just doesn’t really enjoy sitting and staring at the pages himself.

So this weekend, we gave it a try. We sat on the couch in the sunroom with a blanket, drinks in hand…and I read to him! It was actually really fun. We would pause to talk about things as we went along and since the book is in Spanish (and very advanced), we could also stop to discuss any words I either didn’t know or stumbled over the pronunciation on.

This isn’t “exactly” my reading fantasy mentioned above, but I think it’s a creative alternative and maybe almost as good!

Do you like to read? Does your spouse? I’m curious if there are any other people out there in a similar situation. 

Steps: 10,601
Meditate: Done (double)
Read: 50 minutes

Daily Gratitude:
I am grateful for activities that we can do with the boys that they still enjoy even though they are getting older. They still like for me to read to them, too, and we made cupcakes the other day. It was fun to all bake together. They usually still enjoy family walks and playing games together, too. 

2 thoughts on “A Reading Dilemma”

  1. This sounds like a good compromise and a good way for you to further advance your Spanish skills since this book is very advanced and you are encountering words you aren't familiar with. Very cool! I love love love reading. And my husband enjoys reading, too. His mom was an English teacher so I think that is part of why he likes to read. He has not been reading during the time of social distancing since it's hard to get books at the library (they are doing contact-free pick-ups, but no returns so their inventory is limited). He mostly would read on the bus rides to/from work and then sometimes at night. So I would say he reads about a book a month whereas I read like 75+/year. We had a book-themed wedding which was a fun theme to pull together and made sense since we both love reading. I used old books as centerpieces, lined the envelops of our invitations with pages from an old dictionary, the save the date looked like library card, etc. It was a really fun theme and pretty easy to DIY with the help of my SIL.


  2. Oh. my. gosh! A book themed wedding!! I just LOVE that. That is the cutest thing ever. So creative and what a special theme!! I bet that was so cool.I am so impressed with your book count number! Whoa. I really like to read but I don't make time for it as much as I'd like to. I'm nowhere near that number. I usually am lucky to get through like 2 books a month.


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