Reading is usually thought of as a solitary activity. Sure, back in our grade-school days, we sat around in groups and pretended to listen as one classmate after another read aloud, and then we blushed and stammered a bit when it was our turn. But ever since we got out of school, we’ve done our reading alone. Who knows, maybe it has something to do with those unpleasant school room memories.
Reading together is actually a very enjoyable past-time for people to share, especially when they’re in love, and even more when they’re reading about love. Curling up together with a good book can bring you and your partner closer — not only in a very real physical sense as you snuggle together and turn the pages, but in an emotional sense, as well.
There are a few things to keep in mind to make the experience as satisfying as possible.
If either of you is uncomfortable, reading pleasure — and comprehension — is going to go downhill fast. Prop up the pillows, adjust the lighting, make sure the room temperature is right, and that ceiling fans aren’t whipping the pages around.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT TIME
Don’t rush through reading. Choose a time when you can relax and not worry about where you have to be later or all the things on a long to-do list. It doesn’t matter if you spend fifteen minutes or several hours reading together. What does matter is that you can fully enjoy the experience.
TUNE OUT DISTRACTIONS
Maybe a little music in the background is all right, but usually nothing works better for reading than quiet. Remember those blue-haired librarians who always shushed you? They did it for a reason. Please do keep the television off, and shut off your cellphones, too. Candles and incense might sound like good ideas, but they can easily become distractions. You can’t concentrate on reading — or your partner — if you’re worried about setting the curtains on fire, or if your eyes are watering from too much sweet-smelling smoke.
TAKE A CASUAL ATTITUDE
Nothing can spoil the fun of reading more than feeling that it’s mandatory. It’s not, you know. Reading together is supposed to be fun, not a chore. Neither of you should feel pressured or anxious. Some people read better than others. Some people just don’t enjoy reading aloud. It’s fine if you do the reading and your partner listens. It’s fine the other way around, too. It’s even all right if neither of you reads aloud. In fact, you don’t even have to be reading from the same book or magazine. Being together and sharing the activity is what makes it special. If you’re reading from separate books, newspapers, or magazines, take a moment now and then to share things that catch your interest.
DISCUSS WHAT YOU’RE READING
Talk about it. Ask questions. Express opinions. If you find a subject that catches your attention, build on that interest and seek out more books on the topic. Of course, if you start reading a book and quickly discover that one of you has lost interest or, if you’re reading non-fiction and one of you has strong negative feelings about the author’s premise, put the book aside and find something you can both enjoy. The key word is discuss, not debate. Above all, don’t argue.
A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS…OR MORE
Reading isn’t always about words. Remember the picture books you enjoyed as a child? Adults can enjoy picture books, too, and no, I’m not talking about THOSE kinds of pictures. You know what I mean. I’m talking about picture books that take you to faraway places, or ones that offer new things to learn. Always wanted to visit Paris? Find a travel book, curl up together on a rainy morning, and wander the Champs-Elysees together. Or if art is your thing, check out a book of masterpieces and turn the pages slowly. These are the sort of books that are often called “coffee table” works, but they’re great for bedside tables, too. Even a cookbook makes for great reading. Pick out recipes you’d both like to try.
WHERE TO BEGIN?
Where you start is up to you, but some subjects are more suited for romantic bedtime reading than others. Here are a few topics to consider:
Books on Love and Marriage
You’ll find lots of books written for couples, both for newlyweds and those who’ve been together for a lifetime. There are books for wives, books for husbands, and books to address specific problems. Here are a few you might want to check out:
Books on Sexuality
For more intimate reading, you might want to explore massage techniques, or learn about Tantra. With the right book, reading can become a pleasurable “hands-on” experience.
What’s even more fun than reading in bed? Well, besides THAT. How about reading and laughing in bed? Especially if you do your reading in the evening after a long, hard day, you might enjoy tickling each other’s funny bones with a good book of jokes.
You’ll find lots of delightful picture book to explore, depending on your interests. Check out books on art, photography, travel, nature and wildlife, foods, cars, motorcycles, seashells…the list of possibilities is endless.
The suggestions given here are only a few of the many, many possibilities for fun, relaxing, and romantic reading. In addition to non-fiction titles, try reading fiction, choosing from popular titles, romance, or erotica.
Or how about the classics? Poetry? Scriptures? There’s a huge world of books waiting to be read. So, indulge, enjoy, and share the experience with the one you love.
A FEW FINAL THOUGHTS ON FICTION
- Fiction, like film, is subjective. Choose titles that appeal to both of you.
- If you do your reading late at night, select “quiet” stories that will leave you in a restful, peaceful state of mind.
- Don’t spoil a story for your partner. You might have the ending figured out early on, but keep it to yourself, OK?
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