My husband and I are both readers. That is a quality we both admired in each other when we first met. On our first date, we spent several hours talking about books we had read. We have quite a large library. We used to go on evening outings and spend hours at the local bookstore, each wandering around checking out the latest novels. Books have always been a weak spot in our budget.
During our 40 years of marriage we were usually reading different books from each other. It was because it seemed foolish to buy two copies of the same book. (Unfortunately we seldom used the local library.) I can only remember three books we purposely read at the same time, and it was a very dynamic, fun experience in our relationship.
The first book we read simultaneously was Atlas Shrugged. What a fun book to read at the same time! Of course, we were usually in different places, but it was so fun to discuss the plot over meals, getting ready for bed, in the car. Another one we read was War and Peace. I hurried through the war scenes for the romantic times, while he looked forward to the battles. We especially enjoyed Herman Wouk’s War and Remembrance. We read that together and then watched the mini-series on TV.
Our discovery of the e-book has now made this dual reading experience a common practice. A year ago we broke down and purchased two Kindles before taking a trip. An Amazon representative shared a secret with me when I purchased them. If you purchase them on the same credit card number, you can share the library. He made the sale when he told me that. Now we could read many books at the same time all the time! I can even read my Kindle from my iphone!
Being an Apple fan, I recently purchased an Ipad, instead of getting a new laptop. When I discovered I could bring all my Kindle books over to my Ipad without any additional costs, I relented. Now I can choose between iBooks or Kindle in purchasing my books. My husband still enjoys his Kindle while I’m adoring my Ipad as we read away. I’m glad Amazon has been friendly with Apple in creating the Kindle App. I do hope they include the dictionary for the Ipad soon. Our physical library is running out of shelf space, so the electronic media has been a good choice for us. (As a calligrapher, I will never lose my love of the printed page.)
So our latest book we’re reading together to celebrate our 40th is The Lion by Nelson Demille. You will find us both laughing aloud while we’re separately reading ourselves to sleep. When we finish I look forward to sharing our favorite quotes and discussing what aspects of his plot could really be true, as I find Nelson does sometimes. Our next book we will share is Eric Metaxas’ new Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy.
Another way to read together is audio books in the car as you travel across country. That’s a lot of fun, especially long distances. I’m learning I never get too old to enjoy old pastimes in new ways, and the changes don’t negate the past; they only make it richer.