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My partner doesn't read - it's irritating me, am I being unreasonable

(135 Posts)
MyPeaceLily Fri 12-Aug-11 09:21:16

I've been with my new partner for nearly a year, we don't live together but are talking about it. However, as a really minor niggle, my partner doesn't read and it annoys me.

I'm not some massive bibliophile, but reading is a part of my life, I've always got a book on the go. However, DP, is a clever man (he's a doctor), but in the time I've known him has got through half a book on a business/management type theme.

Am I being unreasonable here, or is this a valid niggle?

JarethTheGoblinKing Fri 12-Aug-11 09:23:18


Presumably if he's a doctor he's got through his fair share of books, checks reference books for work etc? Maybe he just doesn't see reading as a relaxing hobby?

I used to get through a book a day, but simply don't bother any more, I find it really hard to get into a book in the evening when I'm tired.

shesgotherlipstickon Fri 12-Aug-11 09:24:27

No it's not valid.

Surely it's time to call it a day, if you have niggles about him not sharing the same interests as you?

Only a year in, not living together, maybe you really just aren't into him as much as you think.

ZZZenAgain Fri 12-Aug-11 09:25:44

it doesn't sound to me like a serious vice tbh

ZZZenAgain Fri 12-Aug-11 09:26:15

is there some other reason you don't want to live with him?

MyPeaceLily Fri 12-Aug-11 09:41:57

I suppose they say that most arguments (and niggles) in a relationship are really about something else. I don't doubt for a second he's very clever, maybe it is the "I'm not that into him thing", bugger

Whatmeworry Fri 12-Aug-11 09:42:12

It's Erudition Abuse - leave him now grin. Shows lack of Taste and Refinement, like dumping ketchup all over home cooked food.

MamaChoo Fri 12-Aug-11 09:54:34

Its a classic vice amongst doctors, as they have to read so many books and journals for work. Another classic is as they start focusing on a medical career from 16 they generally aren't particularly well-rounded in literature, history, etc. GENERALLY! So what? We can't all do everything. If it will bug you, end it, but there are worse crimes...

picnicbasketcase Fri 12-Aug-11 09:59:27

My DP hardly ever reads either, he only reads when we go on holiday (so not very often at all). He doesn't have time to read at work and when he is at home and has a bit of spare time to waste, he would rather be on the computer or watch tv. It's a shame because I love reading and like it when other people do to, but you can't force the issue. I too think possibly this is more likely to be about something else and you're just using this a jumping off point to find faults.

nocake Fri 12-Aug-11 10:03:44

Why would it bother you unless there's something deeper going on?

MyPeaceLily Fri 12-Aug-11 10:09:18

I think it relates to something deeper about a person for me, in that reading isn't a hobby like sailing or gardening.

It does relate a little to being a doctor - it takes up so much time and intellectual effort that it leaves less time and space for literature, history, politics, etc. It does worry me how much time and intellectual effort doctoring takes up

GwendolineMaryLacey Fri 12-Aug-11 10:10:28

Why do people do this? If there is a bigger issue, then by all means ask about that but really? AIBU to be irritated by my partner not reading? Yes, YABU. It's a nonsensical thing to be bothered about. He could equally ask if he's BU to be pissed off with you having a book stuck to your nose constantly.

Sorry, am on a short fuse today but these types of threads do annoy me. It's like people sit and think of the daftest, most pointless question to ask just for the hell of starting a thread. Yes I know I'm not the thread police before anyone says it...

RoseC Fri 12-Aug-11 10:10:29

YABU. My DP has a PhD and says he spends enough time reading journal articles and professional publications to keep up to date (and keep his job) that he doesn't want to read when he gets home.

I imagine your DP also has to keep on top of medical developments and must have done a hell of a lot of reading to get his MD. Not reading doesn't make him a philistine. The not reading stunned me when we first got together, but it certainly didn't annoy me, and we've now turned it into a thing where I read to him if I have an interesting book on the go. Maybe you could suggest that you read to him when you're reading for pleasure.

fuckityfuckfuckfuck Fri 12-Aug-11 10:11:30

But he's a doctor. That probably won't change. If you have issues with it it might be worth really thinking about if it's such a problem for you. It's a very involved profession (to say the least!) My dp doesn't read either and I have an English degree. It bothered me a teeny bit at first, but now I don't really care.

RoseC Fri 12-Aug-11 10:13:06

Just seen your new post OP. I'll add that DP works from 8:30am until 9pm five days a week and does work at the weekends. That hasn't stopped us going to the cinema, theatre, ballet, art galleries and discussing politics. The middle three are something I had to suggest but he enjoyed them and made time because he cares about me - your DP will likely do the same, You just have to ask.

PuppyMonkey Fri 12-Aug-11 10:14:00

Does he like Coronation Street? That was always the clincher for me with a new man. If I went out with one who revealed he never watched it, they'd be out the door. grin

ZZZenAgain Fri 12-Aug-11 10:14:40

she just said it was niggling away at her though Gwennie not that it is a big huge hindernis for her. It is true, isn't it, when you meet someone and it is all the starry eyed, moonstruck thing yet you do pick up on things and they register deeper down. You are not 100 % aware of them but you have a little niggle about something - drinking or comments about other women etc. Later when you start to know the person better, you realise those things were there from the beginning, you just weren't really (keen on )picking up on them at the time. I kind of understand her.

The main thing is whether he is willing and able to read instruction booklets, because I hate those.

ameliagrey Fri 12-Aug-11 10:16:36

This is a bg RED FLAG.

What it is, is you saying that you don't like him as he is. You are already trying to change him.

It's not the fact that he doesn't read, per se, it's that you feel you don't have enough in common.

I had a relationship with a man like this once, and it didn't work. he had a degree, was bright and briliant at all kinds of stuff- but never read a book- ever.

I am a book-ish/media person and it didn't work for me.

I think you need to look at this as being more than a niggle- more deep rooted incompatability.

Lifeissweet Fri 12-Aug-11 10:20:32

YABU, but I know because I had exactly the same niggle about my DP last week and I was BU too!

We were on holiday. We were sitting on the beach. The beach sitting was his suggestion. However, I tend to get completely absorbed in books on holiday. I am a passionate reader, but am often too busy/tired to read as much as I'd like on a day to day basis, so holidays are my reading times.

I'm buried in a book and DP is sitting there fidgeting, staring into space and looking bored. I suggested things for him to do and he kept saying it was fine, but I was starting to feel guilty because I was occupied and he wasn't, so I stopped reading and we left the beach.

I am a little hormonal and irritable at the moment (pregnant), so read more into it than maybe I should have (pun not intended), but it really got to me for a while. What on Earth am I doing with a non-reader?! It's a disaster! How can we have anything in common when he doesn't read?!

It was irrational and silly, but just wanted to say I understand what you mean!

ImperialBlether Fri 12-Aug-11 10:22:46

It wouldn't work for me. I love reading and will spend hours doing it. What would the man be doing whilst you are reading? Is he going to want your attention all the time? Is he going to think you're being lazy? How's it been so far? Have you spent long lazy Sundays with him - if so what's he done?

I can't stand having the television on all the time - I like to watch it but only put it on for specific programmes. I couldn't live with someone who wanted it on constantly.

There's also the fact you don't have anyone to discuss the books with. Does he enjoy anything creative, like films or plays or art?

The main thing is though, what does he do if he's not reading?

PeterSpanswick Fri 12-Aug-11 10:24:45

My partner doesn't read and tbh it niggles me a bit that I can't share things with him that I think he'd really enjoy or discuss what I'm reading with him e.t.c.

Equally I'm sure he'd love it if I would get excited about the latest superhero film to come out in the cinema or take up snowboarding or something!

In a nutshell, we're completely different and have nothing in common except the life and friendships and family we've built up together. Fingers crossed that will still give us enough to talk about when we're seventy!

As long as he respects your leisure time and has plenty of his own interests for you to roll your eyes at indulge him in affectionately too, it might be a bit disappointing but doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things.

Lifeissweet Fri 12-Aug-11 10:28:15

I agree, Peter. I was irritated by the lack of reading on holiday because, given a choice, that is what I would spend a holiday doing and I couldn't because I felt I had to entertain my non-reading DP.

At home, it's absolutely fine. When we have any time to ourselves away from the children, he will watch sport endlessly and i will read books. We can do this simultaneously in the same place and both be happy. He sometimes talks to me about what's happening in the football, which is fine and I sometimes tell him a bit about the book I'm reading.

I don't think we have to have the same interests to live together happily, necessarily.

Ephiny Fri 12-Aug-11 10:35:18

I find it hard to imagine how someone could not like reading - but we're all different and it wouldn't be reasonable to expect everyone to have exactly the same hobbies and interests as me!

Don't think it would be a problem for me in a relationship. Reading is a solitary activity pretty much by definition, so it's not as though it's something you'd be missing out on doing together.

DP didn't read much at all when we first got together (and was a bit shock at my collection of books), but he definitely reads more now than he used to, just from being around me.

MyPeaceLily Fri 12-Aug-11 10:41:19

Thanks for the comments, I don't think it's an entirely unreasonable thing to have a niggle about, when one's thinking of long-term compatibility. It's not the worst crime in the world.

BluddyMoFo Fri 12-Aug-11 10:41:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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