{List-O-Rama} Book Nerd Relationships

Are you a book nerd?

Do you have a significant (human*) other?

Does your relationship with your books cause friction between you and your significant other?

Are you concerned that you will have to choose between your books and your significant other?

If you answered yes to 2 or more of the above questions, don’t despair. It is completely possible to maintain both of these relationships successfully. I’m here to share my secrets to Book Nerd Relationship Success™!

Here’s how, in six easy steps:

1. Coordinate opposing work schedules.

Now, there are couples out there who would be dismayed over this situation.

But honey! If I work during the day and you work at night, we’ll never get to see each other!
How will our relationship ever make it?!

But for the book nerd, this situation is ideal.

For instance, I work a typical Monday through Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm schedule. My husband works a swing-type shift and doesn’t get home until 9:30pm, sometimes 10:30.

As a result, I have at least three hours of reading time to myself after I punch out, and am (usually**) happy to close my book and give my full attention to my husband when he gets home.


2. Regardless of your respective work schedules, when you and your Significant Human Other have days off together, wake up early to give yourself extra reading time.

I like to give myself about two hours.

Now, my SHO has this very odd issue in which the “swish” sound of pages turning wakes him up and drives him crazy. So, I always have my Kindle Touch on my night stand so that that I can wake up early and read without disturbing him, or I haul my lazy butt out of bed and read whatever hardback book I’m obsessed with in the living room.

For even MORE extra reading time in the morning, I suggest the following:

  • Brew the coffee & put a mug on SHO’s night stand.
  • If there is a bedroom TV, and there should be, put the remote within SHO’s reaching distance.
  • Hell, put it directly in your sleeping SHO’s hand.
  • Bonus points are awarded if you take an extra ten minutes to drive to McDonald’s and bring the SHO a McMuffin in bed. (Obviously, cooking breakfast yourself is not feasible, as it will cut into your reading time too much. Plus there’s the cleanup. Housework = *shudder*) 

 The benefits of this are threefold:

  1. Bringing the SHO coffee (and the optional McMuffin) makes you seem Very Considerate. (“Honey, you let me sleep in and brought me coffee! That’s so sweet of you!”) Appearing Being considerate is good for your relationship.
  2. You, Book Nerd, you get your reading time and then some in the living room while SO has been sleeping in/drinking coffee/possibly eating breakfast/watching TV in bed.
  3. Similar to Book Nerd Relationship Success™ Tip #1, by the time SHO actually gets out of bed, you’ve most likely been reading for a few hours. You are therefore ready to close that book and spend (at least part of) the day with your SHO.*** Because spending time with your SHO is also good for your relationship.

3. Encourage your SHO’s hobbies.

As long as they don’t cut into your book budget, of course.

For example, my husband enjoys playing video games, playing the card game Magic (so adorably dorky, amirite?) and… meticulously organizing his Magic cards in a special red binder (not so adorably dorky, amirite?) Now, some people are insecure and feel that their SHO doesn’t love them when they have hobbies that don’t involve being Together All The Time.

Not the Book Nerd!

So here’s the deal. You and the SHO both get a relatively equal budget for your respective hobbies. I say relatively because there are times, of course, when I NEED a budget boost because I simply MUST have THAT BOOK that’s just come out that everyone else is raving about. Every couple will need to negotiate this minor hurdle in their own way.

Regardless, SHO enjoys his/her hobbies, while you enjoy reading your books.

4. Encourage your SHO’s friendships.

Actually, this is better than #3 because friendship is (monetarily) free and therefore won’t cut into your book budget! So while my husband is at his friend’s house male bonding by watching Triple H battle The Rock or whoever during the latest WWE pay-per-view event, I get to blissfully read in peace.


5. Curl up with the SHO while you read and he/she watches whatever they want on TV.

This way it seems as if you are doing something together while you, Book Nerd, are actually engrossed in Patrick Ness’ Chaos Walking trilogy and are not paying attention to your SHO. At all.

But, once again, you appear are Very Considerate by both ceding remote control rights and cuddling.

See how that works?


6. Contribute to a book blog to make your reading sound important and official.

“Honey, my EDITOR needs my review for this book done in two days! She’s the Queen of Everything! So I HAVE to finish reading it. You understand.”

This is especially useful for those times when the SHO wants to hang out together outside of the house (Nightmare!), but your book-reading will NOT BE DENIED.

And there you have it, fellow book nerds. Any reasonable SHO will be able to make a relationship with you (and your books) work under the above parameters. Especially since some of them require effort and compromise on your part. If they can’t, well, perhaps it’s just not meant to be.

Do you have a special method that provides enables you to read voraciously despite the existence of a Significant (Human) Other? Please share in the comments section below!


*Dogs, and the majority of cats, are more understanding of the complex commitments of the Book Nerd. If you have an avian significant other, well… good luck.

**But not always. Priorities!

***Assuming you’re not in the midst of another Hunger Games Trilogy reread, obviously.


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