1. krazyklassykat
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    krazyklassykat Member

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    As a writer, can you have a partner that doesn't read?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by krazyklassykat, May 21, 2008.

    My boyfriend and I have been going out for almost ten months now. He's sweet, helpful, good with kids, everything you could want - except that he doesn't read for pleasure. EVER. He seems to feel about it as I feel about sports for pleasure: I've been forced to do it and been bad at it for so long that I can never enjoy it.
    But of course, I believe reading does a lot more for the mind and soul than sports do. I can't imagine life without reading, and I tell him so. But he won't budge. I've tried everything... reading aloud to him, choosing books that even non-readers can like (Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons), telling him how important it is to me.... I know I shouldn't force him to do something he doesn't want to do. I just can't fathom not wanting to.
    As for my pieces, he appreciates them, and he always compliments me on my writing. I think he can appreciate short anectodes and poems, but novels just turn him off.

    Do lots of people have this problem? Or is your SO a reader/writer too?
    If you are with someone that reads avidly and/or writes, does it leave anything to be desired?
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    This has been my lot in life for most of my life.

    My present boyfriend does not speak or read English, so that’s a no-go.

    Previous partners have had no interest in Science Fiction, so that’s a no-go.

    I have learned to look elsewhere for support and encouragement as a writer. Places like WritingForums.org for instance.
     
  3. Xyphyx
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    Xyphyx Member

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    My wife would read a novel a day if there were nothing else to do. I, on the other hand, read... Let's just say that I just started reading recently. But I've a very active personality. Sitting in one spot for too long bores me and I begin to crave activity. So, extremely long winded authors and books that explain how the spanish man at the counter (that has very little to do with the story) has extremely wavy hair, turn me off almost instantly.

    And to be honest - large books (with no pictures:)) are a little intimidating. I approach them with the same respect as a dog at the pound. From a safe distance and with something very strong in between us. Once it's grown on me, I tend to like them.

    My wife and I have a very open policy about our spare time. I enjoy certain things, and she enjoys others. It's this difference that I love about her - Otherwise, I'd have married myself.

    Don't know if I've helped any.

    -Xy
     
  4. ChimmyBear
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    ChimmyBear Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hey...not everybody can enjoy the same things. And as long as you and your boyfriend have a healthy relationship then you shouldn't worry about the small things. Unless it becomes a bigger issue I wouldn't worry.

    I think Wrey said it well when he pointed out the fact that he looks for support and encouragement here and places like the WF.
     
  5. lessa
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    lessa Contributing Member

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    I would go nuts without books.
    Fortunately so would my husband and both my sons.
    Don would read the cereal box if there wasn't something else.
    But we all have other interests that do not encompass the entire family.
    Don loves computers and reloading bullets and all sorts of gadgets.
    I have problems working the timer on my stove.
    I love doing ceramics and wood working and knitting.
    Don enjoys sewing and does not like woodworking.
    I see no problem with getting together with a non-reader.
    As long as he doesn't start taking away your time with your skill.
    Don reads my stories to help with the grammar and stuff but that is all.
    this could have something to do with the fact that I write children's stories.
    But he is supportive and one of my biggest fans.
    Love does some crazy mixing of couples so just go along with it.
    it can be a lot of fun.
     
  6. Amor
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    Amor Member

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    I don't think that it's something that you should worry about. Everyone is different. Not everybody likes to read, unfortunately. Like Wreybies said, you could look for different places for encouragement on your writing, like WF :)
     
  7. tehuti88
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    tehuti88 Contributing Member

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    I have no significant other, but my family are just not in the least interested in reading, especially not gigantic fantasies like mine. So I kind of know the feeling. (Except I don't really get encouragement from them either...they're of the "If it's not making money, it's not that important" school of thought regarding writing. *sigh*)

    I can't imagine not wanting to read either; it just seems so dull to not do it. (How many reality shows can one watch?) It's certainly a bothersome position to be in, a writer surrounded by non-readers! What's doubly frustrating is that my family is heavily ARTISTIC, so they do recognize the value of art, but just not of writing. I guess it's not considered an art by them. :/
     
  8. Kit
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    Kit Contributing Member Contributor

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    Its a difficult one, but the thing is not everybody does like doing the same things. If you don't enjoy sports, why should he enjoy reading?

    You should try and respect each others hobbies because the more you try to force them onto each other the more you'll learn to hate them.
     
  9. Vitrify
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    Vitrify Member

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    Writing is my partner.
     
  10. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    both me and my partner love to read and write so I guess I'm lucky there really.

    But you don't have to both enjoy something to have a successful relationship.

    My partner really likes clowns...borderline obsession almost <sorry hun love you> and I have coulrophobia, meaning I am terrified of clowns.

    So you see, it doesn't matter if you don't like something the other does, what matters is what you feel for each other :)
     
  11. FantasyWitch
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    FantasyWitch Contributing Member

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    My boyfriend is perfect for that.
    He reads everyhing and anything he can get his little hands on.
     
  12. krazyklassykat
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    krazyklassykat Member

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    Hmm. Well I'm glad you all think it's nothing to worry about. I'm not so confident though.... I mean reading and writing are my passions, it's not just what I like to do, I feel like it's what I was BORN to do, and I regard it as the highest form of expression, communication, enlightenment, entertainment, transportation, meditation..... and more things I can't even identify.
    I guess I always hoped that I'd end up with someone who thought those things too.
    I think what bothers me more than that though is that he DOESN'T have a passion like that. He's only 18... I guess that is young for some people, but I've known for a while what I want to do. The only other career I seriously considered (beyond when I was five, and wanted to be a tortilla maker, or when I was ten and wanted to be a female wrestler) was a psychologist, because of the similar focus on communication.
    He really has no idea what he wants to do. He likes to play video games and draw, and he's thinking about opening a hobby shop because of his liking of strategy card games, but there's nothing he feels like he was MEANT to do, or wants to do more than anything else. Maybe that's what my real problem is.

    I'll be patient, though. When a guy is a jerk or just doesn't care, then I have little patience, but when it's just a matter of waiting for him to find meaning in his life... well, as long as I'm part of it, I'm okay with waiting.
     
  13. Daniel I Russell
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    Daniel I Russell Contributing Member

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    Hey everyone.

    Yes, I have coulrophilia, but not in a sexual way! In fact I'm currently reading Richard Laymon's Night in the Lonesome October, and the protag goes into a house that is a clown museum! He finds an article about a famous clown from the 50s that died in a circus fire. Then he notices the dummy in the corner dressed like him, but the wax on the face is all melted. And then...

    Read the book!

    As for the thread, hmmmm. I would say so, but it makes things difficult for me. My ex gf used to only read trashy magazines, and that worries me a little. Plus she never read anything I wrote, published or otherwise. Does that sound arrogant? It was heartbreaking that she never really bothered with my writing, but would expect the money I made to be spent on her...

    Now, I have a wonderful partner that not only reads EVERY sick little thought I put down, but also helps me. We can talk for hours on the subject and I get a great buzz out of it. She has also opened my eyes to poetry, which I used to avoid like the plague. Even had a stab at it myself (she says it's good, but I beg to differ. I just like rhyming words!).

    So in answer to the question, yes you can, but it helps if you share a little of that interest.
     
  14. Frost
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    Frost Contributing Member

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    No, of course it doesn't matter. Or it doesnt to me anyway. If someone doesn't want to read, dont make them. Its like forcing someone to listen to a specific sort of music that they dont want to, or dragging your partner to the theatre because it's your passion. If they don't like it, dont make them. Personally, although I do enjoy reading, if you'd done that to me I wouldve up and left. Sorry.
     
  15. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I think it comes down to how much of someone's personality is tied to how avid a reader they are. If it reflects a fundamental difference in values between you, the relationship will be difficult to maintain. Otherwise, it is probably not a big deal.
     
  16. Heather Louise
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    Heather Louise Contributing Member Contributor

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    Your's doesn't read, mine can't. It doesn't matter, people have different interests.
     
  17. Rumpole40k
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    Rumpole40k Banned

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    My wife loves to read but our tastes in lit couldn't be more different. It might as well be as if she didn't.
     
  18. KP Williams
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    KP Williams Contributing Member

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    I've never had this problem, but I imagine it would be about the same with any hobby/passion, huh? For instance, I love Star Wars and video games, and yet for two years I've been falling for someone who hates both. I love to play music; for her, listening to music is as good as it gets (which can be a good thing: I'll always have an eager audience). I'm the most creative person I know; she's the most logical person I know. We're almost exact opposites, but I can't get over how perfectly we complement each another. I'm about to ramble. Better stop myself here.

    I suppose it doesn't really matter if your interests relate. There's a lot more to a relationship than that. It certainly helps, but apparently it's not a requirement. As for a passion in writing on this subject... I don't know. I've only really felt anything for two people, and they both love reading. I guess I'm just lucky that way. :D
     
  19. Aurora_Black
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    Aurora_Black Contributing Member

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    Oh that's tough, my gf does read as avidly as I do, but a whole different genre, im into sci-fi and war novels while shes into romance and horror. She hates war and sci-fi :)mad:) but that doesn't really bother me, its really not too serious. I mean, if she did drugs or something then i would be worried. :eek: Thankfully thats not the case. So yea, thats my two cents.

    A world without books!?!?!?! <-- my response to a silly question
     
  20. Al B
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    Al B Senior Member

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    My wife does read a fair bit, but very rarely any fiction, whereas I'll happily read pretty much anything, in fact, it's very rare that I would consider leaving the house without something to read. That's how bad it is with me. My wife works as a designer (I do too sometimes), but when it comes to writing copy, she always shouts me to pitch in, so despite her not reading as much as me, writing is something that connects us on occasion. Oddly enough, I've seen some of her writing that she did in the past, it was very good. But I guess she simply doesn't have the obsession.

    You don't have to like all the same things to get along, and it would be boring if you did. However, if you are lamenting the lack of someone to critically view your writing, then don't. Unless your partner is well qualified to do so, you are just as likely to get bad advice as good, so it's of limited utility anyway.

    Al
     
  21. Scribe Rewan
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    Scribe Rewan Contributing Member

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    Hey guys. Don't worry if your SO doesn't read. I don't read, and i'm meant to be a writer!!! I have so much trouble getting through a book that i've given up! It's not that i have trouble reading the actual wrods and sentences or anything, I just find books a struggle. And of course if you want to be a writer the advice you hear all the time is read read read, so i get worried by that.

    But yeah, I wouldn't see it as a problem. At least you enjoy reading.
     
  22. Daniel I Russell
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    Daniel I Russell Contributing Member

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    Unless, that is, your other half doesnt like reading and doesnt like you reading cos it's too quiet!

    A little of topic, my brother hates cos I read. He calls books, chores. He was literally stunned when all I got for last Xmas was lots of books. My dad agrees with him.
     
  23. linmagic
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    linmagic New Member

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    I've been with my partner for 8 years, no different to any other man I've been with - doesn't read at all, no let me correct that, can barely skim the local newspaper once a week. He looks through the pages and skips to the bit somewhere in the back that may or may not mention his football team and that is it.

    The last time he read an entire book was during school (a very very long time ago) and although he has received a couple of non fiction books as presents, has never managed to get beyond the first few pages.

    As for me, I still read on average about 50 books a year when I'm not writing as I am now, at every opportunity.

    All I can say is thank god for satellite and the internet, that way we co-exist albeit not quite perfectly.

    :D
     
  24. Daniel I Russell
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    Daniel I Russell Contributing Member

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    As I am staying at my parents for the next few months to raise funds, Im dreading all the time they spend watching sport. With satellite, there is sport on 24/7! If there are two kids kicking a ball against a wall in Bangladesh, my dad would watch it if it was on TV.

    So with no other stimulus, I will doing lots and lots of reading over the next few weeks!
     
  25. linmagic
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    linmagic New Member

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    Far be it from me to start the whole multi task debate but I really like watching sport on TV, I find that I can do this, make dinner, sort out the washing, continue writing, while drinking a nice glass of wine and showing interest in any kids who show up during this time and that's after a day at work.

    When I read or write though, I do tend to shut out the rest of the world in my head even though the body is still doing stuff!
     

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