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Story Time: What Books Have You Read for a Significant Other?

Jesse Doogan

Staff Writer

Jesse Doogan writes about food, faith, books, and DIY projects, and sometimes even puts these things on her blog. She works in publishing and lives near Chicago with her cat. She tweets about all these things at @jadoogan.   Blog Twitter: @jadoogan

I recently had a discussion with some coworkers about books we read because of our significant others or potential significant others and what that did to our relationships. The stories were so interesting that I started texting friends to see what books they had read for significant others. The stories ranged from “welp, I read it to be supportive and it was fine” to “I read it and it was terrible and I’m so glad we’re not together anymore” to “I have never read a book because of a significant other” and also “Jesse, you are the only one who makes me read books.” (That last one seems unfair. I don’t make anyone read anything. I just strongly recommend.)

In high school, I had a crush on a guy who was reading Catcher in the Rye (of course). I went out and bought myself a copy, and started reading it in class. He knocked on my desk and gestured to the book in his hand. We were reading the same book! What an amazing coincidence! He just loved the part where they were running around in the field! I…didn’t. I thought Holden was annoying and spoiled and really, after all that, we’re just going to talk about running in a field? High-school crush and I did not work out.

Reading a book for someone can be so loaded. What we read can change who we are, so when you don’t like a book someone else has loved, they feel you are rejecting their whole selves. I know that I have found it easier to just not return a loved one’s calls for a few days instead of owning up to not liking their favorite book. (Not you, loved one who is reading this. I love all the same books as you do, I was just busy that day. You’re great.)

Now that I’ve hounded all of my friends and coworkers for their stories, I want to know more. I thought I’d open it up my informal survey to Book Riot readers and see what stories you guys would tell.

So, I’m opening up the comments for story time:

  • Have you guys ever read anything for a (maybe potential) significant other?
  • Did it change your relationship?
  • Did it have an effect on how you felt about your s/o?
  • Was it some kind of deal breaker in your relationship?
  • Or, on the other side of the coin, what’s a book that you’ve made your significant others read?


Spill, spill, spill.



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