How To

5 Quirky Ways to Turn Your Partner Into Your Reading Buddy

Hassana Moosa

Staff Writer

Hassana Moosa is a tea drinking, pasta crazy, family loving, book obsessed, South African living in the UK where she is working on a PhD in English Literature. She also works as a freelance writer, copywriter and editor. When she's not reading and writing she loves going on adventures with her husband, trying new and exotic foods, and marathoning TV series from her youth.

Would you consider yourself an avid reader? A book pundit? A literature aficionado? And would you say the same is true of your partner? If you’ve answered yes to all of those questions, congratulations! You’ve hit the literature lover’s relationship jackpot. If (like me) you’d answer no to the last one, that’s okay too—it’s not uncommon for bookish folks to find themselves in happy and healthy relationships with people who have a like-it-don’t-love-it disposition towards reading. While differences in reading habits are not likely to become the basis of any major conflicts in a relationship, there is definitely a special sweetness that comes with being able to share these creative pleasures with your partner. Here are some of my tried and tested techniques for spreading readerly joy and getting your boo more involved in your boo-k life (See what I did there? Yes? No? Never mind):

1. The Book Haven

Identify an adaptable space in your home that you can transform into a reading nook. This can be a room, a couch, a table and chair, or even just a vacant corner with some floor space. Decorate the area with beautiful things that you think help to create a relaxing, literary mood. You could include fresh plants, dried flowers, scented candles, a funky lamp, glass jars with sweet and savory snacks (think cookies and crisps), a prepared tea or coffee tray, fluffy cushions, a cozy blanket, or anything else you like and have on hand! If you’ve got your partner in mind, think of the creature comforts they’d appreciate too. Keep a stack of books somewhere visible and within reach of your new nook and finish the area off with a sign to designate the spot as a reading only corner. Watch with delight as your partner slowly succumbs to the temptation of your new comfy book bliss…

2. The Mic-Drop Moonwalk

Begin by selecting a new, suspenseful book for yourself that you know would also appeal to your partner’s interests. (Classic whodunits are generally good options for intriguing all kinds of readers). Make sure your partner gets sight of you while you work your way through your thrilling read. You might also want to drop a couple of casual references into conversations about this “great new book you’ve started.” Once you’ve finished, revel in just finished book joy with your partner by excitedly sharing all the delightfully juicy parts of the story with them. When you have them enthralled, holding onto the edge of their seat waiting for more, drop your metaphoric mic, moonwalk out the room, and enjoy bookish triumph as your baffled partner finds their way to your bookshelf in search of answers.

3. The Not-So-Special Occasion Gift

Who doesn’t love receiving gifts just because? Gifts for no particular reason are the best kind because they remind important people how special they are without for no particular reason. Books are also best suited to this kind of gift giving since there are no expectations or pressures—if your partner isn’t a big reader, there hopefully won’t be any real consequences for inappropriately gifting them a book. If you’re stuck on what kind of book to choose it might be a good idea to look for something that connects to your partner’s general interest areas be it cooking, sports, gardening, travel, art, history, or the like.

4. Book FOMO

Join in on a current or popular book trend to tempt your partner into becoming part of a widespread reading community. Pick a book or book series that has taken the global literary world (or your local one) by storm. Ideally, you should choose something that is attached to a level of anticipation—it might be a book that is part of an incomplete series with fans eagerly awaiting another installment, or it could be one that has been adapted into a screenplay for a forthcoming film or television programme. As you slowly begin to immerse yourself in the book and its surrounding hype by enjoying reviews, spoilers, fan analysis, and build-ups to big releases, don’t be surprised to find your partner’s interest piqued by all the excitement as they start to feel the fear of missing out on narrative phenomena. 

5. Book Dates

Book dates to go on book dates with your partner! Choose a blissful setting for your date such as a park, a beach, or a cute cafe and prepare yourself in advance of the date by collecting any snacks and supplies you might need for the day. Begin the date day by heading to a beautiful bookstore to treat yourselves each to a crisp new book. Enjoy the time browsing books together and maybe add an extra layer of excitement to the experience by giving yourself additional constraints such as choosing books for each other or limiting yourselves to a particular genre. Once you’ve selected your books, head across to your designated spot and spend the rest of your date luxuriating in literature together.